Fire Insurance: Coverage to protect your home

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Anyone who legally owns a residential property or apartment can purchase fire insurance. Any property is a big investment and when you own one such property, you definitely want to protect it from hazards. Getting fire insurance is a good investment. Fire is a big destroyer and without proper coverage you may face a huge loss that will take a lot of your time to recover.

Fire insurance coverage is only a choice in most cases and is not compulsory. However, for those of you who have your property mortgaged, your lender might require you to own fire insurance policy on the loan amount that is outstanding. Similarly, if your property is mortgaged to any financial institution or a bank, then you will be required by them to own fire insurance policy on the amount outstanding.

What is fire insurance?

Fire insurance is protection from the cost of repairing damages caused by a fire breakout. When you buy home fire insurance protection, it means you are buying coverage for your home when its gets damaged from fire. Fire insurance may be included in some standard property insurance policies. Your home owner's insurance may not cover fire. However, in certain cases fire insurance may be purchased separately. You should check with your insurance providers if fire insurance is part of the policy. If not, then it needs to be purchased.

How will you determine fire insurance coverage limits?

If you make a fire insurance claim, the maximum amount you will receive as reimbursement is only the coverage limit. So the best thing to do would be to insure your home for its actual value. When you cover your home the contents of your home are covered for a certain value in relation to the amount your home is insured for. So insuring for the actual cash value would be sensible.

When you buy fire insurance coverage, you are obviously looking for complete protection. Ideally, you should insure your property for its real value. Fire insurance is a multi peril policy and hence your property is entitled to a lot of risk protection. However, one policy will differ from the other in various terms. A typical fire insurance policy usually covers adjacent or adjoining structures too. The exact coverage that you will receive varies from one company to another. Get all possible details from your insurance agent or broker.

How can you judge the effectiveness of a fire insurance policy?

Many of you may already have home fire insurance, but do all of you know what to look for in a fire insurance policy? Not many of us may really know, and this may result in a lot of us being underinsured on the greatest asset - our home. A very important aspect of fire insurance is that it must be strong and sufficient enough to actually replace your home.

The base rebuilding cost is calculated on the square footage of your home. This means we must be fully aware of this measurement. The real estate document given to you at the time of purchase of your home must have the square footage of your home. You can use it for a quick check. You may also find this measurement in the listing agreement or the original listing document for sale or in the closing documents of the house.

What does fire insurance cover?

Usually most of the fire insurance policies cover property damage from:
  1. Fire
  2. Riot
  3. Lightning
  4. Overflowing/bursting of water reservoirs, pipes and other apparatus
  5. Damaged sprinkler
  6. Damage due to smoke
  7. Damage arising from explosion
  8. Earthquake, storm and heavy wind impact damage

Fire insurance also covers the contents of your home like carpet, television, books, computer, furniture, lamps, appliances, ornaments, kitchenware and other personal things. Sometimes, certain insurers require you to buy a separate insurance policy for the contents of your home while some insurers offer a combined policy.

When buying fire insurance, it is important that you insure your property for the right amount.

What are the mistakes to avoid when buying fire insurance?

You may take a look at the top 10 mistakes people usually make while buying a home fire insurance policy:
  1. Assuming that the fire insurance policy covers the contents of your house. You should always clarify with your insurance company what a policy covers and not base your actions on assumptions.

  2. Some people assume that the policy covers the cost of replacing damaged personal property. Make sure to read your policy. There are policies that cover the actual cost value of items at the time they were destroyed from fire because replacement cost coverage usually are a little more expensive.

  3. Not opting for higher deductibles. If you opt for high deductibles you will get higher discounts.

  4. Not knowing what the fire insurance policy actually covers. There are certain perils not covered by fire insurance. They are:
    • Fire arising from riots or any other civil disturbance.
    • Fire resulting from an earthquake or any other natural calamity.
    • Theft or burglary during or after a fire breakout.

