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Fire insurance, am I covered?

If you are one of the hundreds of people affected by the worst fire to hit the province of Málaga in the past decade, you should consider this useful information Lexland is going to provide for you. In the first place, we must distinguish between those who have contracted a fire insurance policy and those who have not. If you are in the first group, you have an easier job, since all you have to do is contact your insurance company and they will sort out either the renovation of your home or the compensation you are entitled to.

However, there may be a group of affected citizens among those who, having signed an insurance policy, it does not cover a case like wildfire damages. In other cases, it would be enough to go to the insurance compensation consortium, but unlike earthquakes or extraordinary floods, forest fires are not included among the risks covered by the insurance compensation consortium.

The latter group resembles those who do not have their home insured. Both groups may apply for the compensation granted by the State pursuant to the Royal Decree-Law 25/2012 for approving urgent measures to alleviate the damage caused by forest fires and other natural disasters in various regions.

Fire Insurance

In order to apply for this compensation, you have to file the application before the delegation or sub-delegation of the Government of the provinces of the Autonomous Communities until November 7th 2012. State compensations are intended to compensate both personal damages and damages to your property. To prove ownership of the house at the time of applying for the compensation, please enclose a copy of the paid receipt of Property Tax (IBI) to your application. It is noteworthy that such compensation does not apply to second homes and the amount is quite low. In addition to this, the State compensation may be of application to those farmers with an insurance policy covered by the Agricultural Insurance Plan who have been victims of property damage of at least 30% of their production.

On the other hand, we should also note that we can file a claim before the Administration for its liability for not performing prevention and fire fighting tasks correctly. This pathway is very interesting for those without insurance policies whose homes have been burned as a result of fault or negligence of preventive services and fire fighting in our town. However, we know that there is little case law and we have to have substantial evidence against the Administration. We must first file an administrative complaint before to the Town Hall of our municipality, and if no response is given or if it weren´t in our favour, we may proceed to file an administrative appeal.

In these cases, in order to claim for liability against the Administration, an essential requisite is that the damages are caused by its act or omission, that they are individualized and that they are economically quantifiable.

The Administration has, under Law 5/1999 of June 29, for the Prevention and Fight against forest fires, a local planning obligation in case of emergency wildfire. That is why; if your town did not have this plan, you can prove the causal link between the negligence or omission of the defendant Administration and the damages caused to your home. This negligence has to be blatant and convincing evidence. As for the concepts subject to compensation, case law establishes that consequential damages, loss of income and pain and suffering may be compensated.

Having said all this, suing the Administration is an arduous and expensive battle; we therefore recommend that you seek recommendation from our legal team, which will give you the best advice on your particular case.

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