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A direct loss is some type of property loss in which a consistent sequence of events led to the cause of the partial or complete destruction related to that property. This is in contrast to indirect loss, in which the chain of events helps set the stage for the loss, but did not contribute to it directly. The events leading up to a direct loss are sometimes referred to as the proximate cause, a term that helps to express the direct relationship of those events to the loss that is incurred.
Properly identifying the nature of a loss is often important when it comes to settling insurance claims. This is because a direct loss is more likely to be covered than an indirect loss. For example, if faulty wiring in a home causes a wall structure to catch fire, which in turn causes the draperies on a window to burn, and ultimately spread the fire to a nearby sofa, this is considered a direct loss. The problem with the wiring triggered a chain of events where an insured item was damaged or destroyed. There is a good chance that the insurance policy will cover the cost of repairing the wiring, rebuilding the wall, and replacing the sofa and drapes.
In contrast, the policy may or may not cover any indirect loss resulting from this chain of events. Should the damage be severe enough to prevent the occupants from sleeping in the home until repairs are made, this would be considered an inconvenience, but not necessarily a type of loss that the provider considers to be directly within the scope of coverage. As a result, the provider may not cover costs of renting hotel room or some other accommodations while the repairs are made.
Understanding what is and is not considered a direct loss requires careful scrutiny of the terms and provisions found within an insurance contract. While some policies do cover some incidences of indirect loss along with of direct loss, the scope of that coverage may be very different. By taking the time to look closely at how a given insurance provider interprets direct versus indirect loss, and what type of coverage is provided for each type of loss, consumers can determine if that policy is sufficient for their needs. Should a consumer find that the terms are somewhat confusing or ambiguous, he or she may determine that the coverage offered is not sufficient, and proceed to consider policies offered by other providers.