  5. You should always check with your insurance agent about the specific coverage options.

  6. Asking for only one fire insurance rate. You should always shop around if you are looking for the best fire insurance rates possible. Compare several fire insurance policies at the same time to get the best offer.

  7. Not opting for the same insurance company for another insurance. Opting for multiple insurance from the same company may entitle you to a few discounts.

  8. Not using fire detectors that help get more discounts. E.g. having smoke, fire and other detectors help get additional discounts from the insurance company.

  9. Not checking the background of an insurance company before purchasing a policy. A company that is not financially stable will give you trouble when you have to file a claim.

  10. Not having a written or video inventory of the belongings of your home.

How should you file a fire insurance claim?

Policies may differ from one company to another and hence the procedures may also be different. When you file a claim, your insurance company will need certain information. These may include:
  • Date when the loss occurred.
  • What was the kind of damage that incurred?
  • Place where damage occurred.
  • Was there any injury that was inflicted?
  • Were there other people involved?
  • What is the condition of your home?
  • A description of the contents damaged in the fire.
  • Copy of the police report filed.
  • Are temporary repairs required?

A police report may be required by your insurance company and the more documentation that you have the better for you.

Although fire insurance is only a matter of choice, but it is also a sensible investment. Loss from fire is a permanent loss and to recuperate from the loss may become difficult unless you have that strong financial stability. Hence, investing in fire insurance is a good idea. Get all information from your insurance agent and ask him as many questions as you want. After all it is your biggest asset that you want to protect.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:19 am   Post subject: fire insurance uses..  

How good is fire insurance? Can it really be used effectively?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:10 pm   Post subject:   

Hi Popcorn, fire insurance can certainly be used effectively but for that one need to understand the various component of it. Most of the homeowners though buy fire coverage but hardly understand how it works.



You need to understand first what are the items covered under the fire policy. Most of the fire insurance covers the dwelling, personal belongings, additional structures like the garage, summerhouse and the loss of use coverage.



Another important part of a policy is the exclusion part. This area would include the items and conditions excluded under your fire policy.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:15 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
How good is fire insurance?
It does what it is intended to do..
Quote:
Can it really be used effectively?
To pay for fire damage yes...but in most cases it is not a good choice...as it is severely limited peril wise. In my experience most 'fire' policys are for non-owner occupied dwellings (rental property etc)...what are you wanting the policy for?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:06 am   Post subject:   

Today, it is difficult to foresee if a disaster is going to hit the home, and having a home insurance helps alot when disaster strikes. Home fire insurance is useful as fire is a common danger that might happen anytime and anywhere.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:31 am   Post subject:   

hi..I think its a known truth that fire insurance is a good cover from unforeseen destruction caused by fire which may even lead to considerable worth of property damage. If you're able to pay higher premium your coverage may even be extended to cover other perils e.g. Terrorist attacks, Catastrophic storms, Earthquake, Malicious damages, Flood etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:15 am   Post subject:   

Hi PopCornZiggybee,



In order to opt for such coverage, you'd need to be sure of your assets that you're listing for the coverage. If only the assets are so valuable to you that their loss might cause them considerable financial damage then only you may think of applying for such coverage. You'd probably need to show some of these details while you're applying for the coverage.



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:39 pm   Post subject: Lawyers  

Where do i find lawyers in PA that specialize in suing insurance companies due to underrewarded fire claim?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:07 pm   Post subject:   

Not sure...but what is this?

Quote:
due to underrewarded fire claim?


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:06 pm   Post subject:   

I googled “insurance lawyers PA fire damage” and got a big list of bad faith claim lawyers for property and fire damage. Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:02 pm   Post subject: comprehensive loss underwriting exchange and effect of fil  

21 months ago, I was out of the country, and returned home to find my apartment in a rent stablized bldg in NYC was the victim of a fire. The super had installed a new kitchen and according to the engineer from my rental policy carrier, misinstalled it. The carrier filed a CLUE and claimed they paid out 90 grand on a policy i held for 32,500$. Due to family death, I am homeowner now and the deceased' carrier refuses to write homeowners policy based on this CLUE report, which does not state reason for fire, or breakdown what was paid to who. I need coverage, the fire was not my fault, and I simply had a renters policy that I absolutely had to file a claim for. What options do I have, and why can't this major carrier amend the report so I am not penalized for being a victim?


