Spontaneous Combustion – BEWARE!!

I just received notification that one of our insurance companies just paid out $65,0000 to a homeowner on behalf of one of our contracting clients who was doing work in the claimant’s house.  One evening, the contractor left dirty, oily rags in the basement which spontaneously caught fire in the middle of the night causing extensive damage to the house.

Spontaneous combustionThis is the second time we have encountered a claim of this nature.  The first time, one of our contractor clients left his dirty, oily rags in the homeowners garage and they spontaneously caught fire burning the entire house down!  In that claim, the insurance company paid over $300,000 to the homeowner!

The first time I saw a claim like this, I just thought to myself how unusual that was.  The second time now prompts me to send out this warning message to all our clients and those who hopefully read our blog or this post.  The simple message behind this short post?  Do not leave any dirty, oily rags anywhere in the house, garage or basement!  Whether you were working on a home project, doing a household chore or fixing a vehicle make sure to always properly dispose of your work rags.  Further more, don’t let a contractor who may be doing work at your home leave dirty rags around either.  I would also suggest that after the contractor leaves, you check the work area to make sure everything was properly cleaned up. Although it might be their mess, it is your home, belongings and family that is at risk. Furthermore, I suggest you always make sure the contractors you use are insured otherwise your homeowners insurance may get stuck paying for all the damage.

Thankfully no one was inured in either of these claims but the potential for injury is always there.  These types of losses do happen and can be very damaging.  Please share this information with your friends, neighbors and family too.

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