Audacia Abogados

How to act if you have been affected by a fire this summer?

Who to claim when a fire causes damage to your property?

Civil Law
How to act if you have been affected by a fire this summer?

How far does insurance cover you? If you don't have one, can you claim from the Insurance Compensation Consortium? who pays for reforestation?

If the fire was intentional and the person presumed responsible is found, he or she will have to answer for all the damages caused.

The effects of fire are being felt in different areas of our country and there is considerable damage that is being caused as a result of acts, sometimes intentional, that are damaging not only forest land, which is being burned and whose Reconstruction will take a long time, but also to properties and people, producing considerable damage of an individual nature, such as the houses that have had to be left behind, by people who have had to flee due to the danger of the flames, resulting in the themselves completely destroyed.

In this sense, at Audacia Abogados we review the different assumptions to respond to what to do if they have been affected by the fire.

If the fire was intentional

In situations in which the fire has been caused deliberately and the person presumed responsible for it is caught, in the first place, he will be criminally punished. Then the culprit will have to answer for all the damages that he has caused with his way of acting. This civil compensation may also be claimed in cases in which the conduct does not constitute a crime, but negligence.

When the fire has originated from natural causes

In the event that the fire was caused by natural causes, such as lightning, there will not be a person to claim, and you will not be able to go to the Insurance Compensation Consortium either, as would happen, for example, in the event of an earthquake.

When you have an insurance policy that covers the fire

Regardless of whether the fire was caused by a person, they will have the obligation to compensate you, it may happen that you have an insurance policy that covers you for the risk of suffering a fire. Taking into account how considerable the damage can be, it will be very fruitful to make an insurance claim, because it is very possible that the deceased does not have sufficient solvency to deal with it, even if he has been convicted.

In these cases, it will be essential to analyze the contracting conditions of your insurance, both the particular ones and the general ones. Only in the event that you have it contracted in a policy, your insurer will be responsible for the damages, otherwise you will have to add the material to the personal misfortune, since no one will bear the material damages that have been caused to you, unless the Government by Royal Decree agrees to some kind of aid.

In this sense, we must point out that, if you have contracted a mortgage, the Mortgage Law obliges you to have at least fire insurance, the contracting value of which must be that of the first appraisal of the home. In all cases in which you have insurance that covers the risk of fire, the insurer will send you an expert who will make an assessment of the damage that will be sent to the insurer, which will subsequently make an offer of compensation. We want to emphasize that since this expert report is requested by the insurer, it is a partial report and you do not have the right to be given a copy. In the event that you do not agree with said expert report, the way would be that, in accordance with the provisions of article 38 Insurance Contract Law, you choose an expert who will discuss said amount with the insurer's expert and, in case of discrepancy between the two, you will always have the possibility of appointing a judicial expert.

When you do not have an insurance policy that covers the fire

As indicated before, if you do not have insurance, unless you can claim the expenses from the cause of the fire, there is no option to request payment of the damages from the Insurance Compensation Consortium, as would happen in other types of situations.

Article 1 of the Regulation of Extraordinary Risks 300/2004 of February 20 makes a list of what is considered catastrophic risk and in this sense mentions that they are considered as such:

1. Earthquakes, tidal waves, extraordinary floods, volcanic eruptions, atypical cyclonic storms and falls of astral bodies and aerolites

2. Those caused violently as a result of terrorism, rebellion, sedition, riot and popular unrest

3. The events or actions of the Armed Forces and Security Forces in times of peace.

Therefore, the cases of fire are not considered extraordinary risk and, therefore, would not be covered by the Insurance Compensation Consortium. What the Consortium will cover is compensation for accidents, whether injured or deceased, exclusively for people who collaborate in extinguishing fires in accordance with article 49 of the Forest Law.

Who pays for reforestation

The basic regulations on forests and their development corresponds to the State to the Autonomous Communities. At the European level, there is currently no common forest policy, although there are actions aimed at establishing a protection and planning strategy, aimed at the conservation of habitats, as well as aid for these objectives.

Regarding forest fires, there is regulation at the state level and its development by the Autonomous Communities, where the adoption of both preventive measures against fires and reforestation measures of the affected mountains is foreseen, corresponding to the Autonomous Communities the maintenance and restoration of the forest nature of the burned land.

If you want to make a claim to your insurance, we will be happy to help you.

Civil Law

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