Multiple churches are destroyed or damaged by fires every year, and church policyholders are faced with a number of complicated decisions about their insurance claims in the aftermath. Fire damages generally require extensive repair and cleaning costs, and some churches are forced to close their doors until the funds can be gathered for needed repairs and solutions.
When the Balsora Baptist Church burned down in Bridgeport, Texas the cross stayed standing. The fire occured on Friday, June 17th. Now the cross is a symbol of hope and resilience for the community. The blaze that destroyed the building happened during renovations to the Church. But rather than see it as a tragedy, locals have embraced the cross as a sign of hope. The employees of The Voss Law Firm send thier thoughts and prayers to those impacted by this tragic event. Even after such a devastating event, life goes on. This resilient spirit is something we can all learn from. Thanks to this symbol of hope, the community has come together to support one another in their time of need. The cross is a reminder that no matter what happens, we can always persevere.
The fire began in the early hours of the morning and quickly spread through the church, causing the roof to collapse. Thankfully, all of the firefighters who were inside at the time, are expected to make a full recovery. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to be due to the extreme heat Texas has faced lately. "Extreme temperatures are beyond taxing to resources and manpower in events like these," the local fire department in Wise County wrote on Facebook in response to the fire. "Churches also pose an inherent danger related to the great span of the sanctuaries and great halls, which makes them very prone to collapse. The sanctuary roof did begin collapse while [firefighters] were in the building, several [firefighters] were seen/treated by Wise County EMS on scene." The damage to the church was significant. In the meantime, the congregation is worshiping at a nearby church.
As church policyholders move forward with their fire insurance claims, they will be asked to make a number of difficult decisions about a number of issues, such as:
Choosing between repair and replacement
Some damages can be repaired, but others will require full replacement. However, insurance companies may fight against paying for full replacements without extensive independent assessments.
How to handle damage to unique features
Churches are often beautiful buildings with historically significant or artistically unique features. When fire threatens these unique structures, restoration can be prohibitively expensive.
When losses to other church buildings and property are covered
Church policies may hold unwelcome surprises, and there may be limits to the fire-related damages churches can claim under their existing coverage.
Other concerns specific to the details of the fire and church losses
Each church may deal with unique challenges, such as how to organize recovery within church by-laws or how to care for a displaced congregation.
While there is a lot of pressure to make the right decisions after a fire, church policyholders don’t have to wait in confusion for resolution of their claims. By working closely with an experienced policyholder attorney, churches can more effectively resolve their fire insurance claims and take action to get back to providing space and services for their congregations. For more information about church insurance claims after a fire, or to get a free review of your claim concerns, reach out to our experienced fire insurance claim lawyers by phone today.