In places prone to wildfires, you must ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage for damage to your property and assets from fire and smoke from wildfires, which is equally damaging.
This blog will discuss the types of damage caused by wildfire smoke, how to file a claim for losses, and whether hiring a wildfire damage lawyer can help you to get better compensation.
Common Smoke-Related Damages from a Wildfire
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency website, wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of gaseous pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hazardous air pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), water vapor, and particulate matter. This may result in several health issues, including severe respiratory illnesses and cardiac conditions. Besides health-related concerns, wildfire smoke can cause immense damage to your home and business as well such as:
- Structural damage to the house, including windows and roof
- Damage by deposition of soot and ash
- Discoloration of paint on the walls and siding
- Damage to furniture and upholstery
- Unpleasant and unhealthy smoke fumes inside the building
- Damage to personal belongings
- Damage to your car
- Damage to landscaping and other outdoor areas and unattached structures
Your wildfire insurance may cover physical injuries and property damage and provide financial compensation for the exhaustive and expensive clean-up process, debris removal, repair and replacement of your assets and property, and medical costs. Regarding replacing items or structures that are extensively damaged beyond repair, the compensation will depend on whether you have actual cash value overage or replacement cost value coverage. The replacement cost coverage may be the better option for you as it may extend beyond the coverage limit to cover the cost increase of the damaged item since you bought it.
Steps to File a Claim for Damages Caused by Wildfire Smoke
If your home has been ravaged by wildfire smoke, to make it habitable, you must ensure that all damaged items are inspected, tested, cleaned, and brought back to pre-wildfire condition. For your expenses to be reimbursed, you have to file a claim. The steps mentioned below can make filing easier and quicker for you. They include:
- Inform your insurance provider
- Take pictures of the damage as evidence
- Be present when the adjuster assesses and estimates the loss
- If unsatisfied with the adjuster’s assessment, consider hiring an expert for a second opinion
- Iron out differences, if any, with your insurer about the level of cleaning needed for the best results and the quality of the replaced items from their vendors
Do You Need a Wildfire Damage Lawyer?
You may hire a wildfire damage lawyer if your insurer wrongfully denies your claim. They are best equipped to improve your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your loss. A lawyer can help you, from filing a claim and proving your losses due to wildfire smoke to getting you the amount needed to cover repair and replacement costs.
Cover Your Assets and Possessions with Hoffman Brown Insurance
For more information on wildfire insurance, contact our team today. At Hoffman Brown Company, we offer California residents looking for comprehensive wildfire insurance, the maximum coverage for their assets.