Insurance Claim Lawyer
If you have recently experienced fire damage to your home or business premises, a skilled fire damage attorney is critical to protecting your rights.
The attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm are willing and able to fight on your behalf. Schedule your FREE home or business insurance policy review today.
Common causes of fire damage
The outbreak of a fire and resulting fire damage can originate from a number of sources.
The following are some common causes of fire damage that you should be aware of:
· Appliances and Equipment;
· Electrical Systems and Devices;
· Chemicals and Gasses;
· BBQ Grill;
· Holiday Decorations
At The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm, we are here to make sure your home or business is not left behind in the fire.
We have experienced experts with decades of knowledge and expertise to estimate the cost to replace or repair damage caused by smoke and fire.
A fire can destroy your business, your home, and your cherished possessions but it doesn’t have to destroy your life. No one can put a dollar amount on your memories, but we know when you are entitled to the maximum total value of your insurance policy and we will FIGHT to ensure you receive it.
If you have to think fast - think of The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm! We’re here to maximize your settlement and pursue policy limits that will help you and your family rebuild your homes and businesses.
What if my business closes due to fire damage?
If your business closes due to fire damage and you have a loss of business income or had to incur extra expenses to continue operations, your policy may include coverage for such losses. Let the property damage attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm review your policy and represent you in your claim for damage to your business property.
Is Fire Damage Covered by My Insurance Policy?
The answer depends on your policy language. It is important to note that insurance coverage varies by company and by the policy. Like any other binding contract, the language and any addendums will be critical to determining coverage in the case of fire damage. A careful review of your policy is necessary to understand your exact coverages.
Generally, if you have a homeowner’s policy, it may provide either “all risk” or “named peril” coverage. All risk policies typically cover all perils—including fire damage—unless your policy specifically excludes coverage. However, named peril policies only cover damage caused by perils specifically listed in your insurance policy. If fire damage is covered under your homeowner’s policy, generally, you can file a claim for damage to your dwelling (the home’s physical structure) and personal property (e.g., clothing, TV, laptop, etc.). You may also have personal liability coverage. A dwelling policy generally only covers damage to the dwelling (although some dwelling policies also cover personal property). In addition to coverage for your dwelling and personal property, the following coverages may also be available to you for losses sustained due to fire damage: •Loss of Use (e.g., fair rental value on rental property) •Additional Living Expenses (ALE) (e.g., hotel expenses for unlivable residence) •Other Structures (e.g., fences, detached garage)
As with a homeowners/dwelling policy, insurance coverage for fire damage to a commercial property is governed by the specific language of your insurance policy. Generally, fire and explosions are perils covered in a commercial property. But what if your business closes due to fire damage and you have a loss of business income or had to incur extra expenses to continue operations? Your policy may include coverage for such losses.
A careful review of your policy is necessary to understand your exact coverages. The skilled fire damage attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm are more than capable to review your policy and identify all coverages applicable to compensate you for your fire damage.
Schedule your FREE policy or case review here.
How to prepare for a disaster
Know your evacuation zone and route.
Build your emergency kit.
Review your policy and confirm coverage.
Complete your home/business inventory checklist.
download your FREE home inventory Checklist
What Can I Do After Having Fire Damage?
From the outset, it is important to understand that every case of fire damage has its unique circumstances that must be assessed individually. Assuming you have an insurance policy, your rights and responsibilities with respect to coverage should be specified in your policy.
The following are some suggestions for what to address following fire damage.
Do not make any permanent or full repairs until your insurance company has had an opportunity to inspect your property.
Review Your Policy.
You should review your insurance policy to confirm that your property is covered for the type of event that led to the fire damage.
Preserve as much evidence as possible. Take pictures, videos, document damage, etc.
File Your Claim.
If coverage applies, contact your insurance company to file your claim. If you need help filing your claim, book a FREE consultation with our attorneys today.
Property damage claims can often be complex and daunting. It is important to contact a skilled property damage lawyer from the outset of your claim to ensure your rights are not jeopardized. The attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm are always ready and able to assist you with your property damage claim.
Schedule your FREE policy or case review here.
What Can I Expect from My Insurer After Having Property Damage?
