UTAH FIRE INSURANCE CLAIMS LAWYER JAKE GUNTER CALL/TXT (801) 373-6345 FOR FREE EVALUATION
TYPES OF INSURANCE THAT COVERS FIRE DAMAGE IN UTAH
Not every type of insurance coverage pays compensation for fire damages. Here are some common types of insurance coverage that will pay for fire damages.
(1). Homeowners’ Policy of Insurance.
Nearly every home that has a commercial mortgage will be required to have homeowners’ insurance. The bank will not lend money for the home purchase without having homeowners’ insurance.
Common fire claims related to homeowners insurance are:
(a). Neighbor’s House Catches Fire. The neighbor’s Provo, UT home burns down, catching your adjoining home on fire. Here the homeowners’ insurance policy will pay for the fire damage the fire caused the neighbor’s home. If the liability homeowners’ policy of insurance is refusing to pay, a lawsuit will need to filed against the person who started the fire to get the insurance company to pay.
(b). Own Home Burns Down. When your own home burns down your own homeowners’ policy of insurance kicks in to replace what was fire damaged. When you are having a valuation dispute with your own homeowners’ insurance carrier, calling a fire insurance attorney who handles claims against insurance companies can really speed the process up.
(2). Commercial Fire Insurance.
Often there can be separate fire insurance policy that specifically is purchased to cover fires. This separate line of insurance is just for fires and can be in addition to other policies of insurance that may cover your damages.
Commercial fire insurance policies covers your building, your business property and stuff that you own at the business when a fire destroys them.
(3). Commercial General Liability.
Commercial insurance policies can cover fire damage that your business causes. A specific read of the insurance policy is always required. Most companies, storefronts and business will be required to have general liability insurance policies in case their business hurts third parties.
(4). Motor Vehicle / Car Insurance.
Anytime a motor vehicle damages another person’s property the at-fault car’s insurance covers the property damages. Fire damages cause by car catching fire, or causing another piece of property to catch fire is generally a covered event. Cars catching fire inside garages, burning down the surrounding houses can also be a covered fire.
FIRE DAMAGE CLAIMS PROCESS
Coverage. After a fire has occurred, you have to determine if the fire is a covered event and if you have the right type of insurance to cover the fire and the damages that flow from the fire. Without insurance coverage it doesn’t matter how expensive the damaged property is.
Valuation. Once you determine that a fire has caused damage and insurance is available to cover those damages, you need to start the valuation process. The valuation process is essentially accounting for all damaged property and putting a price tag on the replacement or repair value. You value property items by testimony to repair or replace, reviewing similar items for sale, or expert testimony.
Example Home Fire. A fire burns downs down a Provo, Utah residential home. The homeowner’s police kicks in to provide insurance coverage to the home and damages contents. To property get compensated for all contents in the home you will need to inventory all items and place a money value on each fire damage item. Sometimes the owner can provide adequate testimony to value the items, other times an expert witness is needed to evaluate the fire damaged property’s value.
Lawsuit for Breach of Contract. If there is a dispute between the insurance company and the damaged party on who started or was at-fault for the fire which can’t be resolved through negotiation, a lawsuit must be filed.
Other times the insurance company agrees to cover the damages caused by the fire, but disagrees on how to value the fired damaged goods. This is not a coverage dispute, but a valuation dispute. Again—if negotiations break down a lawsuit must be filed to value the fire damaged goods.
Litigation of fire claims can easily take one year plus and often requires expert witnesses to be hired at great cost.
FIRE DAMAGE EXPERT WITNESSES
Often the cause of a fire is disputed by the insurance company. You can count on it that the insurance company will have hired an expert witnesses to dispute the cause of the fire and alleviate their need to pay damages.
Common expert witnesses in Utah fire cases are:
(1). Fire Valuation Expert.
Sometimes the homeowner can testify and value the cost of the personal property items damaged by the fire. The value of rings, clothing, furniture, etc. Other times even if the homeowner can testify to the value, it is better to have an expert witness testify to the value of the damage items. Fire valuation experts are often former insurance adjusters or private insurance adjuster companies that offer expert testimony on the value of fire damaged goods. These private insurance adjuster companies also help catalogue the damaged items.
(2). Fire Causation Expert.
There are a class of engineers that have additional fire investigations certifications. They are experts in how fires started and how they spread. Often you will need an expert witness to determine how the fire started and how it spread because this is beyond what lay person can testify to. Most fire damage cases will require an expert witness to tell the jury who caused the fire. Without an expert witness, you can’t prove your case and you will receive nothing from the insurance company for your damages.
COMMON UTAH FIRE CLAIMS
Here are some common fire damage insurance claims in Utah
(1). Home Fire. The classic home fire that burns the family house down. Generally homeowners’ insurance covers these types of fires and the destroyed contents.
(2). Conflagration / Spreading. This is where one house burns down and starts the neighbor’s house on fire. Generally the homeowners’ insurance pays for the damages cause by the fire spreading.
(3). Warehouse Fires. Large warehouses burning down with very, very expensive contents. Commercial warehouses with perishable foods, car and other expensive goods damaged during fire. Generally a specific fire insurance policy covers these types of warehouse fires, unless a third party caused the fire through spreading, the that person’s general commercial liability policy will cover the warehouse damages.
(4). Car Fires. Motor vehicles catching fire causing injuries to people or other property. Cars burning down inside the garage and then burning down the house.
CONCLUSION: If you are having difficulties with obtaining compensation from the insurance companies call Jake Gunter. Let his expertise help you resolve the fire claim faster and with more money.