One of the most common causes of house and property fires is faulty wiring. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, electrical fires account for 13% of all home structure fires. Electrical malfunctions are second to unattended equipment as the leading cause of house fires in the US. If your property damage in Tampa stemmed from a fire caused by faulty wiring, find out whether or not this is covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fires Caused By Faulty Wiring?
The answer depends on the circumstances of the fire. Although in most cases a homeowners insurance policy will cover electrical fires and related damage, if the insurance company believes you knew or had reason to know of the issue but failed to fix it, you may be barred from recovery. Most insurance companies also do not cover losses that result from low-quality or do-it-yourself repair jobs.
If you had an electrician recommend to you to replace old wires or outdated equipment, for example, but decided to delay the repairs to save money, your insurance company could use this as a reason to reject your property damage claim. The fact that you knew of the potential risk of a fire but did nothing to remedy the problem could make you ineligible for insurance benefits.
If, however, you had no reason to know about the faulty wiring and a reasonable homeowner in your situation wouldn’t have known about the problem, you could qualify for insurance benefits. A successful claim could pay to repair or replace all items lost in the fire, including furniture and valuables. If the fire led to other losses, such as water damage from a sprinkler system, you could receive additional compensation.
Do You Need to Hire a Tampa Insurance Attorney?
If you are the victim of a fire caused by faulty wiring in Tampa, you may need a Tampa insurance claim attorney to help you with the insurance claims process. A lawyer can help you with the early stages of your claim, such as mitigating further property damage and gathering evidence of your losses. Your lawyer can correctly assess the value of your property damage and calculate a full amount to seek in insurance benefits.
Then, your attorney can negotiate a fair payment amount with your insurance provider so you receive the money you need to make repairs and move on. If the insurance company refuses to offer an adequate amount, your attorney can take your claim to trial in Tampa instead. Either way, with a lawyer by your side, you can rest assured you will get the best possible results for your fire damage claim.
How to Prevent Fires Caused By Faulty Wiring
From 2012 to 2016, fire departments in the US responded to 44,880 home fires from electrical malfunctions or faulty wiring. In these four years, electrical issues caused an average of 1,250 injuries and 440 deaths each year, as well as $1.3 billion in property damage. Protect your family from fires caused by faulty wiring with the following tips:
- Don’t overload your circuits or outlets.
- If you notice an outlet or switch giving off heat, unplug everything to prevent overheating.
- Replace cords or wires that appear loose, damaged or frayed.
- Call an electrician if you notice flickering lights, discolored outlets or unusual smells.
- If something goes out, have an electrician diagnose the problem before replacing fuses yourself.
- Get routine maintenance checks of your electrical system.
- Be careful using heating equipment, as this is a common source of house fires.
- Use smoke detectors on every floor of your home and check the batteries often.
Electrical and faulty wiring fires do not only occur in houses; apply these safety measures to offices, sheds, garages and vehicles as well. When in doubt, have a licensed electrician check your system for problems. Staying on top of electrical maintenance can help you prevent a faulty wire from causing a fire.
Has Your Home Insurance Company Denied Or Undervalued Your Property Damage Claim In Florida?
If your insurance company is dragging their feet regarding your property damage claim you should speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florida law office directly at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents just like you fight the big insurance companies who fail to abide by their own policies. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case.