As the homeowner, you’re responsible for clearing debris from your property after a fire. The good news is coverage for debris removal is included in most homeowners insurance policies. It’s a necessary expense to bring your property back to its pre-loss condition, but how much is available for the site cleanup and what debris is covered?
The amount of benefits available for debris removal depends on your insurer and your policy. Traditionally you either have to use part of your Coverage A (Dwelling) limit to cover this expense, or there may be extra benefits for removal in addition to your limits, often a flat fee of $10,000 or 5 percent of your Dwelling limit. Debris removal is detailed in an open-perils homeowners policy under “Additional Coverages.”
This typically covers the cost of removing the debris, dismantling or pulling down the damaged parts of the structure, or removing materials to get into the building or structure. It does not cover tree removal (some policies provide coverage for this, but not under Debris Removal). Take pictures or videos of the debris and any visible items, whether destroyed or salvageable. Do not remove any items until your adjuster says it’s OK to do so.
Different insurance carriers have different rules on Debris Removal. So it’s a good idea to check the Debris Removal provisions in your homeowners policy to see specifically what’s covered and for how much.
If you have a question about debris removal or anything else regarding a homeowners insurance claim, contact the professionals at Miller Public Adjusters.