Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy:
Whether your home is damaged by a fire caused in the kitchen or because of a wildfire, your homeowners insurance should include some sort of protection. However, the extent of that coverage varies.
If your home is affected by a fire and the local firefighter units are able to extinguish the flames, the damage caused by the water and other chemicals used in the process is also covered.
Homeowner’s policies insure both your building and its contents against fire damage. Typically, the Insurance Information Institute states, the contents–personal property including furniture, clothes and books–will be covered for 50 to 70 percent of the building coverage. For example, if your policy insures your house for $320,000, your contents could be covered for at least $160,000. Many policies limit how much they’ll pay for individual items–a fur coat, a diamond necklace or a Picasso painting, for instance–so if you have something expensive, you may need to buy extra coverage.
If your home burns, your homeowner’s insurance can cover the cost of rebuilding it. Homeowners typically buy either HO-2 insurance, which protects against a list of 16 specific damages, or HO-3 insurance, which protects against any damage not specifically exempted. Even the more restrictive HO-1 policy will cover damage to your home from fire.
Homeowner’s insurance comes in several forms, the Insurance Information Institute states. If you take out an actual-cash-value policy, it will pay the original purchase price of whatever was burned, less depreciation for the years that you’ve owned it. Replacement-value policies cost more, but will cover the cost of rebuilding or replacing damaged property, which is likely more than the depreciated purchase price. Guaranteed or extended-replacement-value policies cover replacement costs even if they exceed your total coverage.
If your home is temporarily uninhabitable because of a fire, or while damage is being repaired, most policies offer additional living expenses, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This includes renting living space and paying extra for food. The coverage is usually 20 percent of the policy’s value–on that $320,000 home, the amount would be $64,000–but you can elect to pay extra to raise that amount.
Your insurance company will want to close your claim as soon as possible. The longer it’s open, the greater the chance that you’ll discover and file a claim for an additional loss. But homeowners often discover losses that they initially overlooked, perhaps because of the stress of living through the disaster. Protect against this possibility by hiring a licensed and bonded Public Adjuster.
Don’t be surprised if you receive a check from the insurance company saying that you’re accepting the payment “in full release of” your claim. Don’t believe it, and don’t let it stand. A Public Adjuster representing you will protect your best interest and should never allow this to happen.
Cavalry Public Adjusters, LLC are experts in Fire Damage claims and have the best network of experience professionals to represent you in this most complicated insurance claim process. Cavalry Public Adjusters work on a contingency fee, so you will never owe us anything unless we settle your claim. Call us direct for a FREE consultation with no obligation. 305-898-7562.