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Do homeowners insurance companies investigate first before litigating a suit?

San Diego, CA |

If a home owner claims to their homeowners insurance company that a third party damaged or vandalized their property and the home owner wants to file a claim to repair the damages, does the homeowners insurance company first investigate by contacting the supposedly responsible person first to get their story and doing an investigation before litigating?

Attorney Answers 3


If the insurer learns who committed the vandalism, they may try to contact that person, but people rarely admit to vandalism. More likely, the investigation will consist of interviewing the insured, taking photos, diagraming the loss, and trying to locate and interview witnesses.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -

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If you have a covered loss, the insurance company may send someone out to see the damage and evaluate the value to repair or replace. If the cost to make the repairs / replacement warrants it, they may file suit against the responsible party.

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Generally the insurance company will conduct an investigation in this type of case and try to talk to the alleged vandal, the police may also get involved through you or the insurance company. The vandal may not speak with anyone, even the police, as they will not want to admit anything and they can take the 5th amendment. The insurance will want to do an inspection, get statement from the owners and any witnesses, take pictures, estimate the damages to prepare a cost of repair and determine any non-covered items, etc. They will also be looking for any type of fraud which may have been committed by the homeower, such as arson, etc.

Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.

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1 comment



I have a very strange case going where I had an agreement with the landlord to supply materials fo repairs to fix an apartment I was to rent. After the repairs were made the landlord reneged and in order to not pay me called the repairs unauthorized alterations and destruction of property. In her cross-complaint the landlord went as far as calling the repairs intentional destruction and vandalism. I have before and after pictures of walls being scraped and fixed and looking better after the repairs. The landlord used those excuses then to power and control me and threaten me into not paying. Now that I'm suing she claims I had some bizarre plan to destroy property in order to create habitablilty violations in order to live there for free, all baseless. All habitability violations there were pre-existent and the landlord failed to repair those during the above repairs because the costs wee too high. what I'm suspecting is that the landlord has made a fraudulent claim to her homeowner's insurance company claiming that I vandalized the place and asking the company to defend her from my suit. I wouldn't put it by her. Assuming my facts are true, when the insurance company realizes what is going on, what will they do to her? The facts are that I only had an contract to provide materials, other people made the repairs, I had no personal injury and only about $50 property damage from water flooding the apartment after the repairs, yet I sued her for many intentional torts, which I believe are not covered by insurance in California. I can't understand why on my facts a homeowner's insurance company would defend her. No insurance company has tried to locate me yet she claims that an attorney for the insurance company is about to substitute in as her third attorney in a row.