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Should Domestic Violence Victims Get Insurance Payouts?

Indiana is debating on whether domestic violence victims can get insurance payouts for intentional damage to property

Lawmakers will wrestle with a question next session of whether domestic violence victims should get insurance payouts when their spouse destroys property.

It’s a cause that Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield, is passionate about.

A friend of Crider’s saw his life and marriage fall apart after a serious car accident.

During this man’s divorce, he went into the basement of his family’s home and set it on fire, killing himself and destroying the house.

His wife — a constituent of Crider’s — struggled for more than a year to get the insurance to help pay a claim.

Crider says that’s because insurance companies don’t usually pay claims for intentional acts by one of the co-insured.

“Require that the innocent co-insured party cooperate with any law enforcement investigation, cooperate with any insurance company investigation,” says Crider.

The Insurance Institute of Indiana, which represents about 80 percent of the insurers of the state, says scenarios like the one Crider describes simply don’t happen very often and when they do, the insurer typically supports the innocent co-insured person.

Crider says he’ll work with the insurance industry to craft a solution, even a non-legislative one, but will bring legislation next year if no answer can be found.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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