Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Fire? What If The Cause Of The Fire Is Arson?

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Fire? What If The Cause Of The Fire Is Arson?

In light of the recent fires around the country, it is understandable that there is a renewed interest in fire insurance and what is covered. There is suspicion that some of the recent fires were the result of arson rather than being an accident. The government is refraining from officially declaring most of these fires as an act of terrorism or a natural disaster and the terrorism designation has only been applied to fires from incendiary balloon sent from Gaza (at the time of writing). 

Fire Is The Foundation Of A Home Insurance Policy

It is generally assumed that the development of fire insurance resulted from the Great Fire of London in 1666. Fire Insurance is the foundation of all home insurance policies. Additional catastrophic events are added as “riders” or extensions of that  base policy. Earthquake, terrorism, water and storm insurance tend to be additional events that can be added. Israeli policies have been regulated for some time, and they automatically include these riders in the standard terms of cover. That said, there are some additional “riders” that you can opt in to. 

The latest spate of fires in Israel has led to a dilemma for many. Are you covered? According to the Finance Ministry, over 40% of Israelis do not have home insurance. While banks typically demand mortgage holders insure their properties, that coverage is limited to the structure of the home, and may not cover contents. 

Insurance Payments to Fire Victims

Since more than half of homeowners have only basic mortgage insurance, many of those whose lives are devastated or impacted by a blaze struggle with the harsh reality of under-compensation and additional hardships as they try to get their lives back in order.

While damage to the building of your home  be repaired by private insurance, any content in the home, including personal belongings, would not be covered t, unless you have the adequate coverage protecting your contents, which should be included in your homeowner’s policy. It is important to check that you don’t have only structure insurance cover, without cover the contents of your home as well.

Is Arson Covered Under My Homeowners Policy?

Homeowners insurance may not cover all types of fire damage and it’s important to understand your policy. If you’re not sure, call us and we can walk you through your coverage. The definition of fire in most policies is the appearance of sparks or flames, and also includes smoke damage and explosion. When malicious intent is involved, there may need to be an audit or investigation to determine who caused the damage. Malicious damage caused by a property owner, family member or tenant/guest that has the property owner’s approval to be in the property will not be covered by your insurance policy. If the fire is caused by an act of terror and arson is to blame, the Tax Authority may be able to be petitioned for partial compensation. It is a good idea to discuss your personal policy with your insurance agent to understand what exactly is covered by your policy. It is due to scenarios like these  that we recommend adding terror cover on your home policy, which will cover you for shortfalls in any limited payouts provided by the State. 

How Do I Protect Myself with Fire Insurance in Israel?

When taking out contents insurance, it is important to make sure to list all valuables and to make additions on a regular basis when extra items of value are purchased . It is also essential to make sure your structural insurance is updated based on the true value of your home.     

Act now to make sure that in the event of an unforeseen occurrence , you are able to receive appropriate financial aid to rebuild. 

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