Is Fire Damage Covered By Insurance?
Your house is probably the most valuable asset you have. You clean it, repair it, and have homeowners insurance to help protect it in case a lightning strikes it (or any type of fire burns it.) And if you suffer a fire, not only do you need to repair the home, you also need to remove (and replace) any damaged possessions. Most policies include coverages that may help pay to repair or replace your home and its contents if they are damaged by fire.
Fire Damage In San Bernardino
Common Coverage Policies
Homeowners insurance may help cover damage caused by fire that is sudden and accidental, such as cooking mishap or electrical fire. Depending on what’s damaged, different sections within a homeowners insurance policy may apply:
This is the section covering the home itself. Dwelling coverage helps pay for damage to the structure of your home if it’s damaged by a “covered peril.” For example, if a pipe suddenly bursts and damages a wall, dwelling coverage may help pay for repairs. If you leave a potholder too close to the stove and it starts a kitchen fire, the cost of repairs would likely be covered.
Homeowners insurance typically helps cover not only the structure of a home but also attached structures, such as a garage. Should your home be unlivable during repairs, homeowners insurance typically helps pay for additional costs of hotels and restaurant bills.
Commonly called “other structures coverage,” most homeowners insurance helps pay for structures on your property that are not attached to your home: sheds, detached garages, fences and driveways.
Personal property coverage helps pay for damage to your belongings when they are damaged by a covered risk. Coverage usually extends to your personal belongings, such as appliances, furniture and clothing. Homeowners insurance typically helps protect personal belongings from specific risks (described in most policies as “perils“), such as fire and lightning strikes. If your belongings are damaged or destroyed in a fire, homeowners insurance may help pay to repair or replace them.
To clarify your situation, you need to consult your documents and talk with your agent. In general, homeowners insurance does not cover damage resulting from poor maintenance. So, if damage results after you fail to repair a known problem, homeowners insurance likely will not pay for repairs.
Additionally, a standard homeowners policy may help cover landscaping as well. If a fire on your property destroys a tree or shrubs, you may be reimbursed for some or all of their value.
Depending on where you live, homeowners insurance may help cover wildfire damage. Again, it’s important to read your policy so you know whether it includes any coverage for wildfires.
Fire Damage That Might Be Denied
Homeowners insurance may not cover all types of fire damage. For instance, if you intentionally start a fire in your home, you’ll generally find homeowners insurance will not pay to repair the damage.
While the home is covered, if you run a business on your property in a separate structure, it is generally not covered by homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance also typically does not cover damage caused by an act of war. Read your policy or contact your local agent to learn what risks are excluded from your coverage.
Not all insurance policies offer homeowners the replacement cost of the property. Upgrading coverage to “replacement cost” helps to bridge the gap caused by inflation and depreciation. Otherwise, when you claim a loss, the item in question will be assessed at the current fair market value. Since some items depreciate quickly, this means you may not get enough money from a claim to replace the items that were lost or damaged.
How Can An Experienced Restoration Team Help?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners insurance may help pay for repairs if you suffer fire damage in your home. However, when insurance companies settle many insurance claims, these claims are sometimes unjustly underpaid or denied. Insurance adjusters can misinterpret the policy language and deny coverage that you rightly paid for.
An experienced restoration team has years of experience with the claim process and can guide you through the process. For example, PRC Restoration Inc. uses state-of-the-art moisture mapping and thermal imaging technology to document the full scope of fire and subsequent water damage with precise estimates. Details like this will support the fastest and most accurate settlements for their clients.
Professional Response to Fire Damage in San Bernardino
Whether your home fire was caused by a wildfire or a recipe gone wrong in the kitchen, you will need knowledge technicians to clean up the unique problems associated with house fires.
Fire damage restoration experts understand how stressful it can be to worry about repairing fire damage at your home. When disasters strike, the professional team is available 24 hours a day to identify structural risks and address instability issues until permanent repairs can be made.
PRC Inc is a full-service licensed general contractor in the Ventura County area providing emergency services, mitigation, structural repairs and construction services. PRC Restoration Inc. is an industry leader in both commercial and residential disaster recovery, with over 20 years of meeting and exceeding our client’s expectations. Call for immediate assistance!