What should I do if I own a building that had a shared wall and there was fire but now my claim is being denied?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2014

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What should I do if I own a building that had a shared wall and there was fire but now my claim is being denied?

The property next to mine burned and was a total loss. They tore it down and now the city is holding us responsible for the shared wall which has some brick damage, needs to be cleared of fire debris and painted. Our insurance company said they would deny the claim and to go after the other company. We did and the other owner’s company is denying our claim stating that it was arson. We provided the police and fire report both state nothing about arson and I know the owner recieved a payout. What should my next step be?

Asked on August 30, 2014 under Insurance Law, Kansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Okay so now that the other insurance company has denied the claim resubmit it to your insurance company and demand a pay out under your insurance.  If they are going to deny it let them write you a letter and state the provisions of the policy they are relying on. Do everything in writing and use the words "good faith effort to collect on your policy" and "bad faith" on their part somewhere in there.  Then speak with an attorney.  What should happen is that your insurance company should pay out and then subrogate the claim (sue their insurance company).  You may, though, have to bring an action against your own carrier (called a declaratory judgement claim).  Good luck.

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