San Jose, CA asked in Insurance Defense for California

Q: Am I liable to neighbors insurance co. from fire in my condo?

I got a letter from my neighbors insurance co recently saying, basically, "You owe us $6543 for damage you caused to our policyholder." First, they know no details about the fire but say I caused the damages. It was caused by a soundbar in my bedroom that caught on fire with no warning while I was at work. I have not had the wiring in my house inspected but there is no evidence it was the cause but also they did not inspect it, they did not inspect my room, or inspect anything, the fire dept also did not inspect it. Second, there is no mention of what the damages were and no list of charges. What I am concerned about is that my neighbor promptly moved out for two weeks claiming her place was "unlivable" but there is no evidence it actually was. My family did not move out and when she found out she moved back in conveniently then said just the one bedroom was bad. If there was no reason to move out and she made no effort to clean her house promptly I don't want to pay for her hotel stay

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Unfortunately, there is no "quick fix" type of response here that would address your issue. Handling the matter would likely require an investigation (since none was conducted) to assess the level of damages. Left to run its own course, one possibility is that the carrier could ultimately place the matter into suit; but no one can say with 100% certainty what would happen. You could contact a California attorney to see if they would offer a brief consult to determine the best course of action. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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