Property Damage Attorneys Specializing in Fire and Smoke Damage
Humans have a completely rational, primordial fear of fires. These catastrophic events can upend every aspect of your life, ruining your possessions, making your home unlivable and leaving you with massive repair costs.
Protecting homeowners and renters from the devastating financial consequences of fires is one of the primary reasons we have home insurance. Unfortunately, having a fire and smoke damage claim fully honored by the insurance company isn’t always straightforward or easy.
There may be disputes over how much your damaged personal property was worth. The insurance company may want to replace damaged fixtures or materials with less costly alternatives. They may argue depreciation doesn’t justify paying you the full amount for your losses. In some cases, they may even dispute the cause of the fire or launch an arson investigation.
There are a whole host of ways in which insurance companies can get around paying the full recovery amount for fire claims. Their claims adjusters and negotiators find loopholes for a living, making it difficult for the average policyholder to effectively fight back on their own.
The fire and smoke property damage lawyers at Kanner & Pintaluga can help. We’re committed to fighting for clients who are not being treated fairly by their insurance company after a fire.
Common Reasons Fire and Smoke Damage Claims Are Denied
Fires can easily lead to complete losses or extensive fire and smoke damages that affect several aspects of your home, forcing you to entirely gut affected rooms. Insurance companies will frequently try to find a way to deny, delay or undervalue your claim by:
- Alleging arson or requiring a long, drawn out arson investigation
- Accuse you of violating some terms of your insurance policy’s conditions
- Asserting the cause of the damage was excluded from your policy
- Argue that your repair or property replacement costs are inflated or fraudulent
Your Family’s Health Should Be Your Top Priority
Ash, soot and smoke can have serious impacts on the health of your family if the damage is not properly remediated. Smoke can also be particularly invasive, working its way into anything porous in your home, from rugs, curtains, carpet and clothing to stone countertops, tile and other building materials.
Cleaning using common household cleaning chemicals and methods often isn’t enough to make a home safe after fire and smoke damage. The leftover fine particulate matter in smoke or other byproducts of a fire can get in your eyes, skin and lungs, exacerbating medical conditions or causing new ones.
You shouldn’t take on cleaning yourself due to the contaminants and chemicals that can be involved with tear out and cleanup. Soot, ash and other particulate matter generated by home fires can have severe, long-lasting health ramifications.
The insurance company may try to minimize your claim’s valuation, but your policy likely entitles you to have your home returned to its pre-fire condition.
How to Make Sure You’re Fully Compensated on Your Fire and Smoke Damage Claim
Documentation, accurate and fast reporting and keeping track of your own out-of-pocket costs is usually the best way to ensure you are fairly compensated for your fire and smoke damage losses. It’s not at all uncommon for homeowners and insurance companies to fail to see eye to eye on a fire and smoke damage claim.
Claim filers often need to get independent claims adjusters or property damage lawyers experienced with fire and smoke claims involved before they get fair compensation from the insurance company.
If you’re unconvinced the insurance company’s claim payment offer will be adequate to restore your home and make it a safe place for you and your family to continue living, call Kanner & Pintaluga. Our fire and smoke damage attorneys are ready to sit down with you, review the damage your property suffered and fight for you to get the claim payment you need to restore your home to its pre-fire condition.
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