June 15, 2024

Whole House Fire Losses – What You Need To Know

Public Adjuster whole house fireIn 2015 alone there were over 365,000 reported house fires.  While not all of these fires were total losses, a good amount of them were.  Here is what you need to know about whole house fire losses.

Partial Losses Can Be More Expensive

Most houses that catch fire aren’t brand new.  In fact, a good amount of them are relatively old.  Working with an older house means that you need to ensure that everything is up to code.  You also need to work to make the partial reconstruction fit what is already there.  For that reason, it is often cheaper to have a total loss.

Mortgage Holders Get The Insurance Check

In almost all cases, the insurance check will be made out to the holder of a mortgage on a house.  That means that payment for the repairs will either have to be done by the bank or a payment agreement will have to be negotiated.

Do Not Cash Insurance Checks That Say Final

Some insurance companies will try to send you an insurance check that says “Final,” “Full and Final,” or “Fully Paid.”  Cashing one of these payments is interpreted as you agreeing that there are no further costs to repair your home.  That includes if you later find something damaged that you thought was retrievable.  In some states, checks like this are illegal.

Condo Owners Need a Separate Policy

If you live in a condo, you need your own homeowner’s insurance policy.  The insurance policy of your condominium association does not cover you for fire loss.  In most cases, it won’t include anything in your unit at all.  To be fully protected, get a policy of your own.

Insurance Adjusters Might Be Unfamiliar With Local Costs

Many times insurance companies will bring in out-of-area or even out-of-state adjusters.  These adjusters are not familiar with local costs; they use software to find an estimate.  This type of calculation is especially hard if you live in an area that is more expensive than where the adjuster usually operates.

Most People Settle For Less

On average most people settle for less than what an insurance company owes them.  This discrepancy happens because homeowners get exhausted with the long process of arguing over prices, finding costs for different items, and working with people who don’t want to pay more than they need to.  People are also unfamiliar with the process, so it makes it harder to negotiate.

Now that you are more informed on some of the important facts about whole house fire losses you will be more prepared should tragedy strike.  More information equals more power and more preparation.

For more information, contact Public Adjusters at 919-299-6999.

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