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Miami Fire Damage Lawyer: Am I Covered if A Neighbor’s Fire Damages My Condo?

If you have suffered damage to your condo because of a fire in your neighbor’s unit, you may not be protected. It can be tricky to figure out whose insurance policy you need to file your claim with. Thankfully, our Miami fire damage lawyers can help.

Living in a Condo Is Quite Different From Living in a Single-Family Home  

When you purchased your condo, you also purchased condo insurance. Condo insurance is like homeowners’ insurance. However, homeowners’ insurance typically covers dwellings and attached structures. Condo insurance is different.

Condo insurance is typically meant to cover the property inside your dwelling. This could include damage to your furniture, fixtures, and other personal property. The condo association is expected to prove coverage for the structure and common areas.

If, for example, someone who lived in the house next door to you suffered a fire, your home may suffer some damage. However, the chances are it won’t be as much damage as it will be if you live in a condominium.

When you purchase your HO6 insurance or condo insurance, it’s important to see what coverage it offers.

Your Condo Association Should Have a Master Insurance Policy

The condo association holds a master policy that covers common areas and most of the structures in your building. If the condo insurance does not cover the damage to your property, your own fire insurance should.

What many of our clients don’t understand is that they may have to file a claim against both your own policy and that of the condominium association.

Your Miami Property Damage Attorney Will Need to See a Copy of the Master Fire Insurance Policy

It’s important that you provide your Miami property damage attorney with a copy of the association’s master fire insurance policy. This is the only way they will know which part of your condominium is covered under their policy.

There are typically two different kinds of master insurance policies. In the first kind, the association’s policy will cover fire damage to the structure, common areas, and the fixtures inside your unit. In this situation, your policy would simply need to cover your personal possessions.

The second type of master insurance policy only covers the structure and common areas. In this case, you’ll be responsible for purchasing coverage for all of the fixtures, cabinets, and appliances in your condominium unit. You will also need your own coverage for personal property.

You Must Carry Separate Insurance for Your Condo That Includes Fire Coverage

Any Miami fire damage lawyer will tell you that it’s not a good idea to rely on the condominium association to ensure your property. Even if you are aware that there is a master insurance policy, you still need to purchase your own.

This is not the kind of mistake that you want to learn the hard way. If you are wrong in your assumptions, you will end up paying out-of-pocket to replace and repair all of your damaged possessions.

Condo insurance should cover fire damage

You could even find yourself responsible for repairing the fixtures and appliances within your unit. It all depends on the following documents:

  • Condo Association’s master insurance policy
  • The association’s by-laws
  • The association’s general liability insurance policy
  • Your neighbor’s insurance policy
  • Your own condo insurance policy
  • Any supplemental insurance purchased by the parties involved

It’s Important to Know What Property is Covered by Each Policy

Something that our Miami fire damage lawyers recommend is that you take a copy of both policies and lay them side by side. Make a list of what’s covered by each policy. Remember to include the policy limits when you make your notes.

This is something that you should have on hand before you suffer any type of emergency. If something does happen, you will be in a much better position since you’ll be prepared to file your respective claims.

Can Your Miami Fire Damage Lawyer Help if Your Property Isn’t Covered?

When you purchase your HO6 condo insurance policy, they will outline what is covered and what is not. You can give a copy of this to your Miami property damage attorney, and they can review it for you.

If they determine that your claim should have been paid, they can always help you file an appeal. Or, if you filed your claim against the wrong policy, they could help you get things sorted out.

It All Depends on Where the Fire Initiated

If you’re suffering fire damage because of a fire that occurred outside of your unit, it must be extremely frustrating. The only way to find out if the damage will be covered is to determine the origin of the fire.

If your Miami property damage attorney finds that the fire started next door, then you may be able to file a claim against your neighbor’s insurance policy. If, on the other hand, the fire originated in a common area, then the condominium association should be liable for any damage caused.

Reach Out to One of Our Miami Property Damage Attorneys

It certainly would not be fair if you had to pay out-of-pocket for damage caused by a fire in your neighbor’s unit. At a minimum, you should be able to file a claim against their insurance policy.

It is true that people who purchase a condo assume the risks that come along with living in a multi-unit dwelling. However, at a certain point, one of the insurance policies should kick in and cover your damage.

Contact a Miami Fire Damage Lawyer Today!

We suggest that you call our office and speak with one of our Miami property damage attorneys as soon as possible. It’s best if you contact us within hours of realizing that you’ve suffered fire damage.

It’s critical for you to take an accounting of the damage to your structure as well as the damage to any personal property you own. We do offer clients a free, initial consultation. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to come in and sit down with a seasoned Miami fire damage lawyer.