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FAQ About Denied Wildfire Property Damage Claims

As the threat of droughts and rising temperatures increase each year, Southern California becomes more at-risk for wildfires. In 2016 alone, and with wildfire season just beginning, more than 100 homes have already been swallowed up by these infernos, leaving thousands of people displaced with nowhere to go. Homeowners file claims with their insurance companies only to discover their insurer has denied their claim. Here are a few probable situations where an insurance company might deny your claim and what you can do in response.

Q: The Sand Hill fire didn't reach my home, but there is smoke and soot damage to the air ducts of my house. My insurance company said they won't cover damage from smoke or soot. What should I do?

A: With the increase of wildfires in the Southern California region, many insurance carriers are finding that they're paying more for smoke, soot, and ash damage than ever before and are giving their policyholders a hard time and denying payment. Most insurance policies state that the property must be restored to its pre-loss condition and that includes the removal of residue that wasn't there prior to the fire. Consult with a bad faith insurance attorney to understand your rights and the benefits you are entitled to.

Q: My house was lost to a wildfire and the Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage of my policy has already run out halfway through the reconstruction process. What can I do to continue receiving benefits until my home is rebuilt?

A: ALE benefits can be anything from temporary housing or other expenses you have to cover in the event of losing your home. When delays beyond your control occur, like an extended reconstruction process, cause you to lose these benefits, ask your insurance company for an extension (in writing). If your request is denied, talk to an experienced Southern California insurance litigation lawyer about filing a claim with the Department of Insurance.

Q: My home is severely damaged but my insurer is refusing to pay anything up front for my contractor's overhead and profit. He won't get started without a cash advance and I don't have the money to do it. What can I do?

A: All contractors charge overhead and profit ("O &P"), usually at 10% and 10%. When an insurer holds back on O & P until the repairs are made, they're putting the property owner in a difficult financial situation. If you have a replacement cost policy and have already signed a contract to rebuild your home, it is wrong for your insurance company to hold back O & P. An experienced Southern California property insurance litigation attorney can help you get the policy coverage you are paying for.

Noravian Law Firm Holds Insurance Company Responsible For Policy Coverage

If you live in Glendale, CA, have been affected by a wildfire, and your insurer refuses to uphold its end of the bargain in your insurance policy, it's important to seek out an attorney who is experienced in property insurance claim denials who will fight for your right to the policy coverage you deserve.

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