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Fire – Leinster

Case Study 2

The Insured’s property sustained widespread fire damage, which ultimately resulted in the full demolition of the building, rendering the premise a ‘total loss’.

The clients were a young family, who were expecting their third child shortly before the fire occurred.

The Insurer attempted to deny the claim, seeking to rely upon what is known as the ‘reasonable precautions’ condition. They had alleged that the policyholder had acted recklessly and caused the fire.

Owens McCarthy were entirely satisfied that the settled law would not support the Insurers analysis and we vigorously fought to overturn this decision – which had potentially devastating consequences for the homeowners.

Based upon our detailed arguments, the Insurer had no option but to admit that the claim was indeed covered. Mindful of the fact that the Insured were about to welcome a new baby into the family, we pushed for a substantial interim payment that would provide them with the funds to rent a suitable property and to purchase essential items that were lost in the fire.

Lesson Learned:

Insurers are typically blind to their Policyholders’ circumstances and fail recognise that claim incidents often have traumatic consequences for their clients. Insurers and their representatives are focused on saving money and reducing claim costs. Policyholders need to have access to professional, regulated loss assessing advice in order to counteract the worst excesses of the Insurers and to ensure that they win their full claim entitlements.