As the homeowner, you’re responsible for clearing debris from your property after a fire. The good news is coverage for debris removal is automatically provided in a standard Homeowners insurance policy. 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) limits to cover this expense, or there may be extra benefits for removal in addition to your limits, typically a flat fee of $10,000 or 5 percent of your Dwelling/Coverage A limits. Debris removal, under the policy, is listed 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—policies typically provide coverage for this, but not under debris removal. Take pictures or videos of the debris and any visible items that may be 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 section of your Homeowners policy under the Additional Coverages section 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. Call us toll-free at 800-958-4829.
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Decisions made and actions taken during the first six months after a fire will largely determine what kind of claim settlement you’ll receive from your insurance company.