Fire is a powerful and destructive force that can gut homes and reduce property to ash. Unfortunately, fires are also a common—and costly—source of loss across the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fires were responsible for an estimated $11.6 billion in direct property loss in 2014 alone.
Although not every fire is responsible for total loss, even small fires can leave a costly mess—and the costs of recovery go up as the severity of the blaze increases. In the aftermath of a fire, policyholders generally hope to recoup their losses by submitting fire insurance claims. However, the process isn’t always as easy or fair as it should be. If you are concerned about an insurance claim for fire losses, or if you believe that your claim has been unfairly denied, we encourage you to contact our experienced attorneys today at 1-888-614-7730 to start investigating your rights.
The Costs of Property Losses in a Fire
The direct damage from a fire may be the most obvious, but it isn’t the only factor for loss in a serious blaze. The costs for recovering, repairing, and restoring after a fire often add up to thousands of dollars, including losses from:
- Direct fire damage
- Melting and warping from the intense heat created
- Window damage and broken glass
- Water and mold from fighting the fire
- Smoke and soot damage
- Difficult-to-assess damages that affect HVAC systems, plumbing, electronics, wiring, etc.
- Uncertain long-term effects of seemingly surface damage
- Loss of paperwork, interiors, and belongings
Obviously, fire damage can be quite extensive. Because the heat, smoke, soot, and water left after fires can reach so many “hidden” places, it is extremely important for policyholders to get a careful and thorough assessment of their losses from trusted professionals. If an assessment of losses is rushed or doesn’t dig deep enough to uncover the full extent of damages, policyholders are at risk of accepting less than their claims are worth—leaving them to pay the costs out of pocket later when fire-later problems are uncovered or have gotten worse.
Potential Challenges to Resolving Insurance Claims for Fire Losses
While insurance coverage can provide needed relief after a fire, there are many potential issues with resolving fire insurance claims. Some policyholders run into serious challenges during the claims process, including:
- Long delays in resolving claims
- Underpayments that don’t cover all losses
- Surprises in coverage and policy language
- Disagreements about repair and replacement costs
Policyholders may also be dismayed to find out that their insurance coverage varies depending on the source of the fire. For example, depending on the details of the policy, insurance companies may have different rules for damage caused by wildfires, house fires, electrical fires, and fires in nearby buildings.
If you have been unable to get a fair resolution from your insurance company, or if you believe that the insurance company is not treating you fairly, don’t be afraid to get help. By speaking with one of the experienced fire insurance claim attorneys with the Voss Law Firm, you will learn more about the law, your rights, and how to get the results you need.
Understanding Property Damage Claim Time Limits
How long does a policyholder have to file an insurance claim for fire damage? Although it’s a common question, it can be surprisingly difficult to answer. Find out more about the major factors that can affect time limits for filing a property damage claim.
When and Why to Speak With an Attorney About Fire Insurance Claims
Although it is possible to navigate fire insurance claims alone, an experienced attorney can be a valuable resource if problems come up. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of their policyholder rights and start seeking help after they’ve already…
- Made mistakes that reduce the value of their insurance claims.
- Failed to account for all fire-related losses.
- Inadequately documented and assessed damages related to the fire.
- Been offered far less than their fire-damage claims are worth.
- Waited for months or years for a fair resolution to their claims.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. No matter what problems you are facing, speaking with an attorney who is experienced with policyholder claims can help you…
- Determine why you are having trouble with an insurance claim;
- Maximize your claim and account for all losses;
- Protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf; and
- Make sure you are able to recover as soon as possible.
You pay for the protection that your fire insurance provides, and you count on your insurance policy to cover your losses when the worst happens. If you are unable to get the resolution you need from your fire claim, or if you claim is unfairly denied, keep in mind that there are laws that protect your rights as a policyholder. For more information, or to set up a free case evaluation, speak to the policyholder attorneys with the Voss Law Firm today at 1-888-614-7730.