The Institutes

Subrogation-related Fire Investigations of Structures Under Construction or Renovation

 Tuesday, July 13, 2021

 CLM Magazine

Fires in structures under construction have increased since 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and investigations of these events provide a different level of complexity than fires in fully occupied, finished structures.

The subrogation aspect can be just as convoluted when pursuing a recovery.

Due to the complex nature of the structure itself, and the relationship between the investigation and subrogation efforts, it is imperative for investigators to leave no stone unturned and gather as much quality information and evidence as possible throughout the process.

Buildings under construction or under renovation are inherently vulnerable during the construction process. These structures are typically vacant and difficult to secure.

The origin and cause investigator must consider the potential of an unauthorized person gaining access to the building as part of the investigation process. Not only could this issue impact the investigation, but also any potential target of the subrogation efforts may attempt to argue that the fire was caused by such unauthorized persons.

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