There are numerous causes of both Residential and Commercial Fires. They can start from electrical problems, lightening strikes, cooking, machinery and equipment malfunctions, faulty wiring, power surges, carelessness and accidental causes to name a few. Some causes may ultimately be classified as "Undetermined".
Most causes are covered under both standard Homeowner and Business policies; however they must be accurately documented. Besides the structural portion, there are also contents that must be addressed.
Water damage can result from numerous causes like snow & ice melting and backing up under your gutters and roofing, a broken water or heating pipe, a malfunctioning water heater or furnace, an overflowing bathtub or toilet, etc.
Unless treated quickly, water can collect in walls and flooring causing damage to drywall, insulation, electrical fixtures, sub-flooring, and also cause mold.
Contents such as furniture and clothing can also be ruined by water. These claims must account for remediation to the affected areas, and also the potential for mold growth.
Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.
Roofing, siding, & windows that are damaged by high winds can allow rain to enter the building causing further damage.
Sometimes it takes just one good storm to topple what was once a sturdy tree in your yard. And, once the storm passes, you may be wondering whether your homeowners insurance will help pay for the cost of removing the branches or repairing damage if the tree fell on your home.
Whether your homeowners insurance policy includes coverage for fallen trees typically depends on a number of factors, such as what caused the tree to fall and what kind of damage resulted.
Many policies will only cover removal of the portion of the tree that rests on the house.
Structures collapse due to weak foundations, excessive loads, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters can damage the main structure of the building causing them to collapse. Failure may also occur due to improper selection of materials, incorrect sizing, or shoddy workmanship.
An experienced adjuster must determine what is covered under your current policy, and then present the necessary documentation to your insurance carrier.
A lightning strike can create a fire inside or outside your home, ruin sensitive appliances, electronics and wiring inside the walls, and even shock and injure occupants. The good news is that lightning strikes, as well as fire caused by lightning, are covered as perils in almost all homeowner insurance policies, with no exclusions. A standard homeowners insurance policy should also provide coverage for personal property, which can include any electronics, appliances, furnishings, or other interior possessions damaged or destroyed by a lightning strike.
Most flooding is caused by excessive rains seeping into your residence (which is typically not covered under your homeowners policy), or by rising waters. A Flood claim should not be confused with a Water Damage Claim.
Unless you have specific Flood Insurance, most flooding is not covered by standard insurance policies. Most Flood Policies are issued through the FEMA program.
If you are in a designated flood area, your mortgage carrier will require a flood insurance policy on your residence. There are very specific guidelines that must be followed when assessing and preparing flood damage claims.
A Burst or Frozen water pipe can cause a startling amount of damage.
If your heating line freezes, it can cause other locations throughout the heating line to freeze as heated water is no longer flowing through the lines. Locating all the leaks can be costly.
Burst water lines can run for hours undetected causing water to travel across floors and into walls and ceilings (see Water Damage).
An experienced Adjuster will know what to look for when preparing your estimate of damages.
A "puff-back" is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace or boiler (hot-air systems use furnaces, and steam or hot-water systems use boilers). The aftermath is usually the main problem. Walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture and curtains are coated with a fine film of soot and smoky streaks. As a rule, the damage is worse with a forced-air heating system or central air-conditioning because the duct work provides a path through the house, even into closets.
Cleaning up the mess is not a job for the amateur, but rather a professional cleaning company.
An experienced adjuster must accurately figure the costs for such clean-up and repairs.
A very time-consuming task is the documentation of damaged contents. Every item must be listed with it's value, approximate age, and any supporting documentation necessary to prove it's value.
An experienced adjuster can prepare and submit an inventory sheet of your damaged contents to your carrier, at which time it will be determined if the items can be cleaned, repaired or need to be replaced.
Loss of Business insurance, also known as business interruption insurance, provides coverage to businesses that lose income and incur expenses due to premises closure because of physical damage. Usually, the physical damage must be caused by a covered peril, such as fire or water damage.
If your business has had to close due to a covered peril, it is imperative that you file a claim on your business income insurance so that the business can survive the disaster.
Your adjuster will determine if you have had a covered peril resulting in Loss of Business income, and then help to determine the your lost revenue.