Fire Property Damage Insurance Claims Lawyer
If you recently suffered a fire at your home, apartment or business, you’ll naturally look to your property insurance company to make good on recouping your losses. But you might have no idea what you’re getting into. Insurance lawyers with The Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A. have years of experience defending your rights in fire loss claims disputes so you can receive full reimbursement from your loss.
Speak With a Fire Loss Claims Attorney
While many homeowners, business or renters insurance claims follow through with only minor disputes over valuation of particular losses, any major fire will be investigated for arson, and the owner is, more often than not, high on the list of potential suspects motivated to set a fire for fraudulent purposes.
Unless arson is immediately eliminated as a likely cause of your fire, you should consider retaining experienced insurance claim counsel to protect yourself from being accused of arson and to receive full reimbursement for your losses. Contact the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A. to learn more about the best ways to get through a difficult fire loss claim.
What to Expect From Your Insurance Company
Even when arson is not an issue, you can expect a certain resistance to full payment on repair or replacement of personal property damaged by fire, water or smoke. Loss of use, additional living expenses (ALE) and business interruption will also be important components of your proof of losses. If your fire loss occurred at about the same time as a hurricane or other natural disaster, the long line of property owners in need of home repairs could mean six months or a year of temporary living or replacement commercial space.
Common Causes of House Fires
House fires begin every day for a number of reasons, but there are several causes which occur on a regular basis.
Cooking is the number one cause of house fires, as many people leave pots and pans unattended for a minute. During this minute, or several, food and/or nearby materials catch fire and quickly spread.
On average, 17,600 house fires each year are started by smoking. You can cut down on the odds of a smoking-related house fire by smoking outside, using sturdy ashtrays, and checking for cigarette butts under and inside furniture, including seat cushions.
Electrical & Lighting
Whether an overloaded electrical outlet or faulty wiring in a home’s lighting, electrical and lighting malfunctions cause thousands of house fires each year. One way to reduce the chance of an electrical or lighting related fire is to have your home’s wiring checked annually by a professional electrician.
The National Fire Protection Association found an average of 22,600 house fires were started each year from 2007 to 2011. And living in Florida, the odds of a house fire being started by lightning increases significantly as our state leads the nation in lightning strikes every year.
Though candles create an ambient and relaxing atmosphere, they are a continual cause of house fires throughout the U.S. Candles should never be burned near flammable materials or items or left unattended. Remember to extinguish any candles before going to sleep or leaving a room.
What to Do If Your Home Has Fire Damage
Having your home damaged by a fire is scary and stressful. Orlando insurance dispute lawyers with The Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A. have these tips to help you through this stressful time.
Security Your Property
When one area of your home or property is damaged, as opposed to a total loss, you’ll be expected by your insurance company to secure it from more damage. Ways to do this include:
- Covering holes in the walls and/or roof
- Boarding up windows, doors, and/or other exposed areas or building a fence to dissuade uninvited visitors
- Moving items at risk for further damage, such as a microwave from beneath a ceiling opening
List Everything You’ve Lost, But Don’t Throw Anything Away
While it will take time to complete this list, starting on it as soon as you can is best. It will be crucial to documentation you’ll want, and need, when filing your fire loss claim. Also, don’t throw anything away, even if it’s severely damaged. You’ll be able to prove to an insurance adjuster the item on your list was really damaged and justifies compensation.
Keep Receipts & Documentation to Everything
A house fire can cause extensive damage in a matter of minutes, while you will end up spending days, weeks, or even months dealing with the insurance company in the aftermath. During this time, keeping receipts and documentation to every purchase, phone call, email, and anything involved in the claims process is vital. This will give you a paper trail to refer back to when discrepancies and disputes arise. Keep the originals to documents and provide copies to your insurance company.
The Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A. Are Experienced In Florida Fire Insurance Disputes
When arson is suspected, however, it makes sense to work with lawyers who stay current with the emerging trends and shortcomings of arson investigations. At the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A., our insurance dispute attorneys in Orlando know how the inexact process of an arson investigation can be handled, and we know how to challenge the investigator’s credentials and methods used to support referrals for prosecution.
Our goal in fire loss cases is to help our clients recover the greatest amount possible for covered losses while protecting them from the possibility of prosecution for arson or insurance fraud. For additional information about our experience in this area, contact us in Altamonte Springs for a consultation.