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What to do when an accident in your home damages your neighbour’s apartment?

[Dagmar Gilden | 01.12]

If an unexpected accident, such as a flood or a fire, takes place in your home, home insurance will usually compensate the damages. However, when the damages also affect your neighbours, the owner of the apartment where the accident originated from is responsible for compensating the damages. Dagmar Gilden, the Head of Property Insurance at Seesam, explains how to protect yourself against compensation claims for the damages caused to your neighbour.

 "Every substantial flood or fire in an apartment building causes damages to the neighbouring apartments. Many people do not realise that when their actions result in damages to the neighbour's property, the person who causes the damage has to compensate them. A regular home insurance will not be enough," said Gilden.

In order to benefit from your insurance in these instances, an additional liability insurance can be included in the home insurance contract. "Liability insurance compensates the damages occurred to the property of third parties, such as a neighbour's apartment, due to the apartment residents' fault."

Even then it should not be forgotten that the owner of the apartment must see to it that the neighbour's apartment gets repaired. The person who causes the damage has to contact their insurer, admit responsibility, help the insurance company to determine the extent of the damage, arrange the renovation of the neighbour's apartment, and ensure the restoration of pre-accident conditions. The insurance does compensate the financial losses, but in the end, the person who causes the damages remains responsible for them," says Gilden on liability insurance.

According to Seesam statistics, the most common home insurance cases are associated with water accidents while the biggest costs are associated with fires. There are fewer fires compared to water accidents, however, the consequences of fire are much more extensive, because fire damage is accompanied by damage caused by the extinguishing water.