Does Insurance Cover Fire Damage?
In most cases, fire insurance isn’t a separate plan from the standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Most home insurance plans include coverage for damage caused by fire-related incidents. If you already have a comprehensive home insurance policy, you are probably covered for fires, although it wouldn’t hurt to check with your insurance agent to be sure along with performing all the other steps that one should take after a home fire.
Keep in mind that not all standard home insurance plans will cover the damage caused by wildfires. This is often the case in areas with a high likelihood of wildfires and forest fires due to the increased risk involved. If you live in such a place, it would be best to check with your insurance agent to find out whether you are covered or not for fire damage restoration.
Different Types of Fire-Related Coverage
Most standard home insurance plans provide different coverage types for the damage caused by fires and their resulting costs. Some of the most common coverage types are:
- Personal property
- Loss of use
- Personal liability
Under the terms of most insurance plans, homes are considered ‘dwellings’. The structure itself and the materials are therefore subject to dwelling coverage. In the event of a fire, this type of coverage pays for the cost of home repair. It may also cover the cost of replacement if the entire home is destroyed in the fire.
Personal property coverage helps pay for the cost of damage or replacement of your items. This coverage is equivalent to your personal property limit.
Loss of use
Loss of use coverage will help pay for living expenses you may incur due to being unable to live in your home. This can be useful for paying for hotel accommodations and even food and laundry costs.
Personal liability coverage helps cover the cost of fire damage to a neighbor’s property. This could be especially important if the fire from your home spreads to an adjacent property, sparing you from additional expenses.
Types of Fires Covered by Insurance
As mentioned previously, not all fires are covered by home insurance. Wildfires and forest fires are examples of fires that may not be covered by standard policies. However, the following types of fires are covered, and you will want to inform your insurance adjuster of these incidences if they are your reason for filing a claim.
Fire insurance will usually cover you for damage or loss resulting from a candle fire. This would be the case whether a household member or a pet causes the fire.
Most fire insurance policies cover the damage caused by grease fires, which typically occur in the kitchen. If you experience a fire while cooking, you should be able to file a claim for the resulting damages.
Fire insurance plans will also usually cover loss or damage resulting from electrical fires. These may be caused by a short circuit or power surge and can result in considerable damage to property and personal injury.
Filing a Fire Insurance Claim
Getting fire insurance is one of the most important things you could do to protect your property and investments from a fire. But to actually benefit from fire insurance, you will need to file an insurance claim.
Getting in touch with your insurance agent is essential whether the fire caused only minor damage to your kitchen or it razed your whole house to the ground. After ensuring that everyone on the premises is safe and no longer at risk, your next step is to call your insurance agent.
When filing an insurance claim after an emergency, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your name
- Information on the insurance policy
- The date and time when the fire occurred
- A summary of the occurrence
- A copy of the police or fire department report
- Photo and video of the damage
You will also need to provide the insurance information of any other party involved in the incident.
After filing a claim, your insurance company will review the information you have provided and conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. The insurance firm will likely arrange for you to meet with a claims adjuster. The adjuster will be responsible for assessing damage to the home, after which a decision will be made on how to process your claim and provide you with the settlement amount.