Fire and smoke insurance claims are much more common than anyone realizes. Everyone, or someone they know, has a story about a near-miss where you may have left the burner on with a plastic or Tupperware container on the stovetop that caused your smoke alarms to go off, prompting a call to 911. While these stories may often be retold to family, friends or co-workers with a laugh, they can also result in fire or smoke-related damage to someone’s home that can be far more extensive, and expensive, than most people realize. Such incidents often result in the need for the replacement of hundreds or thousands of dollars of personal property, repairs, and specialized cleaning of an affected home.
However, like they may try to do with any type of claim, insurers will often try to convince you to settle your fire or smoke claim for as little as possible. This is why it is imperative to have an experienced public adjuster like David Flaks of PubAdjuster to represent you to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your fire or smoke claim.
Does a Fire Have to Be Inside Your Home to Cause Damage?
While this type of damage most often originates from a fire inside your home, that does not necessarily have to be the case. A fire inside your home may start and be put out quickly, but that does not necessarily mean that the fire and the associated smoke did not cause damage to either your home or personal property that will result in thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in property damage, repairs and specialized cleaning being necessary.
Smoke claims can also originate from fires nearby. If you live near a forest and there is a wildfire, then smoke may enter through a window and then be filtered throughout the rest of the house and cause damage throughout your home. Or a neighbor could even be burning leaves in his or her backyard and the smoke may enter into your home and cause damage.
Even if your home has not been physically damaged by smoke or fire, as in nothing has burned down, that does not mean there is not remediation that needs to be done. There may be ash or soot throughout the house that cannot just sit there or it will be a danger to you and everyone else who lives inside the house.
No two fire or smoke claims are the same, but what they all have in common is they can cause far more damage than most people realize.
Where Insurers May Try to Cut Corners on Fire and Smoke Insurance Claims
One of the most difficult parts of fire and smoke claims is that the damage to, in particular, clothes, furniture and other personal property is often permanent and irreversible. Smoke, ash, and soot get into your clothes, onto your furniture or even into certain other household goods and damage them beyond repair. However, your insurer may try to tell you they can be cleaned instead of replaced in an effort to save itself some money.
Insurance policies typically have a separate coverage limit for what is known as “contents coverage.” Although it would apply to any loss, whether a smoke or fire claim, or hurricane damage or a water loss, contents coverage is often particularly important in the context of smoke and fire-related claims because these claims often result in the destruction of all different sorts of personal property.
Insurers may attempt to tell you that certain items of personal property can be cleaned and do not need to be replaced. Although there are indeed special types of cleaning that can be performed upon clothing or other items that have been damaged, this is not a foolproof claim or something that can always be believed. Therefore, your public adjuster will be able to ensure that your insurer does not try to take advantage of you by telling you something can be cleaned that was destroyed.
Contact PubAdjuster if You Are Experiencing a Fire and Smoke Insurance Claims to Your Home or Personal Property
At PubAdjuster, we have represented numerous clients who have experienced damage to their homes or personal possessions due to a fire or smoke. If you have experienced a fire or smoke-related loss, you can be sure your insurer will try to play games when it comes time to both estimating the repairs your home may need as well as low-balling what damage your insurer will tell you has occurred to your clothing, furniture or other personal property as a result of the fire or smoke. David Falks at PubAdjuster has dealt with numerous insurers who have tried to convince his clients to accept far less than their fire or smoke-related claim is worth, but David has been able to obtain a much more favorable outcome for his clients. Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 212-0239 if you live in Boca Raton or anywhere else in South Florida and have experienced a fire or smoke-related loss and you are getting the runaround from you.