When your property is damaged in a fire, you’ll likely look to your homeowners or renters insurance policy to see what damage should be covered. Many insurance policies will state whether smoke damage is coverable.
Others are less specific, and insurance companies are known for making use of this ambiguity to minimize the amount they pay for your claim. Read on to learn more about what to expect when filing a claim for smoke damage with your insurance company.
The Details in Your Insurance Policy
If the items in your home are exposed to smoke, they’ll very likely need to be replaced. Often, smoke damage leaves black soot stains that ruin furniture, curtains, carpets, walls, and other household items. Exposure to this soot can be very dangerous to your health.
Many people will try to save their belongings by hiring a professional cleaner, but in severe cases, even a professional can’t undo the damage that’s been done. Your insurance policy should cover the costs of hiring a professional cleaner, but in most instances, it’s safer to make an itemized list of your belongings and their estimated value so you can replace them.
Dealing with a Denied Claim
Your insurance policy should protect you in a disastrous situation like a fire. It comes as a shock to policyholders when their claims for damages are denied by insurance adjusters for seemingly no reason. A denial letter should always state the reason for the initial denied claim.
We can usually correct any issues the insurer found, such as mistakes in paperwork or a lack of supporting documentation. When your claim is still denied, we can file an appeal and get a private adjuster to examine the damage to prove the true value of your losses.
At this stage, we are typically able to negotiate with the insurance adjuster and come to a reasonable agreement. If for some reason we are unable to reach an agreement, we can bring the insurer in front of an unbiased judge who will be able to compel the insurer to settle your claim within the limits of your policy.
Contact a Los Angeles Insurance Attorney
The damage caused by a fire can be truly devastating for your entire family. If you and your loved ones have lost belongings or suffered damage to your home due to smoke and need help navigating the details of your insurance policy or fighting back against a wrongful denial, reach out to a Los Angeles insurance lawyer with Haffner Law today.
You can schedule a free, no-obligation claim evaluation by filling out the form below or giving us a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637).