Fire-Related Damages in Tampa, Florida
Fire is always a threat to your home or business property. When your property suffers fire-related damage, you expect your insurance provider to honor the terms of your policy and accept your claim for compensation. Unfortunately, that is not always what happens, even when your insurance policy clearly covers fire-related damage.
Attorney Jeff Pekar at Pekar Law, P.A. understands how devastating property damage— particularly fire-related damage—can be for you and your family. As a fire-related damages attorney in Tampa, Florida, he helps clients file and resolve fire damage claims in an efficient and effective way. With an office in Tampa, the law firm serves clients throughout Central and Western Florida, including Fort Myers, Orlando, Lakeland, and Sarasota.
Fire Damage Claims in Florida
Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover damages caused by fire. However, before agreeing to settle your fire damage claim, the insurance provider will most likely launch an in-depth investigation to determine what caused the fire. Some of the most common causes of house fires include:
Heat. When used incorrectly, portable heaters can cause home fires. Many homeowners do not follow the specific instructions on the heater and end up placing it close to the bed, walls, furniture, or other objects in the house. Heaters may also malfunction due to a defect or poor maintenance.
Cooking. Cooking is considered to be the most common cause of house fires. In many cases, fires are started when homeowners leave pans on the stove unattended or forget to turn off the oven.
Iron. Leaving the iron plugged into the outlet in a horizontal position on flammable objects can also lead to fires.
Smoking. Despite the fire-related risks, many people smoke at home, and some do so while on their bed or couch. Cigarettes and other smoking materials can lead to the ignition of mattresses, bedding, and other flammable objects.
Electrical equipment. When electrical equipment is faulty or used incorrectly, it can overheat or malfunction, resulting in fire.
When a house fire occurs, it has the potential to destroy your property and all your possessions inside it within minutes. If you have a homeowners’ insurance policy, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You might want to seek assistance from a fire-related damages attorney in Tampa, Florida when filing a claim for compensation to ensure that you recover for the full extent of your covered damages.
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What’s the Process for Filing a Fire Damage Claim?
Once you file a fire damage claim with your homeowners’ insurance provider, the insurer will assign a claims adjuster to your case. Here’s what happens next:
The adjuster identifies the cause of the fire and calculates the Scope of the Loss. The claims adjuster will be tasked with identifying what caused the fire and calculating the Scope of the Loss, which includes drafting a list of destroyed/damaged personal belongings.
The adjuster quantifies the loss with the help of experts. The claims adjuster may need the assistance of experts to quantify the loss.
You use the Scope of Loss to determine a recovery plan. Usually, the homeowner can choose between (a) repairing their home according to the proposed Scope of Work or (b) cashing out to manage the repairs on their own.
You can negotiate a higher settlement offer. If you believe that you are entitled to more than what has been proposed by the insurance adjuster, you can negotiate a higher offer. This should be done with the help of an experienced property claims attorney on your side.
Pay the deductibles. A deductible is a fixed amount of money you are required to pay out of pocket for damages to your home before the insurance pays the rest.
Keep track of living expenses. Keep all the receipts you have to ensure that the insurance provider reimburses you for the expenses due to living outside your home while it is being repaired.
A fire-related damages attorney can guide you throughout the process of filing a claim for compensation to ensure a favorable outcome.
What to Do if Your Fire Damage Claim Is Denied
Having homeowners’ insurance is no guarantee that your fire damage claim will be accepted by the insurance provider. The insurer may deny your fire damage claim, especially if it believes that the fire damage was intentional. In many cases, fire damage claims are denied because the insurance provider is acting in bad faith. Other bad-faith tactics you may deal with when handling a property claim include but are not limited to:
Ignoring your claim
Failing to conduct an investigation in a timely manner
Undervaluing property or contents
Misinterpreting the terms of the insurance policy
If your fire damage claim is denied, you can appeal the denial of your claim. After the denial of your fire damage claim, hiring an attorney to make the appeal on your behalf can make a big difference. Your attorney will help resolve issues with your insurer and fight for the compensation to which you are entitled.
How an Attorney Can Help
The fire-related damages attorney at Pekar Law, P.A. can handle all communications with the insurance provider on your behalf, prepare the paperwork, gather evidence when filing a claim for compensation, and also work with experts to assess the full extent of your damages and losses. If your fire damage claim is denied, Attorney Jeff Pekar will help you appeal the insurance company’s decision and will fight for a favorable resolution of your case. If necessary, the attorney will initiate formal litigation against the insurance provider to obtain the compensation you are owed.
Fire-Related Damages Attorney Serving Tampa, Florida
Attorney Jeff Pekar knows the tricks insurance companies use to undervalue and deny fire damage claims. Trying to handle your fire damage claim on your own is not worth the risk. The fire-related damages attorney at Pekar Law, P.A. is here to assist you through the entire process from start to finish to ensure a favorable resolution of your claim. Reach out to Attorney Jeff Pekar’s office in Tampa, Florida, to request a free consultation.