Experiencing a house fire is one of the most devastating things a person can go through. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own your home, watching your belongings go up in flames is a horrific sight. Our Miami property damage attorneys meet with clients all the time who worry about whether their insurance will cover the extensive fire and smoke damage they suffer. Here, we will explain what is – and what is not – covered in the event of a house fire.
We will also explain which personal property items are covered and to what extent they are covered. If you still have questions or concerns about your own house fire, contact our office immediately. You don’t want to wait for the insurance adjuster to get back to you. If you wait that long, it may be difficult for your Miami property damage attorney to help you file an appeal and get the reimbursement check you deserve.
Every Homeowner’s Policy Includes Fire Damage as a Covered Peril
If you’re worried that your homeowner’s policy won’t cover any fire and smoke damage, don’t worry too much. Almost all homeowner’s policies written in Florida do cover this sort of damage. Our Miami property damage attorneys always explain to our clients that it is very rare for a person’s homeowner’s insurance policy to exclude fire and smoke damage.
Of course, every policy is unique. Your Miami property damage attorney would have to review your policy in detail to determine whether your losses should be covered.
What Types of Fires Are Covered by Your Homeowner’s Insurance?
There are all sorts of fires that can damage your home. Almost every type of fire will be covered with the exception of arson or an intentional fire. Believe it or not, our Miami property damage attorneys have had clients come to us for help only to find that they set the fire themselves. There are people out there so desperate for cash that they would burn down their own homes just to get the insurance money.
Most of the time, the insurance adjusters discover what is happening. They will hire an arson specialist and determine what the true cause of the fire was. If it was suspicious or determined to be intentional, the fire and smoke damage will not be covered. If they determine that the fire was caused by arson, your coverage will depend on whether the culprit was a stranger or someone you know.
What Items Are Covered if They Suffer Fire and Smoke Damage?
One of the first questions you’ll want to ask your Miami property damage attorney is which items of your property will be covered by your policy. It’s completely natural to ask this sort of question.
If your policy is like most homeowners’ policies, then it should cover the following in the event of fire and smoke damage.
- Your dwelling
- Any other structures, such as your garage, outdoor shed, or workshop
- The contents of these other structures
- Your car, boat, and RV
- Art, jewelry, and furs
- Clothing, furniture, and electronics
- Most other personal property items
One thing to keep in mind – the coverage for anything other than your dwelling and additional structures is 50%. This is 50% of your dwelling’s total coverage limit. If your policy covers up to $200,000 in real property coverage, then up to $100,000 worth of your personal property will be covered as well.
Your Miami Property Damage Attorneys Understand That There Are Exceptions and Limitations
When you first purchased your homeowner’s insurance policy, you may have had no idea what you were doing. One of the biggest mistakes our clients make is that they choose the least expensive policy available.
The possibility of losing their belongings to fire and smoke damage seems too remote to them. They want to sign all their paperwork and move into their new home. This is understandable. However, if you happened to choose a policy with low premiums, then you need to understand two things.
First, your deductible is going to be quite high. The lower your premiums, the higher your deductible. This is a standard rule. Second, if you keep your premiums low, your coverage limits will also be low. Since any coverage for fire and smoke damage to your personal property is tied to the amount of total coverage you have for your dwelling, it’s important.
As discussed here, coverage for any external or unattached structures on your property is limited to 10% of your dwelling’s total coverage. The same is true for your personal property. Coverage for these items is limited to just 50% of your total dwelling’s coverage.
It’s a Good Idea to Meet with a Miami Property Damage Attorney Immediately
If your house catches on fire, you’re going to suffer thousands of dollars in damage. The good news is that your homeowner’s policy will cover fire and smoke damage. Whether it’s your actual dwelling that is destroyed or your personal possessions, they should be covered. The question is how much coverage does your policy offer? Furthermore, what do you do if your claim is denied?
Our Florida property damage attorneys have handled hundreds, if not thousands of cases involving fire and smoke damage. They know your rights and aren’t afraid to go up against the big insurance companies. They can recognize the tactics and games played by the insurance adjusters. They also know how to read the fine print in your policy. If there are hidden coverage limits or exceptions, they will review them for you.
We completely understand how you must be feeling if you just suffered a house fire. Watching everything you have worked so hard for go up in smoke is devastating. Most of our clients didn’t know where to turn. They knew they had suffered thousands of dollars in fire and smoke damage, but they had no idea who to turn to.
This is why we offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the chance to sit down with a seasoned Miami property damage attorney. They’ll review whatever information you have related to the fire. They will also help determine whether the items that suffered fire and smoke damage should be covered.
Since the initial consultation is free of charge, you have nothing to fear. Just give our office a call and we can set up a date and time that works for you.