Here in Florida, insurance claims for fire damage give water claims a run for their money. Ironic, isn’t it? A state that’s too wet has lots of fires. You might think it’d be the other way around, but the facts are the facts. About a third of homeowner’s insurance claims are for fire damage.
Fire damage claims are often hotly contested by the insurance companies. Restoring a home or business to its pre-fire condition can be very costly. Fire damage restoration can have to roll back structural damage, soot staining, mold and mildew, and water damage. The last three are typical consequences of firefighters’ use of water to put the fire out.
THE STRUGGLE OVER FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION CLAIMS
Property owners usually engage Florida Loss Public Adjusters when their fire damage claims hit their insurers’ defenses. Consider the example of a home totally destroyed by a fire. There’s a law on the books of the State of Florida that addresses that situation. Florida’s Valued Policy Law requires insurers to pay out a policy’s maximum when there’s a total loss. The only “catch” is that the cause of the fire has to be one covered by the policy.
VALUED POLICY LAW AND BAD FAITH
The last thing an insurance company is eager to do is pay out a policy limit on a destroyed home. They have a couple of defense tactics. In the case of a claim for total loss, they may argue that the loss is not, in fact, total. If the company adjusters see a lower cost for fire damage restoration, they may take that tack. Under Florida law, insurers have owe policyholders a duty of good faith. They can’t say a home’s not totally destroyed knowing that’s not true. However, the large amounts of money involved are a powerful incentive.
Another tactic insurers use to stonewall fire damage claims is to argue that the homeowner’s negligence caused the fire. This is a type of what we call “cause and origin exclusions”. Arson, as a matter of fact, is one of these. Insurance companies look into making that case as a matter of routine. Property owner negligence, though, is often pinned on things like careless smoking, poorly maintained applicances, and overloading circuits with electrical devices.
THE ROLE OF A PUBLIC ADJUSTER
You can readily see homeowners need to have expert help in pressing insurance claims for fire damage restoration. Experienced Florida Loss Public Adjusters team members know how to show a total loss is total. We also bring to the table unsurpassed expertise on cause and origin exclusions. Moreover, we know how to keep insurers acting in good faith.
They’ve got their team of experts working to keep as much money as possible in the company’s account. Therfore, homeowners need their own team of experts to get full and fair compensation for fire damage. Experienced public adjusters make that happen without the expense and frustration of property damage lawyers and the courts being involved. The best time to reach out to us is ASAP after the fire.