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  • Compensating for Your Home's Fire Damage

    Jun 01, 2017
    Fire Damage
    Compensating for Your Home's Fire Damage
    in Property Damage, California Real Estate, JT Legal Group Blog

    Claim Compensation for Fire Damage

    Why Your Home Deserves to be Compensated after a Fire

    When a severe fire strikes your home, it can be truly devastating. Fire damage not only requires very expensive repairs, it can also result in the loss of favored belongings, important documents, and other personal assets. Homeowner’s insurance are typically in business to insure you can recover your losses and restore your home in lack of being able to repair your amount of stress and emotional hardships. Unfortunately, insurance companies can generate a portion of their revenue by not paying claims or simply by paying as little as possible for them. This can make filing a claim become a hassle. Most homeowners find it a hardship just to get an insurance company to fulfill its actual purpose. When this happens, it is important to have a knowledgeable property damage lawyer on your side.

    Claim Filing Basics

    The first step in the compensation process is first, to file a fire damage insurance claim. Doing so gets the process rolling and sets the insurance company on a deadline to provide payment. It is vital to file a claim as soon as possible after the fire incident occurred. This not only decreases the amount of time you must wait, but may also make the claim and investigation process easier.
    When filing your fire damage insurance claim, its best to file properly and include all valuable evidence, pictures, maintenance and repair fees, and remember to include a list of all losses and damages. You may also need to include some evidence of the loss such as pictures or records. This can be a lot of paperwork and evidence to keep track of and if you would like a professional, experienced legal revision, it might be best to give one of our attorneys a call. Using our attorney's service, you can ensure an accurate claim and a successful process.
    The next important step would be to secure an advance on your reported claim. An advance on your claim allows you to quickly obtain any needed money for basic expenses like clothes and bathroom items. Receiving an advance can be essential to you and anyone else in the home as the claim could take longer than 30 days to establish. An insurance agent should be able to provide you with a check to cover these essential expenses, even if you have to fight for it.

    Understanding Your Policy

    If you are a frequent reader in the world of ever-changing laws and rules, and have a taste for reading all fine print, then maybe you won't need to retain with an attorney. Although, Consulting a property damage lawyer can be a huge benefit to you. Your experienced, and well informed attorney will guide you into understanding exactly what your policy entitles you to and how you can compensate (and even for how much!). It's also highly advisable that you not rely on the insurance company to tell you about coverage details unless you specifically ask. Asking would just create more loss for them.
    One thing to determine is the difference between Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cash Value. The two stated are defining points as to how your policy will dictate which value you can receive. Replacement value is usually the better deal because the company will cover the cost of replacing or purchasing a new item. Actual value is subject to depreciation, so it will only cover the value of the item at the time it is lost. This is rarely enough to replace the item.

    Partial and Total Loss

    One major part of your fire damage insurance claim argument will be between the partial and total loss of your home, and the items inside. Insurance policies have clauses that expect you to mitigate damages, or do whatever you can to minimize the loss of your property.

    In terms of a fire, the damage to your property may not be absolute. There may be portions of your home that did not burn or belongings that you could salvage. It is important to contain as much as you can so that the insurance company does not try to accuse you of failing to mitigate your damages. If you do face this accusation, luckily your attorney will be there to help defend your rights.
    Arguments over smoke damage can become significant when talking about partial or total loss. For example, the insurance company may only pay for the cleaning of smoke-damaged items, instead of replacing them. Nine times out of ten, cleaning is not always enough to restore items that have moderate to severe smoke damage.
    In addition, it is vital that you require professional cleaning and restoration. Simply wiping the surfaces yourself can either do nothing or make things worse. Insurance companies don’t like to pay for professional restoration, so if waiting for your claim to get approved becomes a struggle, have your property damage lawyer look into the matter immediately.

    Payment for Living Expenses

    An important part of your claim should cover changes to your living expenses after enduring a fire. You may not be able to return to your home for an extended period of time, and reaching increased living expenses can take many people by surprise. For example, your food budget can easily increase if you are forced to eat out regularly when you used to cook at home before. The difference in living expenses can be added to your claim. These differences in your budget can become complex and stressful. When filing your claim, it's best to provide evidence of all your expenses.
    Staying with friends and family can also help benefit them as they might be compensated for the time they cared for you. If they charge you rent, it can easily be included in the claim. Otherwise, you could request an amount that covers their additional expenses for housing you, such as food and utilities.
    There can be a lot of questions and concerns when filing a fire damage insurance claim and having to deal with your insurance company. It can be incredibly rare for a solo claim to run smoothly, so this may be beneficial to you to have your property damage lawyer handle the complex paperwork and difficult phone calls. This allows you to focus on what’s important, like taking care of your family and getting your life back together.


    A free, first-time consultation with a licensed and experienced California Property Damage Attorney is available by calling:

    1-888-LAW-3111 Monday-Friday, 8am to 6pm.

    Note: Attorney advertising. Nothing posted on this blog is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and hosted comments are available for general educational purposes only and should not be used to assess a specific legal situation. Nor does any comment on a blog post create an attorney-client relationship. The presence of hyperlinks to other third-party websites does not imply that the firm endorses those websites, their contents, or the activities or views of their owners.

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