Does my girlfriend’s family owe me for my personal belongings ifI was living with them and lost everything in a house fire?

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Does my girlfriend’s family owe me for my personal belongings ifI was living with them and lost everything in a house fire?

I was living with my girlfriend and her family. I had been there for over a year when the house caught fire. It burned the entire house down and was tragic. I had my own room and all my stuff was in there so I lost it all. My car was also in the garage and it blew up. So I sued on her home insurance and they paid me for the car. However shouldn’t I get money for all the contents I had in the house as well?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you lost items in the house fire you should make a claim under the homeowner's policy of your girlfriend's family for the loss. You will have to document what you lost with either photographs and/or an itemization of your loss with estimated fair market value.

You need to realize that your loss is based upon the depreciated value of the item lost (current fair market value) not its replacement value.

Unless a member of your girlfriend's family negligently caused the fire he or she would not be responsible for your loss. In order to see how the fire started, you should review the fire report created by the the fire department.

Good luck.


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