Firefighter silhouette against background of orange glow from fire in country house at night. If There's an Electric Fire in Your New House, Who Pays?

In most cases, when you move into a new home, everything will be in working order. Although you usually wouldn't expect something to go wrong shortly after moving in, especially not an electric fire, accidents do happen. If an electric fire lights up your Florida home, do you know if you have to pay for it yourself or if it's someone else's responsibility?

A Florida independent insurance agent can answer this question for you and help you get set up with homeowners insurance. Agents have helped homeowners through various situations and understand what coverages can help you in situations like these.

Who Has to Pay If an Electric Fire Sparks Up in My New Home?

When you become the owner of a home, you take on the full financial responsibility for the house, including any potential issues that it has. Even in brand-new homes, electric fires can happen, and as the homeowner, it would be your responsibility to file the insurance claim. 

If the home was just built or had previous owners, there's a chance that the faulty electrical wiring was from improper installation or something the previous owners did. However, you'd still start the process through your insurance. You'd work with your homeowners insurance to get repairs done and then get reimbursement.

Am I Responsible for Covering Any Damage Caused by the Electric Fire?

A typical electric fire would be likely to result in damage to the structure of your home and your personal belongings in the house. Fortunately, the property damage coverage in your home insurance protects both of these.

If an electric fire occurred, you would get coverage up to the policy limits in your structure coverage and contents coverage. You would still be responsible for your deductible before the policy is paid out. Any damage that was above and beyond your limits or outside of your property damage coverage would be your responsibility out of pocket. 

Situations like this are why it's important to have the proper coverage in your policy. Your agent can help you choose policy limits, so you're adequately covered.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover in Florida?

Homeowners insurance is a blend of coverages that protect every aspect of your home and the people who are living inside it. Unexpected things can happen at any time. Whether it's an electric fire, someone is injured on your property, or a tropical storm sweeps through your property, insurance is protection against these things and more.

The four primary coverages found in Florida home insurance include:

  • Contents coverage: Part of your property damage policy, contents coverage protects your personal belongings such as furniture, rugs, clothing, collectibles, appliances, and the like against disasters like fire, theft, etc.
  • Structural coverage: Also part of your property damage policy, structural coverage protects the home’s structure, detached garages, other structures, and built-in appliances from perils like natural disasters, fire, vandalism, etc.
  • Legal coverage: Homeowners insurance includes liability coverage against lawsuits filed by third parties. This coverage reimburses legal costs like attorney and court fees.
  • Additional living expenses coverage: If your home becomes temporarily uninhabitable after a covered disaster like a fire or severe storm, this coverage reimburses for extra expenses like hotel rooms, added mileage you have to drive, meal costs, and the like.

Home insurance can be customized to add endorsements and add-on policies to protect yourself further. An agent can help you understand your additional coverage options and how to add them to your policy.

When Doesn't Home Insurance Cover an Electric Fire? 

There are a few instances when home insurance may not cover an electric fire. 

  • If the fire was intentional 
  • If it was proven that the fire started from faulty maintenance and no other cause

In addition to these exclusions, home insurance typically does not cover the following:

  • Routine maintenance fees
  • Lack of upkeep by the homeowner
  • War/nuclear fallout damage
  • Business-related liability issues
  • Insect damage
  • Flood or earthquake damage

You may want to consider a separate flood insurance policy in Florida because of the high risk of severe storms and flooding.

Will an Electric Fire Claim Cause My Rates to Increase?

It's not likely that your rates will increase after a single small claim like an electric fire. Home insurance rates tend to increase after significant catastrophic events and repeat offenders. So if you were filing fire claims continuously, the company would start seeing you as a riskier homeowner and raise the rates. 

If it were determined that the electric fire wasn't your fault, your insurance would even take that into consideration, and it would help not impact your rates.

What Are the Top Five Risks for Homeowners in Florida?

When shopping for homeowners insurance, it's helpful to know the most common risks to get the proper protection for your property. Fortunately, home insurance and additional policies that you can purchase can help with damage from the top risks that Florida homeowners face.

Top 5 risks for homeowners in Florida

  1. Wildfires and residential fires
  2. Hurricanes and tropical storms
  3. Severe storms and lightning damage
  4. Flooding and water damage
  5. Burglary and other property crimes

It may come as a surprise that wildfires and residential fires are the number one risk for Florida homeowners. Understanding how your insurance works when there is an unexpected fire can help you navigate a fire claim if you need to file one. Working with your agent, you know you have protection in place for these events long before you need it. 

How Can a Florida Independent Insurance Agent Help?

As a homeowner, you care about your valuable asset, but no one expects you to be an expert in home insurance. That's what a Florida independent insurance agent is for. They know the ins and outs of home insurance and the importance of specific coverages and policy limits for Florida residents. 

Agents are helpful partners because they're looking out for your best interest. They work with a network of companies to find you the best blend of coverages at affordable rates. Whether you need to set up a new policy, evaluate an existing policy, or add to what you have, an agent will guide you in getting the home insurance you need. 

Article reviewed by | Jeff Green

https://www.esfi.org/home-electrical-fires/

https://www.iii.org/article/homeowners-insurance-basics



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