If you have been involved in a fire, you must take immediate action to protect your rights. After everybody is safe, the first thing you must do if you have had a fire is to report it to your insurance company. Not only do insurance companies generally handle them first come, first serve, but waiting even until Monday morning for a Saturday fire can give the insurance company a reason to declare your fire “suspicious.” A “suspicious” fire can cause your insurance company to delay or deny payment to you.
Assume that your insurance company will look for a reason to deny the claim. For example, you may be given a date to provide information, and if you are late without requesting more time, the insurance company may deny your claim for “failure to cooperate.” If a denial occurs, demand that the insurance company identify the language in your insurance policy that served as the basis for denying your claim or offering so little. Once the insurance company pinpoints the key language in the policy, your lawyer should be able to verify this determination, or point out to you why the insurance company is wrong.
If you are a renter, notify your landlord immediately, then contact an attorney experienced with fire losses, especially if somebody died or was seriously injured. Even if you do not have renter’s insurance, it is possible that if your landlord or someone else was negligent in causing the fire, you may be able to collect for your damages from the negligent person’s insurance.
Phillips Law Firm, Inc. has handled fire claims of all sizes, from the loss of an automobile, to the complete destruction of a billion dollar chemical factory, to representing a family that lost a child due to the negligence of a landlord. Handling fire damage claims by yourself with the insurance company instead of using a lawyer can be a costly mistake. Fire damage claims usually involve large settlements, and insurance companies review the claims carefully.
If you have been injured or suffered damages by a fire, and you want to talk to somebody who understands the world of insurance and fire claims, we can help you.