Insurance coverage

insurance coverage for fires caused by illegal fireworks

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – After illegal fireworks were linked to a major fire that severely damaged a Springfield home this week, a Western Mass News viewer contacted us and asked what the insurance covers in situations like this.

Joe Leahy, president of Leahy and Brown Insurance and Realty, told us that what you’re entitled to depends on the situation, so we asked him to break it down for us.

“They want to pay the claims. It’s their business. If they don’t want to pay the claims, go sell hot dogs,” Leahy said.

After illegal fireworks caused a fire on Webster Street in Springfield on July 4, a Western Mass News viewer contacted us and asked what insurance would cover in this situation, so we asked an expert. local.

“I would say there’s probably coverage in most situations,” Leahy added.

Leahy said if fireworks, the possession and use of which are illegal in Massachusetts, cause property damage, you’re likely entitled to full coverage minus your deductible, even if you damage your own home.

“I mean it was an accident. They weren’t trying to intentionally damage their own property,” Leahy explained.

Leahy said those claims vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on who your carrier is, and he warned that if you set off fireworks and they hit a neighbor’s property, you could be in a creek.

“Getting sued, getting sued by your neighbor who’s been damaged,” Leahy noted.

The problem could be bigger if tenants are involved.

“I’ll give you a great example. It is a multi-family with two rental units… They lose all their contents in the ensuing fire. You can rest assured they’re going to sue you as well,” Leahy said.

The circumstances surrounding Monday evening’s fire are not yet known, so it’s impossible to answer specific coverage questions in this case, but Leahy said that in general, those displaced in such a fire may be eligible for coverage while they look for housing.

“You can’t live in your house, but you still have to rent, you still have to pay your mortgage, you still have to pay your taxes and all those bills. That’s what loss of use coverage is for,” Leahy added.

We checked with the Springfield Fire Department. They said Monday night’s incident was still being investigated by the city’s fire and clearance team.