Does home insurance cover fire?


Fire is one of the most common home owner causes-of-loss and as such, it is covered by every type of home insurance policy. Fire and lightning are among the perils named in the insuring agreement of even the most basic type of home insurance.

When a Home Insurance Policy Covers Fire

Fire can result from many different situations and can cause damage of different nature. Physical damage or loss directly caused by fire is covered in most situations, as long as it is the proximate cause of the damage or loss.

If a home owner's dwelling and contents are damaged or destroyed by fire, the insurance provider will pay the insured the amount needed to repair or replace the personal property less the deductible, up to the policy limits.

If fire is the proximate cause of any secondary damage, such as when loss occurs due to the use of a fire extinguisher or water, one's home insurance policy will cover the additional loss, too.

Although home insurance does not provide a specific definition of fire, it has to have certain characteristics in order to qualify as a covered cause-of-loss:

  • Fire must be hostile and not friendly, that is, any intentional fire is specifically excluded.
  • Fire must be caused by combustion and immediately followed by a flame or a glow. Scorching is excluded from a home insurance policy and so are charring and heating without a flame.

Any losses which occur as a result of lightning are also covered by home insurance. In fact, fire and lightning usually go together in the list of named perils covered under a home insurance policy.

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