Well I'm not so sure an insurance company would willingly pay for damages
caused by an owner knowingly violating code - which is exactly what we were
discussing here. Everything I've read so far indicates that they would, up
to a certain point perhaps and they may in fact dispute the claim - but it
does sound like they will pay.
Personally if I owned an insurance company I would fight payment on a claim
if the insured reported damage that was caused by code violation.
yup. Insurance companies, in order to do business in a state HAS to
cover "acts of stupidity". Otherwise, they could pretty much nullify
any policy that's written and the mortgage companies would have a cow.
I'm gonna keep this one open and try to catch my agent tommorrow.
Something about this doesn't ring true, willful negligence (the item in
question) just doesn't seem "accidental" nor "an act of stupidity".
I've been wrong before so I won't worry about it until I hear what my agent
has to say on the matter.
"Will the willful deliberate misuse of a product that results in damage to
my house be covered under my policy?"
"If I store gasoline next to my gas water heater and the resulting accident
damages my home will I be covered?" The answer from my agent is -
absolutely full coverage. I must admit to goes against all common sense,
for the insurance company to cover an accident that I could cause by
ignoring 2 product warning stickers. Two stickers that are quite prominent.
As much as I feel that this shouldn't be covered, I'm certainly not going to
fight it. Now they did go at great lengths to mention that if could be
demonstrated that I acted with full knowledge of potential consequences at
that point the policy would NOT cover damages.
The trick now is to make sure my house doesn't catch fire for another year
or so, else my agent may question the accident.
Actually, what your agent says really is of no consequence -- what are
the conditions on the policy itself (see the short section I posted
from a State Farm policy earlier).
The answer will be what the insurance company actually does in the
event of such a situation. If, after a fire resulting in a large
claim the investigation confirmed such negligence, it is quite likely
they might at least initially reject the claim based on such a clause
in the policy (again, if it were in your policy).
The actual court case from which that clause was pulled was even more
egregious in that the fire was identified as a case of arson. The
claim was eventually upheld, but it was on a technicality in where the
restrictive clauses were in the contract so that they were able to be
interpreted as ambiguous as to whether they covered the particular
situation or not so the court ruled in the plaintiff's favor on that
basis. If the restrictions had been in the contract specifically for
the subsection under which the claim was made, the defendent's
(insurance company) postion would have been upheld.
Upshot is, know your policy throughly and don't rely on the insurance
company to bail you out of something stupid -- just may not happen!
(And I know you're not planning on it, just the hypothetical. Just a
cautionary note that it doesn't always work out for the insured in
such a situation.)
Actually, it's not. Putting a 75W bulb in a fixture rated 60W is not, in fact,
a code violation. It's stupid, it's hazardous, it's a violation of the UL
listing -- but it's not a violation of the NEC.
Furthermore, unless there is specific language in the insurance contract to
the contrary, the insurer pays whenever there is a covered loss, *regardless*
of the cause.
Quite frequently, various people assert here in this newsgroup that insurance
companies will deny claims for fires caused by non-Code-compliant wiring.
They are also frequently challenged to substantiate those assertions with
cites of specific instances in which this has actually happened.
So far, I haven't seen any such substantiation here. Have you?
If you were my insurer, I'd have my lawyer point out that there isn't any
language in the contract that permits you to deny the claim on that basis.
And you'd wind up paying my legal fees in addition to my insurance claim.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
On May 1, 7:04 am, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote:
Well, maybe, maybe not--as in most things depends on the details of
both the policy and the incident (and, often, so far as the particular
judge/jury hearing the suit if it gets that far). As an example of
language that may be found in some policies (this from a State Farm
policy I found online) the following language could be in an
aggressive interpretion bar a claim from a fire attributed to the use
of the oversize bulb:
"The policy also contained several exclusions barring coverage for
damage to property consisting of or caused by:
8. Any substantial change or increase in hazard, if changed or
increased by any means within the control or knowledge of an insured
9. Intentional or criminal acts of or at the direction of any
insured person, if the loss that occurs:
1. may be reasonably expected to result from such acts;
It seems that knowingly using a 75W bulb in a 60W-rated fixture
_could_ be construed as meeting either of the above, shifting the onus
onto the determination of whether it constituted a "substantial"
increase or could have "reasonably" been foreseen. (Depends on what
the meaning of "is" is... :) )
Well, interestingly, the summary of the legal case in which that
language was in question was a loss for the insurance company not
because of the restriction itself, but only because of very technical
detail in how, precisely, the restriction was structured inside the
rest of the contract. That is, the appeals court determined that
there was a possible ambiguity in the interpretation of the clause's
applicability in the given circumstance, not that the clause itself
was the problem.
I'm sure the legal beagles of the company were at work the next
morning in attempting to perfect the language and form in all future
They make less UV than is present in an equivalent amount of daylight,
even an equivalent amount of daylight that has been through window glass.
I used to see CFs saying use only in lamps with lampshades. I think the
reason is that they were prone to having their ballasts overheat in most
other lamps. This was mainly 15 or more years ago, mainly before CFs with
electronic ballasts started being available around 1991 or so.
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
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