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:02 pm   Post subject: comprehensive loss underwriting exchange and effect of fil  

21 months ago, I was out of the country, and returned home to find my apartment in a rent stablized bldg in NYC was the victim of a fire. The super had installed a new kitchen and according to the engineer from my rental policy carrier, misinstalled it. The carrier filed a CLUE and claimed they paid out 90 grand on a policy i held for 32,500$. Due to family death, I am homeowner now and the deceased' carrier refuses to write homeowners policy based on this CLUE report, which does not state reason for fire, or breakdown what was paid to who. I need coverage, the fire was not my fault, and I simply had a renters policy that I absolutely had to file a claim for. What options do I have, and why can't this major carrier amend the report so I am not penalized for being a victim?


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 10:33 pm   Post subject:   

ok fried, I'm confused...help us out a little so we can (hopefully) help you.



Quote:
I was out of the country, and returned home to find my apartment in a rent stablized bldg in NYC was the victim of a fire. The super had installed a new kitchen and according to the engineer from my rental policy carrier, misinstalled it.
Ok, lets stop here a second...which/what policy have you filed a claim with? Your rental carrier? or the carrier that insures the supers work?
Quote:
The carrier filed a CLUE
Is this your carrier?
Quote:
and claimed they paid out 90 grand on a policy i held for 32,500$.
Well they wouldn't 'claim' they paid out 90k that's what the clue report says...what is this prior claim they are talking about? Were you the insured? or is this the dwelling we're talking about? Who got the 90k and why?
Quote:
Due to family death, I am homeowner now
Sorry, and good for you...
Quote:
the deceased' carrier refuses to write homeowners policy based on this CLUE report, which does not state reason for fire, or breakdown what was paid to who.
Ok, that's fine, is the home NOW in your name? If not, why?
Quote:
I need coverage, the fire was not my fault, and I simply had a renters policy that I absolutely had to file a claim for
So are you saying this apt fire was along time ago, and now this is showing on yon your clue so they (meaning the decedants carrier) will not insured the home? If so, then call some other carriers get quotes, they will see the same clue, but someone will write it..







What options? not many, other than getting other quotes, you can't make that fire claim disappear from your clue report.



Are you kidding, a carrier change a clue report, that they didn't even submit? NEVER EVER happen...and honey, why would they do this for you and not everyone else?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:40 am   Post subject:   

i was staying with my sister and her house was damaged in a fire. she has home owner ins, there covering her loss from the fire. what about my belongings and my loss. do most home owner insurance cover a person that was staying in the home at the time of fire..

,


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:26 pm   Post subject:   

Coverage for a guest's personal property would only be extended, in most cases, when the loss was due to the homeowner's negligence -- for example, a candle was left burning, and caused the fire. This is simply an example of a "liability" loss (damages to third-parties and their property) that would be covered.



In large part, it also depends on how long you've been a "guest". You could not reasonably argue in favor of guest status if your mail has been coming to that address for several months or longer, or your driver license shows that address as yours. If that were true, you would have no coverage under the homeowner's policy. You would need a renter's policy instead.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:38 pm   Post subject:   

Your sister's policy may afford coverage in this scenario depending on the type of policy she has. The 4/91 edition of the HO-3 contains the the following:

COVERAGE C – Personal Property

We cover personal property owned or used by an

"insured" while it is anywhere in the world. At your

request, we will cover personal property owned by:

1. Others while the property is on the part of the

"residence premises" occupied by an "insured";

2. A guest or a "residence employee," while the

property is in any residence occupied by an "insured."

Max is correct that there may also be coverage under the liability section if the homeowner was negligent and that you should also look to your own renter's or homeowner's policy for coverage.


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