Oakland Warehouse Fire Has Some Insurance Pros on Alert
January 9, 2017
People in the business of insuring warehouses, especially those where artists may be tenants, have been on high alert since a deadly fire on Dec. 2, 2016, broke out in a converted warehouse in Oakland, Calif.
The so-called “Ghost Ship” warehouse which was also reportedly used as an artists’ colony, was hosting a $10-a-head music performance and party when the building caught fire and took the lives of 36 people. The scene reportedly had makeshift stairs and room dividers, making escape difficult.
It is considered the deadliest building fire in the United States in more than a decade.
After such a tragic event, insurance is likely the last thing on the minds of injured victims and their families. But as they look toward the future, it will become increasingly important to identify all potentially liable parties and hold them responsible for the financial harm caused by this event, according to Omid Safa, an insurance coverage lawyer with Blank Rome LLP.
“It’s fair to say brokers and agents who are thinking about selling general liability insurance may ask the question: Are you using the facility even sporadically for this type of event?'” Safa said.
If the answer is “yes,” brokers may want to look at including a liquor liability endorsement that would cover bodily injury, he added.
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"Oakland Warehouse Fire Has Some Insurance Pros on Alert," by Don Jergler was published in Insurance Journal on January 9, 2017.