Insurance claims can be expected from apartment building fires. When an apartment complex is faced with a fire, the consequences can be severe. The damages affect the tenants in the units, the complex owner, the property manager, and the insurance companies that provide coverage for the fire damage.
In a recent fire in Tulsa,
“Captain Jarrod Perry said a call came in around 8 p.m. Thursday about the fire at the Sunset Court Apartments.
Perry said when the first crew arrived it saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the second floor. He said crews went in and knocked the fire down, but flames continued to the third floor.
A second alarm was called and two additional companies and a ladder truck responded to the scene.
Perry said the fire was eventually contained. He said the second, third floors and parts of the attic were impacted.
He said at least two units received heavy fire and smoke damage.
No one was injured, but Perry said at least four cats were rescued.”
A fire to a commercial building, residential or office, has consequences. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the fire. In some claims, the death of the tenant or someone visiting the premises results in a wrongful death claim. The family of the deceased decides to pursue the responsible party including the building owner or property manager.
In fires with only property losses, there can be a number of types of insurance coverage that comes into play. Renters insurance comes to mind for the tenants that occupied the space. Some landlords have begun to require the tenants to carry this coverage. If a renters insurance policy was purchased, then the tenant’s belongings may be covered.
The apartment building owner most likely has property insurance. The insurance policy probably only has coverage for the building and possibly personal property of the apartment complex. It is doubtful any coverage will be present for the tenants. Of course one exception to this general statement is negligence by the landlord.
If the landlord or its staff were negligent, there might be liability coverage that would be available for the property of the tenants. The purpose of CGL insurance policies is to protect the business from claims of neglect. Most of these types of insurance policies would arguably extend coverage for damage from a fire caused by the negligence of the property owner.
Depending on the cause of the fire, other insurance policies might be involved. If a subcontractor did something to accidentally cause the fire, the liability coverage may be called to pay for the damages. For example, in a completely different fire, a painter left rags in the corner. The rags soaked with lacquer thinner caught fire. The argument became the painter was responsible. Claims were made by several parties against the painter for the fire. The painter’s insurance company ultimately settled the claims.
In today’s world, there could be insurance for an injured pet. The four cats were rescued. Suppose one of the cats was burned badly or suffered smoke inhalation – insurance coverage? Many insurance companies now sell pet policies that cover veterinarian bills. The cat goes to the vet due to the fire, insurance responds.
Fire damage is serious. Insurance companies have a lot at risk in a fire claim. The insurance claim adjustment should really involve an Oklahoma attorney in the early stages. The issues of the type of coverage and whose insurance policy applies needs early attention. Waiting for months to retain an attorney is time wasted. Fire claims need immediate care. Oklahoma insurance counsel is important.