Fires at home or business are exceptionally dangerous, disruptive, and often expensive. When you’re recovering from a fire, the last thing you should have to worry about is fighting with your insurance provider to receive the compensation that you’re entitled to. After paying costly insurance premiums, your insurer should honor your policy – not deny, delay, and underpay. At PALUMBO LAW, we exclusively represent insureds in claims including fire damage.
Having worked as an insurance adjuster prior to joining the legal profession, lead attorney Richard Palumbo knows the tricks and tactics that insurance companies use to avoid having to pay the amount that you’re entitled to. After years of paying insurance premiums and holding up your end of the bargain, insurance companies do everything they can to not hold up theirs. Because of these deceptive and insincere tactics, PALUMBO LAW has continually refused to represent insurance companies – we only represent policyholders. If you’re an insured, we’re on your side.
Why Hire a Fire Damage Claims Lawyer?
Unfortunately, filing the insurance claim is just the beginning, and insurance companies will do everything they can in order to deny, delay and underpay your claim. An experienced fire damage insurance attorney can be the difference between timely receiving your full insurance payment and not. With decades of collective insurance experience, including lead Attorney Richard Palumbo’s 16 years of experience as an insurance adjuster and contractor, we know the insurers’ playbook – allowing us to always stay a step ahead. We work zealously to ensure that your insurer pays what they’re required to and when they’re required to pay it. When you’re dealing with fire damage insurance claims, you should measure the time it takes to receive your compensation in weeks, not months.
What is “Fire Damage”?
Fire damage is more than just the physical burning of property. Fire damage also includes charring, heat damage, smoke damage and water damage. Yes, water damage. Even if a fire is contained to a single room or area of a property, the heat of the fire may damage the structure of the building. Similarly, smoke and water damage can cause issues throughout the entire building – irrespective of the fire’s location. For example, if an electrical malfunction causes a fire in the living area of a home with a basement, and the fire department is required to respond, the fire department will often use high volumes of water to extinguish the fire. Unfortunately, this water will find its way into the walls, floors, and eventually, the basement. As a result, what started as an electrical malfunction has resulted in
- Physical fire damage in the living room;
- Heat damage in nearby rooms;
- Possible structural damage;
- Smoke damage throughout the entire house;
- Water damage to the walls and floors of the living room;
- Flooding in the basement; and
- Mold throughout the house as a result of the water damage.
Here, you can see that damage resulting from a fire can be extensive and further reaching than the immediately visible damage to the living room. Battles with insurers over fire damage claims are common as insurers will assert that the damage isn’t covered under the policy
Challenges with These Types of Claims
As noted above, fire claims can cover extensive damage throughout a property. Due to likely water damage from fire suppression and potential loss of structural integrity due to heat and burning, claims need to be filed as soon as possible. The extent of possible damage resulting from a fire often requires multiple third-party experts to investigate to determine the full extent of damage. Engineers will need to be brought in to inspect the building’s structural integrity. Contractors will need to evaluate the physical damage to the property. Smoke and water damage experts will need to evaluate the extent of damage and required remediation. Ultimately, impacts unobserved to the untrained eye, such as structural damage, may require a home to be knocked down rather than repaired.
The most common assertions we see insurers make to try to avoid paying legitimate fire damage claims ar
- Coverage issues – Many insurance policies limit coverage for smoke damage, water damage and mold damage.
- Undervaluing damage and costs – Although the insurer may acknowledge that certain damage has occurred and that repair is required, they may contest the cost of those repairs and thus seek to underpay. Similarly, we see insurers deny that a total loss has occurred despite strong evidence to the contrary.
- Asserting violation of the insurance policy – Some insurers will claim that you’ve violated the terms of the insurance policy and thus have voided your claim.
- Arson defense. Although less common, insurance policies do not cover fire damage relating from the insured committing arson. If the insurer has any reason at all to justify that they believe that the fire was intentional, they can drag out the investigation and deny the claim.
Fire Damage Lawyer in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut
Fire damage insurance claims are complex and can lead to significant challenges when dealing with insurance companies. These companies make their money by denying, delaying and underpaying claims – every dollar paid is a dollar from profit. With over 100 years of collective legal experience, the attorneys at PALUMBO LAW provide zealous representation to insureds throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. We ensure that you receive the compensation that you’re entitled to when you’re entitled to it. At PALUMBO LAW, we help you settle for more, not less. If you have suffered property damage or loss due to fire, or have questions pertaining to property insurance, please contact our office to set up a consultation or complete the contact form.
Tell your insurance company “NO” and call Palumbo!