Smoke Damages Claims
Home fires remain a serious problem in the United States. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 1.2 million fires occur throughout the country each year, resulting in approximately $11 billion worth of damage. Fire damage can come in many different forms. A structure does not need to be burnt to be damaged from a fire. Smoke damage is one of the most overlooked types of fire-related damage. Smoke from a fire can stain a home or business and leave a nasty odor that is extremely costly and difficult to remove. If your property has suffered severe smoke damage, you deserve a settlement that accounts the full extent of your covered losses.
Smoke Damage Can Affect More than You Might Think
Smoke and soot can cause wide ranging damage that takes several months to repair and clean up. In some cases, smoke damage can be so severe that part of structure needs to be rebuilt entirely to get rid of it. Some of the different things that are commonly damaged by smoke and soot include:
- The ceiling
- Air ducts
- Furniture and upholstery
- High-end art work
Filing Your Smoke Damage Claim
Do You Have Coverage?
Most Florida property insurance policies include coverage for interior smoke damage. That being said, all claimants need to review their own individual insurance policy in order to determine exactly how coverage applies in their specific case.
Document Your Damages
Once you assess your level of coverage and your duties under your insurance policy, you need to take proactive steps to document your losses. Ultimately, you will need provide evidence that establishes the full value of your damages. There are several different steps that are required when it comes to documenting damages. Some of the most important ones include:
- Taking photos and video of the property damage
- Creating a full inventory list of your losses
- Gathering receipts and financial records pertaining to any lost property
The more evidence and documentation you can get your hands on, the better.
Seek Professional Help
Finally, you should also consider seeking help to assess your damage. If your smoke or soot damage is severe, it is best practice to seek assistance from an independent expert who can help. Remember, as smoke often causes significant damage to interior walls, insulation, and other hard to see places, you need to consider getting a comprehensive property inspection. This way, you can better ensure that your losses are always properly accounted for. If your insurance company denies your claim, or offers you a partial settlement, you should seek assistance from an attorney. Only an attorney can help you exercise your legal rights.
Was Your Smoke Damage Insurance Claim Denied?
Our firm can help. At Geyer Fuxa Tyler, our Broward County property insurance lawyers have helped many home and business owners recover full compensation for their losses. To find out more about our lawyers can do for you, please do not delay in calling our Sunrise office today at (954) 990-5251. We offer free initial legal consultations.