What to do when you receive an insurance claim stating you caused property damage that you did not do?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 6, 2016

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Insurance Question from Allison Park, PA

Asked on 09/06/2016

What to do when you receive an insurance claim stating you caused property damage that you did not do? My father's neighbor filed a home owner's insurance claim, saying my dad did damage to his house and car when painting. There are paint flecks on his car and house. This is 100% not true. The claim names the date in question. My father has not done any painting in years. What should he do?

Answer given on September 28, 2016

If your father is accused of causing damage to the neighbor’s home, you should contact your father’s insurance company and file the claim. If you have received legal paperwork, you need to do this as soon as possible.His insurance company will review the claim and take statements from your father and the neighbor. They will also work with the neighbor’s insurance company, presuming they have been involved in the claim being filed. If it is determined your father did not cause the damage, then the insurance company will deny the claim. If your neighbor pursues the claim in court, your father’s insurance company will provide legal representation and defend your father. If judgement goes against your father, then the insurance company will pay whatever is determined to be the damage.Don’t try to settle this on your own, and don’t ignore the claim. This is why you have insurance. Leave it up to the insurance company.

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