Denied fire damage claims can profoundly affect you and your family
When you lose a part of your home in a fire, you lose a part of yourself. Whether it is furniture, memories, or both, your family’s losses are often unbearable – but your home insurance policy should help you recover at least some of them. But do you know what your policy covers? If so, do you know how to file a fire damage claim? Will you get enough from your insurer to provide for your family?
No one truly wants to be find themselves in a situation that requires answers to these questions. Unfortunately, it happens all the time.
Fire damage, whether partial or extensive, is stressful enough by itself. But having to deal with your insurance company on top of that will give you less time will to spend with your family and start the healing process. Their well-being and safety are paramount, so a denied claim isn’t something you want to have to worry about.
Partial Loss Fires
In some cases, a fire may only partially damage your home. Losses in thus case are often referred to as “partial losses” because only part of the house has been lost. They include:
- Hidden damages like smoke, ash, water damage, mold, damage to your ducts, and reduced air quality.
- Improper or inadequate cleaning and repair methods.
- Claim delays. Many insurers consider partial losses as a low priority.
- Possible claim disputes over whether or not your repairs will return your home to a consistent appearance. Such disputes can involve things like carpeting and roof shingles.
After a fire, document everything that the fire damaged or destroyed, and file your claim within the time specified in your insurance policy. Know what your rights are for full and fair payment, and don’t hesitate to seek help from a licensed and experienced claims attorney if you need it.
While there may be no apparent damage, your home may have been impacted by extreme heat, fire retardants, or smoke. It’s best to have it inspected by a qualified and experienced professional. If your insurer refuses to pay for or conduct a proper inspection, ask for one in writing before reminding them that it’s their legal duty to do so. If it’s disputed, it may be best to pay for an inspection by someone reputable.
An inspection will cover the following:
- Structural steel or iron
- Stucco, concrete, and siding
- All your windows
- Heating and plumbing systems
- Interior framing and walls
Total Loss Fires
Fire can also destroy your home, in which case your insurance will consider your claim a “total loss claim.” This means you should, in theory, get the compensation equal to your policy limits.
You buy insurance to recover from damages to your property. Unfortunately, fire damage claims are rarely, if ever, straightforward. Insurance companies will dispute things like estimates to replace soot-damaged carpets and smoke damage repairs. They’ll say they can be cleaned instead of replaced. Water damage from firefighters’ efforts may be written off as pre-existing damage and grounds to deny your claim.
Fighting with an insurance company while putting your life back together is difficult. Sometimes, hiring an experienced attorney to fight for you will relieve some of this stress. If your claim was denied and feel you deserve compensation, contact Louis Law Group at (954) 676-4179 for a free no-obligation consultation or case evaluation. We will fight to get you the settlement you need to rebuild your home and return to a normal life.