A fire at your home is a traumatic experience, whether relatively minor or if it burns your home to the ground. In addition to significant emotional distress, there may also be physical injuries. And, when a home burns, you have not only lost your residence, but also many other things of value—and even some things that are irreplaceable like photo albums, important documents, and heirlooms. For most of us, our home is the place where we feel safe, secure, and comfortable. The loss of this security can significantly disrupt your family’s daily lives. Following this devastating loss, you will face the challenges of evacuation, relocation, and rebuilding. Many people go through a variety of emotions, including depression, anger, and hopelessness. If your insurance company seems to be delaying your homeowner’s claim for the fire, offers you much less than you need to rebuild and replace, or outright denies your claim, the challenges increase exponentially. This is a time when you need an experienced Louisiana fire damage claim attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys.
We will work tirelessly on your behalf to force the insurance company to honor its commitment to you and your future. While insurance companies have their financial bottom line in mind at all times, our attorneys will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the damages and the costs to repair and rebuild, then insist they provide that amount so you can move forward.
What Type of Home Damage Can a Fire Cause?
A fire can cause a wide variety of damage, from flame damage to smoke damage, and even damage from the firefighters trying to save the house with water and chemicals. The heat from a house fire can destroy walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, appliances, and personal belongings. Once the flames are out, however, there can be much more damage to follow. Smoke and very fine soot particles can seep into the walls, ceilings, and floors causing a smoke and chemical smell that can be difficult if not impossible to remove.
Smoke damage can also compromise the structural integrity of your home, making it necessary to have a professional evaluate the boards and beams that hold up the roof and walls. Attempting to clean sooty, smoke-filled walls on your own can actually do more harm than good. The same is true of attempting to clean furniture upholstery. Fire and smoke damage specialists have the tools and resources necessary to remove smoke and soot damage. When firefighters are putting out the flames, they may have to break windows, or even put holes in the roof. This can result in serious water damage. If the weather brings rain in the days to come, the water damage can worsen, even causing black mold—some that is visible, and other mold damage that is not visible.
Will Your Insurance Company Cover Damage Caused by a Fire?
Smoke and fire damage are generally covered under basic homeowner’s insurance policies. Dwelling coverage protects you from fire damage to your home and any attached structures like an attached garage. Other structures on your property, like sheds, fences, and carports are also covered under homeowner’s insurance. Personal property refers to the things you own—the things that were inside your home at the time of the fire. This includes appliances, furniture, clothing, household goods, artwork, jewelry, and electronics. If you have some very expensive items, you may have purchased additional content insurance so everything would be fully covered in the event of a fire or other disaster. If your home is uninhabitable as a result of fire or smoke, you may be entitled to “loss of use,” to help you pay for a temporary place to stay, along with basic living expenses like food, laundry, etc.
What Are Some of the Main Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Fire Claims?
Big insurance companies will go out of their way to look for reasons to deny a claim, but the primary reason a fire claim might be denied would be when a fire is caused on purpose—arson or another intentional act. “Open perils” coverage covers your home structure and other structures on the property, including the contents, other than the specific exclusions listed in your policy. “Named perils” include fire, windstorms, hail, explosions, riots, smoke, and many other things we hope will never happen, but will be covered if they do occur. Exclusions are the things named in your policy that are specifically excluded. Some policies exclude flood damage—particularly if you live in a flood-prone area. Fire is rarely an exclusion, but it’s important to know what your policy covers.
How Can a Louisiana Fire Damage Claim Attorney Help with Your Fire Claim?
If you feel as though your insurance company is giving you the run around following a fire in your home, it could be time to speak to a knowledgeable Louisiana fire damage claim attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys. Insurance companies often wrongfully deny or underpay claims, and in some cases, a delayed insurance payout can benefit from having an experienced attorney by your side.
Unfortunately, not all insurance companies operate in good faith, and can even mishandle claims, which is unlawful. Mishandling claims can take many different forms, all of which are known as bad-faith dealings. An insurance company may deliberately undervalue the damage to your home, delay your payment time after time, or refuse to review your claim. Your insurance company must provide you with an explanation for a denied claim—if they do not, this is an act of bad faith.
Falsely alleging fraud or arson with no proof of either is also a form of bad faith on the part of the insurance company. It can be very beneficial to have a strong attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys as your advocate throughout the process. Attorney Peter Diiorio can help you navigate the complex fire damage insurance claim process.
Our legal team can compile all relevant evidence, explain your legal rights under your policy, and comprehensively calculate your actual losses. Insurance adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company—having an attorney step in to fight for you and your interests can take much of the pressure off your shoulders at a time you have a million things to think about and deal with.
How Hiring a Louisiana Fire Damage Claim Attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys Help You?
If you are facing an insurance dispute or denial, attorney Peter Diiorio and his experienced legal team will step up on your behalf, going toe-to-toe with your insurance company. We will demand that the insurance company follow through with its commitment to you, paying you what your claim is worth.
If your insurance company is balking at paying you for the fire damage or has denied your claim outright, we will take immediate, aggressive action. We will work hard to help you get through this difficult time in your life, never allowing a big insurance company to take advantage of you. Contact the Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case. We will answer all your questions in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand manner while fighting for the best outcome possible.