Written by Raisa

June 11, 2021

Smoke Damage Insurance Claim: How to File a Claim?
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About Smoke Damage Insurance Claim

Smoke Damage Insurance Claim

How to File Your Smoke Damage Insurance Claims

After a fire, home or business owners must deal with more than just fire damage. In fact, smoke damage as well as water damage are very serious issues that need addressing. For this reason, safe and effective remediation of smoke damage is a job often best left to professionals. It can be very difficult to restore a home or business from smoke damage without proper cleaning techniques and the right equipment. However, did you know you can file a smoke damage insurance claim? In this article you’ll learn how to file a smoke damage insurance claim

What Is Smoke Damage?

Smoke damage is both the odor and physical residue left behind from the burning of materials during a fire. Depending on the materials burned, different types of odors and residues are produced. For example, materials like wood and fabrics burn differently than plastics. Some materials, such as synthetics, leave behind a black, almost oily residue. Meanwhile, other materials, like paper and cotton leave behind a more powdery substance. Different cleaning methods are necessary to safely and thoroughly remove smoke damage. More often than not, it requires professional knowledge and equipment.

Common items affected by smoke damage after a fire:

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Art work
  • Clothing
  • Books and photographs

If smoke damage is left unresolved, it can leave behind stains, discolorations, corrosion and permanent damage. File your smoke damage insurance claim now

Can I File a Smoke Damage Insurance Claim?

When fire damages your property, you will likely file an insurance claim and verify what damages your insurance policy covers. Usually, insurance policies state whether smoke damage is coverable. Others are less specific. Remember, insurance companies love making use of this ambiguity to minimize the amount they pay for your claim. Read on to learn more about what to expect when filing a claim a smoke damage insurance claim. A typical homeowner’s insurance policy should cover damage caused by wind, fire, and lightning. If a fire destroys your home, then the insurance company should pay to replace or repair anything inside that home that the flames, smoke, soot, ash, and other byproducts of the fire, damaged.

Furthermore, a common question with smoke damages is what to do when there is smoke damage to your home from a nearby fire. In this case, start by contacting your insurance company and they should help guide you through this situation.

You pay for insurance specifically to cover situations like this. So document all of the items in your home that have even small amounts of smoke, soot, or ash damage. For example, your walls may be stained black. Floors and carpeting may even be permanently ruined with soot. In fact, your ceilings could turn an ugly shade of black. Upholstery, drapes, clothing, and family heirlooms can all suffer damage.

The Details in Your Insurance Policy are Important for your Smoke Damage Insurance Claim

It’s very likely you’ll need to replace items exposed to smoke. As mentioned before, smoke damage leaves black soot stains that ruin furniture, curtains, carpets, walls, and other household items. Additionally, exposure to this soot can be extremely dangerous to your health.

You might hire a professional cleaner to save your belongings. However, in severe cases, even a professional can’t undo the damage. Once you file a smoke damage insurance claim, your insurance policy should cover the costs of hiring a professional cleaner. Despite this, in most instances it’s better to make a list of your belongings and their estimated value so you can replace them.

Nonetheless, it’s unsafe to clean your home by yourself. Professional cleaners and remediation teams have specialized equipment to safeguard them against smoke damage in your home. For this reason, they can immediately get to cleaning up the smoke damage with industrial vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners. Many homeowners try to clean up smoke damage themselves, only to realize that water-based cleaners only make the stains worse. In some cases, you may also deodorize the house or replace insulation in the walls or attic.

Tips For Filing a Smoke Damage Insurance Claim

When dealing with a smoke damage insurance claim, keep the following tips in mind:

  • First, call your insurance company or agent as soon as the fire is put out. Do not wait.
  • Secondly, go over your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If you lost your policy, your insurance company can provide another copy. Look on the declarations page for information regarding your coverage, deductibles, limitations or exclusions and filing deadlines.
  • If possible, take photos or video of the damage. Try not to disturb the affected area. In fact, allow only necessary authorities on site.
  • Fourthly, call a professional smoke damage removal team. They will come out to assess the damage and consequently, provide a remediation plan.
  • Gather all the necessary information needed to file the claim as soon as possible:
  • Date of the fire
  • Type of damage (fire, smoke, water or all three?)
  • Location of the damage
  • Contact information for the property owner
  • Personal contact information if you’re not the property owner
  • A copy of the police report
  • Remediation estimates
  • Receipts for all repairs, restoration and other related costs
  • Equally important, gather receipts for any hotels or meals if the damage forced you to find other lodging
  • Complete list of all damaged items/building materials
  • Related injuries
  • Whether or not temporary repairs or complete replacements are necessary

Verify with your insurance agent the procedures and timeline for filling a smoke damage insurance claim.

Smoke Damage Insurance Claim

For Best Results, Contact a Public Adjuster toHelp with Your Smoke Damage Insurance Claim

Your insurance company’s sole purpose is to pay the minimum required to get you to release your claim. Is your fire insurance provider denying your smoke damage insurance claim? Some policies are clear about denying smoke damage insurance claims. Others, however, are ambiguous. If your home experienced thousands of dollars in smoke damage, then it’s in your best interest to contact a public loss adjuster.

Public adjusters are typically only called in for claims over $10,000. If your home experienced significant smoke damage, then a public adjuster can help solve your problem.

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Best way to beat the insurance company is to hire AllCity Adjusting

At AllCity Adjusting we help residential and commercial clients alike get the claims support they need. Moreover, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping get our clients the max settlement time and time again. If your claim has been low balled or denied entirely we can help increase your maximum settlement. Call us today for a FREE consultation. Experience the AllCity difference.

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