Fire and Smoke Damage
Fire and smoke damage can be inconvenient experiences for homeowners. If your property has been damaged by fire or smoke, you may be wondering what to do next.
Fire or smoke damage are common in Florida and the often cause extensive damage. Making sure you represent a strong claim to the insurance company from the beginning will ensure you get fully compensated for the damages. Fire and smoke can cause a wide range of damage from the electronics in your appliances all the way to the cushions on your couch.
Signs of Possible Smoke Damage
A fire on your property or a house fire can cause direct physical damage to anything it comes into contact with.
Additionally, smoke can permeate and destroy everything from carpets to the electronics on appliances such as the refrigerator.
Damage from smoke, even when a fire doesn’t directly burn your property, can cause extensive damage. The smell of smoke will get into everything from drywall to insulation to your couch or mattress.
Smoke particles and smoke odor originating from your property can easily find their way into your home and cause smoke damage affect.
Sources of Fire or Smoke Damage
One of the most common ways fires start is lightening. One way lightning can start a fire is if it hits your home and travels through the wiring. Another way is if it ignites something near your house. For example, a car fire can quickly spread to a home, burning wood furniture, hardwood floors, and wooden beams.
Inside and outside a property, cooking is one of the most common ways fires start in a home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is responsible for more than half of all house fires in the United States. Small fires can quickly become large fires, and it’s important to take action as soon as you notice a smoke smell, smoke odors, or a carbon monoxide alarm goes off. If you’re able to extinguish the fire yourself, do so immediately. If you cannot extinguish it, or if the fire is too large, evacuate your home and call 911.
Another common way fire starts in a home is through faulty wiring. This can be caused by old wiring, incorrect wiring, or even animals chewing on wires. It’s essential to have your wiring regularly inspected to ensure they’re in good condition and up to code.
Left burning, candles are another common way fire can start in a home. Always blow out candles before leaving the room, and never leave them burning unattended. If a fire starts with candles, a fire can quickly ignite painted walls, set off carbon monoxide alarms, and become out of control.
One of the most common causes of house fires are cigarettes. They should always be put out in an ashtray and never left burning in a trash can.
If a fire starts with fireworks, it can quickly become out of control. Fireworks can cause damage to the roof, and if a fire spreads to the attic, it can be very difficult to extinguish. It’s important to keep fireworks away from your house and never light them inside.
Caused by overheating and sparks, appliance malfunctions are another common way fires can start in a home and cause permanent smoke damage. It’s important to have your appliances inspected regularly to ensure they’re in good condition. This includes your refrigerator, oven, stove, dishwasher, and any other appliances in your home. If you have an older appliance, it’s especially important to have it inspected regularly, as they’re more likely to malfunction.
Is Fire and Smoke Damage Covered by My Insurance Company?
Each policy is different, so it’s important to read your policy carefully to understand what is and
isn’t covered. Most policies will cover fire damage and smoke damage, as well as the associated
mitigation costs from firefighting. However, there may be a limit to how much coverage you have for a smoke damaged house, repairs, smoke damage restoration, additional living expenses, and damage to your personal belongings.
It’s important to review your policy and understand what you are entitled to. Speak with an expert like a public insurance adjuster to advise you.
Damages You Can Receive Compensated For:
Smoke damage items
Smoke damage items
Fire fighting fees
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Insurance?
If your property has been damaged by smoke particles or smoke odor, you may consider working
with a public adjuster for your insurance claim. A public adjuster is an insurance professional who can help you file your insurance claim and get the most compensation possible for your damages.
In smoke damage insurance claims, there are often a lot of unnoticed damages that require an experienced claims professional to present an account of all the losses and costs to the insurance company.
Less obvious damages and sometimes invisible damage like smoke and soot damage to appliances, permanent stains, smoke affect and soot damage to plumbing, and damage on windows or electrical components. These are just a few ways a property can be damaged that aren’t always apparent. A public insurance adjuster can bring in a team to inspect the property and determine all the damages that need to be claimed.
Commonly Asked Questions About Sewer System Claims
The first thing a property owner should do after experiencing fire or smoke damage due to smoke particles is file an insurance claim. Filing an insurance claim is the best way to start the recovery process. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage and create a repair plan. It’s important to remember that you are not obligated to represent yourself. You can work with a public insurance adjuster to handle the claim. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but you will likely have a much larger settlement. An insurance company will always try to underpay your claim.
It’s best to allow to the insurance company to inspect any property damage first. Throwing out property is eliminating evidence. Additionally, an insurance company has the right to keep the property so long as they pay for the replacement cost. It’s best to give them the opportunity even if you don’t think there is any value left in the property.
If your claim gets denied, don’t give up. Insurance companies will deny claims if they think they can get away with it. Most clients with denied claims can get the results they are looking for if they work with a public adjuster.
Many homeowners falsely think the adjustment and payment from the insurance company is their final decision. There are steps you can take to increase the chances of having your claim approved. First, reach out to a public insurance adjuster. A claim expert can help you put together the documentation you need to give your insurer a proper understanding of the damage and, more importantly, let the insurer know you won’t be accepting less than you’re owed. Be sure to keep all receipts for any repairs or replacements you make. Take lots of pictures and videos, and don’t throw any personal property away unless you have to. With the proper documentation and assistance, you stand a good chance of getting your claim paid.
Most of the coverages in the policy could be used. Coverage for the dwelling, also known as Coverage A, would cover the cost of repairs to the main structure. Additional detached structures like garages or sheds have a separate limit. Costs for mitigation if there is water damage, a lingering smell, or mold can be used. Personal or business property can be accounted for, as well as costs incurred resulting from not being able to use the property for its intended use.
Insurance companies often employ two adjusters to handle the claim and represent the interests of the insurance company. A field adjuster, also sometimes called an independent adjuster, has the job of visiting the property, taking pictures, measurements of the rooms, and gathering some basic information from the property owner. They will ask a few questions about the circumstances of the loss.
A desk adjuster is the second adjuster involved in representing the insurance company. Their job is to compile the claim information, interpret the insurance policy, and make a decision on whether the claim will be paid or not.
A public insurance adjuster performs field and desk adjuster duties but represents the property owner’s interests. Their job is to present a solid and defensible claim to the insurance company and negotiate a maximum settlement of the claim.
Public insurance adjusters are legally allowed to only work on commission. This means a property owner will never have to take any money out of their own pocket to pay for their services.