Fire Damage Dispute Lawyer
As a homeowner, it’s important to have fire insurance to protect your property in the event of a disaster. Still, when a home is damaged by fire, the process of filing a property insurance claim can be overwhelming. When your insurance company denies your claim, the situation becomes even more stressful. Understanding the basics of fire damage insurance claims and why they could be denied is essential to recovering the compensation you need.
If your insurance company denied your fire damage claim, contact Wallace Law today for a free legal consultation. Our experienced fire insurance dispute lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Fire Damage Statistics
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that in 2019, there were an estimated 1,291,500 fires in the United States, causing 3,704 civilian deaths, 16,600 civilian injuries, and an estimated $14.8 billion in property damage. This equates to one fire every 24 seconds and one fire death every 2 hours and 41 minutes. According to the NFPA, the leading cause of residential building fires from 2015-2019 was cooking, followed by heating, electrical distribution, arson, then smoking material.
The data is alarming, but it is important to recognize that fires are often preventable if the proper precautions are taken. Homeowners should review their fire safety procedures on a regular basis and ensure that smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other safety items are in working order.
Understanding the potential causes of fires can also help homeowners stay vigilant and reduce their risk of experiencing a devastating fire. Our experienced fire insurance dispute lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Common Causes of Fires
Structural fires can occur anywhere in your house and can be caused by a number of different scenarios. Some of the most common causes of fires include:
- Cooking: Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of residential fires. Grease fires, deep fat fryers, and stoves left on can quickly get out of control and cause serious damage.
- Electrical problems: Faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, and appliance malfunctions can lead to fires in the home.
- Smoking: Cigarette butts and lighters left unattended can ignite couches, beds, and other soft furnishings.
- Candles: Open flames from candles can quickly ignite drapery, clothing, or furniture.
- Fireplaces: Open fireplaces must be maintained properly to prevent sparks from igniting a fire elsewhere in the home.
- Children: Young children often don’t understand the risks of playing with fire, which can lead to accidental fires in the home.
- Grilling: Barbecues that are not monitored properly can easily ignite a fire in the backyard or on the patio.
- Space Heaters: Space heaters that are too close to furniture or other combustible materials can quickly start a fire.
- Arson: Intentional fires set by criminals are another potential cause of residential fires.
Types of Insurance Claims
We can help with multiple types of insurance disputes.
What Does Fire Damage Insurance Cover?
Fire damage insurance is a type of property insurance designed to protect homeowners from losses caused by fires. In general, these policies cover both direct and indirect damage resulting from a fire. This can include the destruction of personal property, such as furniture and appliances, as well as structural damage to the home caused by smoke, heat, or water used to extinguish the flames.
In addition to covering physical damage, most policies also cover additional costs associated with the event, including temporary lodging for displaced occupants, the cost of professional cleaning services, and any necessary repairs. For example, if your house was damaged by smoke, your insurer may pay for specialized deodorizing services in addition to repairs.
In some cases, fire damage insurance policies will even cover lost income if the home’s occupants are unable to work while their residence is being repaired. It is important to remember that coverage limits vary widely between policies, so it is wise to double-check with your insurer to make sure your particular policy provides the right protection.
Long-Term Consequences of Fire and Smoke Damage
When a fire damages a home, the consequences can be far-reaching and potentially devastating. In addition to the immediate damage caused by flames and heat, smoke, soot, and other contaminants can have far-reaching effects that may not become apparent until much later.
Fire and smoke can cause corrosion and discoloration to surfaces, including walls, ceilings, carpets, and furniture. Smoke odors can linger for months or even years after the fire has been extinguished and can continue to cause health issues for those living in the home. Smoke residue also contains toxic chemicals that can seep into walls, carpets, and insulation and can cause long-term respiratory problems.
Water damage is another potential consequence of fires. Fire hoses often must be used to extinguish the flames, and this water can cause further damage to walls, floors, and furniture. Mold can develop in areas where there has been standing water, leading to further health issues.
These long-term consequences of fires should always be taken into account when filing an insurance claim. Homeowners should be aware of any issues that may arise from a fire and ensure that their insurance policies adequately cover them.
Why Home Insurers May Try to Deny Fire Damage Claims
Home insurance companies have a vested interest in avoiding large payout settlements. When it comes to fire damage insurance claims, insurance companies may be quick to deny these claims or offer a much lower settlement amount than what is necessary to fully repair the damage. One of the most common ways insurance companies may try to deny a fire damage claim is by arguing that the home’s owner was negligent in some way. Homeowners must be vigilant when it comes to maintenance and safety measures, as insurance companies may argue that the fire was caused by negligence in some way and then deny the claim.
Another common tactic used by insurance companies is to argue that the home was already damaged prior to the fire. This can be especially difficult to prove, as there is often no clear way of determining whether or not the damage existed before the fire. Insurance companies may also argue that the damage is not significant enough to warrant a full claim payment. Even if the home has suffered minor fire damage, an insurer may still attempt to dispute the extent of the damage and deny the claim.
It is important for homeowners to stay informed and be prepared when filing a fire damage insurance claim. Knowing how insurance companies may try to deny a claim can help homeowners protect their rights and ensure they receive the proper compensation for any damages caused by a fire.
How Homeowners Can Fight Back
When it comes to dealing with insurance companies, it can often be an uphill battle. These companies can be notoriously difficult to work with, and they may even deny your fire damage claim, despite your coverage being valid. When this happens, it may be wise to enlist the help of a fire insurance dispute lawyer.
A fire insurance dispute lawyer specializes in helping homeowners fight back against unjust denials of their fire damage insurance claims. These lawyers understand the legal system, and they are able to build a case that supports the homeowner’s right to compensation. A property insurance dispute attorney will also be able to provide valuable advice about how to deal with insurance companies. They know how these companies operate and what their tactics are, so they can give you an edge when negotiating with them. And if push comes to shove, your lawyer can represent you in court if necessary.
Contact a Fire Insurance Dispute Lawyer
When it comes to fire damage insurance claims, the process can be complicated and frustrating. If your fire damage claim was denied, it may be in your best interest to seek help from a legal professional who understands the complexities of insurance law in order to ensure that you receive a fair outcome.
At Wallace Law, we have more than a decade of experience dealing with insurance companies on behalf of policyholders. We understand the unique challenges associated with fire damage insurance claims, so you can rest assured that we will fight for you every step of the way. Our lawyers are highly trained and experienced in dealing with all aspects of insurance disputes, from making sure your claim is properly filed to representing you in court.
If you have suffered a fire loss and need help disputing a denied or underpaid insurance claim, do not hesitate to contact the fire insurance dispute attorneys of Wallace Law. We are dedicated to helping homeowners who have suffered from fire or smoke damage and are here to provide you with the support you need. Call us today to discuss your case and learn more about our services through a free legal consultation.