Fire insurance claims can be frustrating and complicated. Insurance companies often deny all or part of the claim, or stonewall policyholders while they endlessly investigate. Williams Law, P.A., provides sophisticated legal advocacy to ensure that you are fully compensated in a timely fashion for a legitimate fire loss claim.
Was your home or business damaged by a fire? Did you sustain collateral damage from a fire at a neighboring property? We represent homeowners, commercial property owners and condominium associations in the Tampa-St. Pete area and west central Florida.
Tampa Insurance Lawyer for Fire Damage Claims
Attorney K.C. Williams has built a strong practice in the area of insurance claims, coverage disputes and bad faith litigation. He uses his 15-plus years of experience to help property owners with their damage claims, including damage from fires.
We work closely with clients to detail the losses and secure comprehensive compensation, including:
- Structural damage
- Scorched furnishings and belongings
- Smoke damage
- Water damage
- Damage to vehicles
- Displacement (alternative living expenses)
- Loss of use or rental value
- Business disruption
We have battled insurers over every aspect of fire loss claims: repairs versus total loss, replacement value of personal property, smoke extraction versus replacement, and reimbursement for temporary housing. Williams Law, P.A., has handled fire claims tracing to appliances, shorted wiring, lightning strikes, gas leaks and other causes. We have also represented clients whose fire insurance claims are held up on unmerited suspicion of arson.
What Does Fire Insurance Cover?
Fires are one of the most common causes of property destruction in Florida. In 2018 alone, fires throughout the U.S. caused over $25 billion in property losses. Fire departments respond to hundreds of thousands of house fires each year. A fire can easily damage or destroy part or all of your home. Collapsed structures, smoke and water damage, and destroyed belongings could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs. Fire insurance is a means of protecting you from personal liability as a homeowner. With fire insurance, you may be able to receive compensation to repair fire damage without having to pay out of pocket. Fire insurance could cover many repairs and property replacements.
- Personal belongings
- Contents of the building
- Structural repairs
- Landscaping and grounds
- Outdoor structures
- Cost of rebuilding your home
- Remediating smoke or water damage
- Living expenses while you wait for repairs
The types of damages your fire insurance policy will cover depends on the policy. Most homeowners insurance policies include coverage for fire damages. It is possible to purchase additional fire insurance as well. For the most part, insurance provisions covering fire damage will offer benefits for wildfires and accidental fires, such as unintentional kitchen fires. Most policies do not cover fire damages from war, nuclear weapons, and arson. Arson refers to the homeowner intentionally starting the fire. Find out the precise parameters and limits of your fire insurance by reviewing your policy or asking your insurance agent.
Common Reasons for Denied Fire Claims
Insurance companies frequently reject claims and deny giving coverage to policyholders for fire damage in Florida. An insurance company could give many reasons for a fire claim denial. Some are valid while others are not. Unfortunately, many insurance companies engage in bad faith practices to take advantage of the claimant and increase profits. Differentiating a valid claim denial from insurance bad faith may take help from our attorneys. If you receive a denial, make sure the insurance company also gives you its reason for the rejection.
- Policy exclusions
- Gaps in coverage
- Missing payments
- Exceeded coverage limits
- Insufficient evidence
- Lack of documentation
- Liability dispute
- Missed deadline
If you do not agree with the denial of your fire damage claim, you may be able to contest the decision. Contact your insurance company and explain why you disagree with the decision. Support your belief with evidence such as a professional evaluation of your fire damage or additional photographs. An internal review may lead to a reevaluation of your case and a different outcome. If the insurance company continues to withhold benefits, hire an attorney to file an official appeal of the decision on your behalf. An appeal could ultimately hand the matter to an unbiased third party for review.
How Can an Insurance Claims Lawyer Help?
Dealing with an insurance company after a fire can be difficult on your own. Insurance companies know how to take advantage of claimants and settle cases for as little money for the client as possible. Insurance companies train their claims adjusters in strategies for profiting the corporation. A fire can be devastating, wreaking havoc on your home. You need as much money as possible to help your family pick up the pieces, rebuild and move forward. A lawyer can help you maximize the outcome of your fire insurance claim in Tampa with a few key steps.
- Investigating the cause of the fire
- Collecting evidence
- Hiring expert fire damage evaluators
- Taking over communications with the adjuster
- Thoroughly documenting your damages
- Deciphering your fire insurance policy
- Negotiating with your insurance company
- Filing an appeal
- Filing a lawsuit, if necessary
A lawyer from Williams Law, P.A. could help you bring a bad faith insurance claim if the insurance company is refusing to handle your claim fairly or lawfully. If the carrier is being dishonest or otherwise intentionally mishandling your claim, a bad faith lawsuit could force the company to pay you an additional sum for its tort. A lawyer can help you through all the legal processes involved in your fire damage recovery while protecting your rights and best interests.