He liked painting, but he never thought he would be centre stage in the macabre painting that caused his death. It happened last month in Barcelona. A fire broke out in a 93 year old man’s sixth-floor flat and he was unable to get out. The following day, another victim perished: a 19 year old man who had suffered severe burns.
What happened? The causes are still being investigated. Apart from the number of victims, we know that 15 fire fighting units and 14 ambulances took part in the rescue efforts, and that 22 residents from 16 apartments had to be rehoused. Three of the apartments were completely destroyed by the fire.
What has to be done now? The homes and common areas have to be refurbished, and water, electricity and gas services have to be re-established, so that residents can go back to their homes. The economic cost of the fire, and compensation to victims and third party damages, have to be calculated.
The party to blame always pays, whether or not they have insurance
Let us assume that the fire broke out in the common areas of the building. All the owners of the apartments are responsible, every one of them. The Residents Association’s insurance (if there is one) would be responsible for the situation. The problem is that Residents Association’s insurance policies are often fiercely negotiated so as to pay as little as possible. In this case, the insurer would pay the agreed amount and the difference would have to be paid by the residents according to their percentage of participation in the association. Is it really worthwhile putting your assets and economic solvency at risk? Is it worth accepting this risk which could change your life? Just because the compensation paid by the insurance company is not high enough? How much will it cost you to pay the proportional part of a good neighbours’ association insurance policy? Now, how much can it cost you to pay the proportional part of all the damages caused?
If the man living on the sixth floor (where the first flame appeared) is guilty, the owner of the apartment is responsible for the damages and we would hope he has a good home insurance policy, otherwise…
Shops and offices affected on the ground floor of the building are probably affected. Who will cover the owner’s loss of income while the business is closed?
And who advises you if a claim happens?
The bank? Will the branch employee come, or his manager – who made you take out the insurance policy as a condition – to safeguard your interests and take responsibility for the claim?… direct line insurance or a department store? And of course, through someone who called you by telephone to sell you the insurance…
We Insurance Brokers advise you before you take out the insurance policy so you know what policy you are acquiring, and, in the event of a claim, we take charge of the situation to ensure that the procedure runs as smoothly as possible, to provide the necessary technical arguments and defend your interests until the claim is resolved.