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What Can You do if Your Fire Damage Claim is Denied?

Losing any of your property to fire damage is devastating. When you lose any of your belongings it can feel as though you’ve lost part of yourself. But while there’s nothing that can replace what you’ve lost, your home insurance policy can at least help to recover some items. As with most insurance policies, your home insurance policy is likely complex and often confusing. 

During a time when you want to focus on emotional healing for you and your family, you may find yourself consumed with answering many tough questions: What exactly will your insurance policy cover? How do you go about filing a fire damage claim? Will you receive enough from your insurance company to make up for what has been lost?

When you are already dealing with the stress and devastation of fire damage, it can be even harder to have to deal with your insurance company. So if you find that your fire damage claim has been denied, you may not even know how to proceed. 

Partial Losses

Sometimes a fire may damage part of the home but not all of it. When this occurs it is known as a partial loss. Examples of partial losses include:

  • Smoke, ash, water damage
  • Reduced air quality
  • Damage to ducts

Unfortunately, many insurers look at a partial loss claim as a lower priority than a total loss, which may delay claims. 

It’s important to document all property that is damaged or destroyed due to a fire. You will also want to file your claim within the time required in your insurance policy so as not to miss the opportunity to do so. It’s a good idea to read through all of the fine points in your policy in order to understand to what you are entitled. 

Even if a fire doesn’t seem to have caused any damage to your home, it could still have been affected by the smoke, heat, or even fire retardants. That’s why it’s in your best interest to have it inspected by a professional. If your insurance company will not pay for an inspection or will not conduct a proper inspection, make sure you ask for it in writing and remind them of their legal obligation to do so. 

What Will an Inspection Cover?

When you have your property inspected for fire damage, the inspection will cover the following parts of the home:

  • Windows;
  • Interior walls;
  • Interior framing;
  • Roof;
  • Heating and plumbing systems;
  • Stucco/concrete/siding; and
  • Structural iron/steel.

Total Losses

Unfortunately, some fires can be so out of control that they end up destroying your entire home. This type of claim is called a total loss. With a total loss claim, you should theoretically be entitled to compensation in the amount of the limit on your policy. But unfortunately, insurance companies will often argue over the estimates you’ve been given to repair or replace certain things. Even worse, your insurance company may try to deny your claim altogether, claiming that water damage from the firefighters equates to pre-existing damage. 

PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Fire Damage Claims

When you are already concerned with physical and emotional healing for you and your loved ones, the last thing you feel like dealing with is a fire damage claim denial. That’s where a qualified fire damage attorney can help. 

At PALUMBO LAW, our experienced Rhode Island Property Insurance lawyers work strategically to help our clients to get what they deserve. We have deep experience working with insurance companies and understand how to deal with them. If you are planning on filing a fire damage claim or have already filed your claim and been denied, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!