In Texas, insurers are legally required to abide by the deadlines set out in Texas Insurance Code §542.001, et. seq. in the assessment and resolution of your insurance claim. Failure to comply with these deadlines in the resolution of a covered claim can result in interest penalties and attorney's fees.
The following represent the statutory deadlines that your insurer must generally comply with:
Within 15 calendar days after receiving notice of your claim, your insurer must:
(1) acknowledge receipt of the claim;
(2) commence an investigation of the claim; and
(3) request from you all items, statements, and forms the insurer reasonably believes, at the time, will be required from you.
If your insurer could not make a determination within the above timeframes, they must accept or reject your claim within 45 days after they informed you of their need for additional time. Tex. Ins. Code. § 542.056.
If your insurer notifies you that it is going to pay your claim, then it must pay you within 5 business days after they gave you notice. If payment of the claim, or part of the claim, is conditioned on you performing an act (e.g. providing a signed document), the insurer is only required to pay within 5 business days after you perform the act.
There are several legal nuances involved with your insurer’s legal obligations to process your claim in good faith. It is important that you have a skilled property damage attorney to help navigate through the complex deadlines and responsibilities of your insurer.
Contact the skilled property damage lawyers at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm today.
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The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm and fire damage insurance claims
If you have recently experienced fire damage and need help filing a claim or had your existing fire damage claim delayed or denied, it is important that you immediately contact a skilled fire damage attorney.
Fire damage claims are often complex. The attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law firm are experienced, willing, and ready to advocate on your behalf. We will fight to make sure that your rights are not jeopardized and that you are fully compensated for your fire damage.
Contact us today at 832-945-1900 for a free consultation with a skilled fire damage attorney.
No Recovery. No Fee.
Our firm works on a 100% contingency fee basis for your insurance claim.
That means that when a case is taken on, we use our own money and resources to fight for clients. We will investigate, go to court, hire experts, and do whatever is necessary to win your case. We will never ask for any money upfront for contingency matters. No money is owed by the client to us if no monetary recovery is made. That is our promise.
How Much Will I Get Paid for Fire Damage to My Property?
Generally, your insurance company will only be liable for damage to your property up to the specified limits of liability under each available coverage of your insurance policy. These figures can most easily be identified on the declarations page of your policy. After inspections and supported inventories, estimates of the damage to your property will give a precise calculation of your losses. However, the method by which your insurance company settles your loss depends on the language of your policy and the extent of the damage.
If a portion of your property is destroyed due to fire damage, your insurance company may pay you on an actual cash value or replacement cost basis up to your policy limits. Again, the language of your policy is key. If you have a replacement cost policy, your insurance company may pay your claim in two stages. First, they will pay you the actual cash value of your property. Actual cash value equals the replacement cost of your covered loss minus depreciation. This sum is often less than what is necessary to get repairs completed. However, most replacement cost policies require that you repair or replace your damaged property before your insurance company issues the rest of your claim money. Usually, repairs must be completed within a specified period of time. If your insurance policy does not provide for settlement on a replacement cost basis, then you will probably only recover the actual cash value of your damaged property (replacement cost of your covered loss minus depreciation). This amount may be inadequate to replace your damaged property.
If the fire damage to your property results in a “total loss,” Section 862.053 of the Texas Insurance Code requires your insurance company, under most property insurance policies, to pay the full amount under the policy for each covered item destroyed. This is known as a “liquidated demand” and excludes payment for personal property. For some properties, like your home, the policy will include a dollar amount for the limit of liability. For other property, like other structures and fences, the coverage is often a percentage of the coverage limit for the dwelling. For example, if your home is insured for $100,000 and the policy covers other structures for 10 percent of the dwelling limit, you would have $10,000 available for other structures.
The attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law firm are experienced, willing, and ready to advocate on your behalf. We will fight to make sure that your rights are not jeopardized and that you are fully compensated for your fire damage.
Schedule your FREE policy or case review here.
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Is it a Good Idea to Hire Public Adjusters?
Public adjusting is conducted by an independent insurance professional. A policyholder hires a public adjuster to help settle an insurance claim on his or her behalf. Licensed public adjusters can provide an estimate of your claimed property damage and compare it with the carrier’s estimate.