Following a structural fire, a fire department may or may not investigate its origin and cause. This decision will vary depending on how the department defines its responsibility for investigation, investigative resources, management philosophy, policies, investigative priority, and whether the fire has been determined accidental.

Regardless of public investigations, the property owner, tenants having content insurance, and other parties are likely to file fire-loss claims. The insurance company's claim manager should recognize the importance of fire-loss claims and assign them to experienced claim handlers. Although, on the surface, a claim may appear to be similar to others, it is prudent to approach each fire-loss claim individually.

Many insurance companies have developed minimum guidelines that require origin-and-cause investigations by independent investigative agencies or certified private fire/explosion investigators. Established minimum guidelines may include property losses of $10,000 or more, reported injuries or deaths, possible issues of subrogation, third-party negligence, third-party claims, and incendiary or undetermined fire causes.

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