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Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Fire?

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Fire?

 

Does Home Insurance Cover Fire?

Homeowners insurance provides you with financial protection in the event of a disaster or accident involving your home. That’s great but does it cover fire? 

We’ll go over the most common types of homeowners insurance coverages that can help pay for fire damage to your home and your personal belongings. Let us help you navigate this process. Before we begin determining if your home insurance covers fire let's take a look at a few things.

 

How Fire Insurance Works?

Fire insurance refers to coverage for the structure of your domicile in the event of a fire. To be more specific, homeowners insurance is insurance that can help you pay to repair your home in the event of a fire. It comes in handy to help protect your family from any inconvenient financial difficulties. Fire insurance isn’t a separate policy from your standard homeowner's policy. Your home insurance is built to protect you in a number of ways from fire-related damage.

How much does Fire Insurance Cost?

Interested in this type of insurance? Well, the cost of fire insurance is usually the same cost as homeowners insurance, this is the case because fire coverage is usually included in your homeowner’s policy. This means essentially a fire insurance quote would be the same as inquiring for a homeowners insurance quote. To help estimate the cost of your homeowners' insurance, speak to one of our certified agents today.

Different Types of Home Insurance Fire Coverages

Here are a few areas where home insurance can cover your fire damages:

  • Liability Protection: This protects against lawsuits and related damages for an isolated fire spreading from your house to a neighbor’s property. A house fire is bad enough when it damages or destroys one home, imagine what the effects would be if a fire from your home spreads to your neighbor’s, you may be held liable for the damage. Consider personal insurance to help relieve you of the coverage limits on your homeowner's insurance. While your homeowner's insurance typically comes with some personal liability coverage, the amount of coverage may not be enough to pay for something like someone else’s house burning down. It may help you pay for legal costs and the settlement costs beyond your homeowner's coverage limits, should you be found legally at-fault after a fire

  • Personal Property: This pays to replace your clothing, furniture, and other belongings after a fire. If your house is completely burned to the ground, they’ll pay you a certain amount for the house, up to your limits. Payment is typically either for the actual cash value or replacement cost. Individual types of valuables may be treated differently, as high-value items typically have limits set per-item. 

  • “Loss of Use” or “Additional Living Expenses” (optional): Your insurer will reimburse you for temporary lodging and food costs during your evacuation, usually for anywhere from 10% to 30% of the dwelling limit. What's considered an allowable expense differs by the insurance company.

Dwelling coverage

Simply put, your home is legally considered a dwelling, which means its structure and materials can be protected by dwelling coverage. For instance, in the case that the structure of your house is demolished or destroyed by a fire, this coverage can help you pay for the cost to repair your home or pay you a sum amount, minus notwithstanding your homeowner's insurance deductible. Also, be aware that these fire damage expenses are only covered up to your dwelling coverage limit, so make sure you have enough coverage to match the value of your home and then some.

Loss of use coverage

If your home is damaged or in even worse cases destroyed by a fire, and you can’t continue living there, loss of use coverage can help pay for additional living expenses. This coverage can help cover the cost of relocating to a new area, hotel, short-term rental expenses, or food in the event of a fire.

What Types of Fires Are Covered Under Insurance?

If a fire were to occur, and you find yourself in this situation your insurance adjuster will want to know the details and nature, and the cause of the fire after you file a claim. The types of fires covered by home insurance include but are not strictly limited to the following:

Electrical fires

A simple short circuit or power surge can cause irreparable damages to your electrical system, as well as sparking a fire that damages your home and family Your homeowner's insurance can be there to help you recover what you’ve lost.

Candle fires

If you or someone in your home — including the cat — knocks over a candle, the resulting fire is most likely covered by your home insurance.

Grease fires

This typically only happens in homes with gas ranges, but if your cooking oil catches fire while you’re making dinner, your homeowner's insurance should help to cover the damages.

 

What types of fire aren’t covered under insurance?

It should go without saying, however, a fire that you cause intentionally may not be covered by your homeowner's insurance after investigation. For instance, in the case that you set fire to your home intentionally, your homeowner's insurance will not cover the damage to your home. The area you reside in may impact your ability to be covered under fire insurance. In the case that you live in an area prone to wildfires, it may be difficult to get home insurance that covers wildfire damage due to the risk involved with insuring homes in those areas.

So Do I Need Fire Insurance?

Let’s put it this way. Your home is one of your most important investments, and homeowners insurance (including fire insurance) protects you from a financial disaster. Imagine you have a mortgage, your lender will require you to purchase homeowners insurance, but it's a good idea to have it even if you own your home free and clear. Your family will thank you later. Unless you can cover the costs of rebuilding your home and replacing your possessions out of pocket, homeowners insurance is a must. Just make sure your policy includes fire coverage.

How to Claim Fire Insurance?

So now you know all the information on what constitutes filing for fire insurance damages, but how do you actually file a claim? Well, let’s say you actually had a fire and it might have been a small flame that damaged your living room. The first thing you should do is make sure everyone is safe, that is the most important thing after all. Now that they are safe it’s time to give your insurance agent a call. 

Filing a homeowners insurance claim after a fire requires a few pieces of information:

  • Your name and policy information

  • The date and time of the event

  • A brief description of what happened

  • The police or fire department report

  • Records of the damage — could be photos, videos or both

  • The insurance information of anyone else involved

You might be wondering what happens next after you file a home insurance claim for fire damage. Once your claim is filed, your insurance company will review it as quickly as possible and get a claims adjuster sent out to meet you. When the adjuster arrives, they’ll assess the fire damage to your home. With their assessment, the claims adjuster can then process your settlement.

Need to file a fire insurance claim with AltieriInsurance Adjusters? And, if you need to, you can always call your agent.

 

 

 

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About The Author: Raymond A. Altieri, Jr.
Raymond A. Altieri, Jr. - Chairman & CEO

As a property insurance claims professional since 1980, Mr. Altieri leads the firm at Altieri Insurance Consultants in all matters of property claim adjusting and community outreach. His decades of property claim adjusting experience assure the firm’s clients they are well represented, whether they have suffered a multi-million-dollar commercial loss or have lost their home.

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