There’s more to fire damage than meets the eye. Fire can also cause hidden damages that can be hard to detect. The two main culprits: smoke/soot damage, and water damage. Knowing about these additional impacts on your property, and how to take care of them, helps ensure you’re reimbursed appropriately for your claim.
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?
When a fire or other covered peril renders your home not fit to live in, your homeowners insurance policy likely provides Additional Living Expense/Loss of Use coverage that pays for temporary housing and other extra expenses you incur to maintain your standard of living. ALE also reimburses you for other expenses that rise above and beyond what you would normally spend.
One of the most daunting tasks required in the claim process after losing your home to a fire is properly documenting your personal property to ensure you’re compensated fully for what you’ve lost. Completing a total loss inventory list is a high-stress task, and it must be done correctly so as not to leave settlement dollars on the table. Know going in that it will be messy, time-consuming, and require a lot of patience as you meticulously document the many possessions you’ve accumulated over a lifetime.
The two terms “vacant” and “unoccupied” might appear to be synonymous, even interchangeable in general conversation, but they are distinctly different when it comes to property insurance coverage.
When a hailstorm strikes, it can batter roofs, shred screens and siding, and smash windows. Getting fully compensated for even glaring hail damage from your commercial, BOP or homeowners insurance policy is a challenge. Achieving a fair settlement for anything less than glaring damages can be a nightmare.
Major rain events — like the ones that have been plaguing Wisconsin this summer — get insurance companies busy denying homeowners insurance claims based on water-related policy exclusions.
Continuing the discussion about water damage insurance claims, Attorney Edward Beckmann, of Helmuth and Johnson, contributed the following guest posting about his favorite insurance law tongue twister: the anti-concurrent cause clause.
It is expensive to relocate your family while you're rebuilding your damaged home. You’ll incur hotel expenses, meals out and more. Fortunately, your Homeowners policy covers those extra expenses under "Coverage D - Loss of Use - Additional Living Expenses.” Your property insurance adjuster should explain this coverage, but he’s not likely to go into detail about some of the benefits to which you are entitled.
Your home insurance policy is written using simplified language, but policies still seem downright tricky at times. Unless you’ve spent a sizeable chunk of your leisure time sifting through your policy's agreements, definitions, and exclusions, you might not realize that these five items are actually covered.