A fire can destroy a person’s home and their belongings, leaving them displaced while the property is repaired. Many people believe that homeowners insurance will pay for the damage.
A homeowners insurance policy may offer several types of coverage for fire damage. Dwelling coverage is intended to provide funds to the policyholder to rebuild the home and for debris removal and cleanup. Sometimes, a fire can also affect other structures on the property like a shed or garage. The policy may offer reimbursement for expenses to replace those.
The personal property coverage portion of the policy is intended to cover the cost of replacing items like clothing, furniture, appliances and other household belongings. The policy may also state that it covers temporary living expenses, like a hotel or a short-term rental.
Homeowners are often surprised to find out that their insurance company may deny the claim. The insurance company may deny a claim for several reasons, but one of the most common is for non-payment of premium, suspicion of filing a false claim and insufficient documentation.
It’s important for an individual to pay his or her premium each month and to notify the insurance company if there is a fire. It can be helpful for the individual to take photos of the damage and to keep any receipts for items he or she had to replace. Also, if there were any witnesses to the fire, the homeowner may want to ask for their contact information and a statement.
If an individual’s fire claim was denied, an experienced attorney can help.