Smoke Damage: Filing a Claim with Your Insurance & Getting Legal Help

A fire consuming a home in flames and causing severe smoke damage

Home fires are a terrifying yet all too common occurrence throughout the United States. The U.S Fire Administration estimates that more than 364,000 fires were reported in 2011 which was higher that the number of fires recorded in 2010.

The increased number of fires means that many people have lost their homes and others are dealing with the loss of property and smoke damage. Smoke damage can stain a person’s home and leave a lingering smell on any property affected by the fire. Furthermore, soot that remains in the home could cause respiratory problems and be a reminder of a traumatic event.

Although smoke damage is often covered in a homeowner’s insurance policy, some insurers do not always provide a suitable compensation for the damage incurred. If your home has been affected by smoke damage and you are having difficulty collecting reparations, our attorneys can help.

For a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation, fill out the ‘FREE CASE REVIEW’ form located to your left – it’s 100% FREE to submit.

What Can Be Affected By Smoke

During large fires, soot, stains, and debris can encompass a home and clean-up can take months. More serious fires can cause permanent damage and the homeowner might have to rebuild part of their home.

Some common items damaged by smoke include:

  • Curtains
  • Walls
  • Celling
  • Clothing
  • Furniture, particularly couches, bedding, etc.
  • Art Work (Including video and photographs)
  • Jewelry

It’s important to note that smoke can also damage parts of the home not openly seen such as air ducts, insulation, and wall cavities.

Filing a Claim

Smoke damage is commonly included in homeowner’s insurance policies as it is damage to the interior of your home. However, the type of policy a homeowner signed up for can determine how much coverage they receive. If you’re unsure if your policy covers smoke damage it’s important to reach out to them before this type of situation occurs.

If you, or a loved one, incurred fire and smoke damage to your home filing a smoke damage claim can help you get on your way to restoring your home back to normal. Consider the following steps when filing a smoke damage claim:

  • Take photos or video of the damage
  • Try to preserve the scene as best as possible only allowing public authorities or contractors to enter the home
  • Inventory all items damaged by smoke, taking photos or video of particularly important items can also help when filing your claim
  • Consider getting your home tested for smoke damage by a professional
  • Submit your inventory and video/images to the person handling your claim

It’s important to keep in mind that if you live in a condominium or apartment complex, you may be entitled to making a smoke damage claim if your premises suffered damage as a result of another fire in the building.

Your insurance should cover smoke damage clean-up treatments including restoration of damaged items like art work or photographs. Professional cleaners may be used to properly sterilize couches, linens, and bedding. If the home’s floor were affected professional cleaning services may also be used to restore them.

Depending on the type of insurance an individual has the policy may cover house or hotel rental while the home is being restored.

Contact Our Houston Property Insurance Lawyers Today

Smoke damage can be nearly as costly as the actual fire damage and many times irreplaceable valuables are damaged. If you or a loved one is having difficulty getting the compensation you deserve from your homeowner’s insurance company, our attorneys are here to help.

At Arguello, Hope & Associates we understand how difficult it can be to understand the legal jargon used throughout insurance policies which can hinder how much you receive when you file a claim. Our experienced property insurance lawyers can help you fight for the fair and just compensation you deserve.

We have several offices located in the Southeast United States and are proud to represent clients in the following areas:

..and many more cities and towns in the surrounding areas. To find out how we may be able to help you with your property insurance claim, contact us at 1-888-CLAIM-68 (1-888-252-4668) to get connected with one our lawyers.

If you prefer to contact us online, fill out the ‘FREE CASE REVIEW’ form located at the top left hand corner of this page – it’s completely confidential.