L18. House Burns Down

Over and above all the emotional and financial tension it causes in the life of a person and his family, there will be several steps that a homeowner will need to take before the problems accompanying such an experience will be resolved.

The homeowner needs to report the matter to the nearest police station. A case number is required by most insurance companies. Thereafter the complaint will be investigated by the police and handed over to the prosecuting authority that will decide if the third party should be prosecuted or not. The matter is then reported to the insurance company together with the abovementioned case number.

Thereafter, the insurance company will investigate the claim and decide whether it is going to accept or reject the claim. The insurance policy will determine the ambit of the insurance company’s discretion in deciding whether to accept or reject the insured’s claim. The insurance policy will determine the rights and obligations between the insurance company and the insured. If the insurance company decides to reject the insured’s claim, the insured will have two further options at his disposal. The insured will be able to take the matter to the ombudsman for determination, or he may dispute the matter in a civil court based on breach of contract by the insurance company.

The insured will be indemnified if the claim is accepted by the insurance company. The amount that the insurance will payout to the insured will once again be determined by the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. If the insurance company rejects the insured’s claim or if the insured decides not to claim from the insurance company, then the insured will be able to institute action against the third party if he can prove that the house was burned down as a result of the intentional or negligent conduct or omission by the third party or, alternatively, that the house was burned down as a result of a breach of a contractual obligation between the homeowner and the third party, had a contract been in place.

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