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How to Decide Whether to File a Fire or Smoke Damage Claim

A fire to your home can be a devastating experience. The loss of property, irreplaceable memories, and personal items can be overwhelming. When you need help the most, you want to be able to count on your insurance company to help return your home to normal. Getting the full amount to replace or repair your home and property from your insurance company following a fire can be complicated. In any home insurance reimbursement process, filing a claim fast is always important, and understanding whether to file a smoke damage claim or a fire damage claim can help you return to normal life as quickly as possible.

How to Decide Whether to File a Fire or Smoke Damage Claim

When to File a Fire Damage Claim

Fire damage to a home or business can be more complicated than it appears. Along with visible damage to property and structures, there can also be substantial damage in unseen places. Damage from a fire can be hidden within walls and ceilings, and personal property can be destroyed beyond recognition. Adjusters should look not only at the outside and visible damage from a fire, but also the building materials, plumbing, and electrical to ensure there is not additional structural damage to your home.

A fire damage claim can be one of the most complex type of property losses to navigate. When a claim is submitted with an insurance company, they will often first spend time determining the source of the fire – whether it was intentionally created or not – before determining what has been damaged and what needs to be reimbursed. This can delay your ability to receive compensation to replace your personal property and repair or replace your home.

If a fire has damaged your home, filing a fire claim as quickly as possible can help ensure a faster response. Hiring an experienced insurance attorney that will be on your side is important to guarantee you the reimbursement you deserve.

When to File a Smoke Damage Claim

Where there is a fire, one of the biggest, but least considered concerns, is smoke damage. Even a small fire can create an immense amount of smoke. The smoke and soot can stain and damage ceilings, walls, draperies, clothing, furniture, carpet, and can be almost impossible to clean. In addition, smoke damage leaves an intense smell that can be hazardous. Professional cleaning services are almost always required to eliminate the damage caused by smoke.

Smoke damage is often covered under homeowner’s insurance policy as a covered peril. Disputes with insurance companies often involve whether to clean or to replace the damaged items. Cleaning is often expensive and may not be able to return your home or property to its original standards. Individuals with asthma or other respiratory concerns are more likely to be affected by the lingering smell and particles from smoke, soot, and ash.

If your home has experienced any damage from smoke, you will need to contact your insurance carrier to file a smoke damage claim so that your home can be properly cleaned and property replaced or repaired.

When to Seek Help

Fire and smoke insurance claims can be complicated and overwhelming. If you have filed a fire or smoke claim, and been denied or offered an unfair reimbursement, we can help. Haahr Law Group can help assist you with insurance disputes and ensure the appropriate reimbursement to cover your losses. Our goal is to help you rebuild your home, business, and life.

For a free consultation for your fire or smoke insurance claim, please contact us.