Los Angeles Fire Insurance Claims Attorney
More likely than not, your home is your most valuable possession. And it’s not just about material value either; your home is where you live, make memories and raise a family. It’s where you keep a lifetime of possessions, many of them irreplaceable. When your home or business is damaged or destroyed by fire, the loss may feel immeasurable, but there is a value that is owed to you, and that is the amount of insurance you carry on your business or homeowner’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always care about your loss as much as you do, and sometimes they don’t respect your rights under your policy. When that happens, Los Angeles fire insurance claims attorney Jeffrey Fleitman is ready to step in on your behalf and fight to see that you get what’s yours. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey Fleitman, we’ll do what it takes to see that you get the compensation you need and deserve. Whether negotiating a settlement or litigating in court, our Los Angeles insurance lawyer has your interests in mind and at heart. Learn more about fire insurance claims below, and contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey Fleitman if you are having trouble with a fire insurance claim in Los Angeles or southern California.
Fire damage is a very real threat in California and nationwide
According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of one home fire every 86 seconds. Over 350,000 structures burn every year, causing over 12,000 injuries, more than 2,500 deaths and $6.7 billion in damage. While cooking and smoking are leading causes of home fires, house fires can be attributed to other causes as well, including:
- Defective home heating equipment
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Defective gas appliances
- Gas leaks
- Faulty smoke alarms
The recent wildfires in California in 2018 were the most destructive on record, causing nearly $3 billion in damages by the latest count. One single fire alone, the Camp Fire, destroyed tens of thousands of structures, including homes and businesses and the near-destruction of an entire town. Numerous wildfires caused devastation in southern California as well, including in Los Angeles and neighboring Ventura County.
Your insurance policy should cover all your fire damage
Insurance is a business, and like most businesses, the companies and the people working for them are most often honest, hard-working people with no ill intentions. The nature of the insurance industry, however, puts up a conflict whenever a claim is filed. You’ve paid your premiums and expect to be covered for your loss, but every dollar the insurance company pays in claims is a dollar lost in profits. Some insurance companies put their own business interests ahead of the business of insuring their policy holders and paying valid claims. Depending upon the terms of your policy, you may be entitled to compensation for the following types of damage from fires:
- Smoke damage
- Water damage from fire suppression
- Loss of belongings
- Loss of structure
- Temporary living quarters
- Business interruption
Business losses in a fire can in some ways be even more distressing than even the loss of a home. When a business is lost to fire, some business owners lose their very livelihood and through loss of clients or other factors are unable to rebuild or start over. We make sure your business losses are covered to the full extent of your policy while you figure out your next steps moving forward after a devastating fire.
Unreasonable behavior is insurance bad faith
When insurance companies go out of their way to avoid paying your claim, they may be acting in bad faith. Proving that an insurance company was acting in bad faith regarding your claim does not require you to actually prove an evil motive in the minds of insurance executives. Showing that an insurance company’s actions (or inaction) were unreasonable is a demonstration that they were in bad faith. Some of the ways insurance companies may act in bad faith regarding your fire insurance claim include:
Denial of claim – It’s important to know your policy and your duties to file a timely claim and provide proof of loss. Insurance companies may look for any technical reason to deny your claim. If they deny your claim for an improper reason, we’ll be there to hold them accountable and get you the benefits you deserve.
Denial of coverage – Insurance policies are extremely lengthy, highly technical and complex documents. Insurance companies hide behind complicated language and interpret their policies in ways that allow them to allege your particular loss is not covered under the policy.
Lowball offer – Insurance companies are required to pay you for your loss, and unreasonably low “lowball” offers are not a good faith attempt to resolve your claim.
Late payment – Even if the company eventually pays your claim, if they unreasonably delayed payment, they may be liable for bad faith and the damage caused by their actions.
Rescission – Insurance companies may quietly take your premiums every month for years, but when you file a claim, they dust off your initial application, pore over it and claim you provided incomplete or inaccurate information, so they are canceling you. Canceling a policy to avoid paying a claim is a bad faith insurance practice.
Insurance Trial Lawyer for All Insurance Claims Denials and Coverage Disputes
Our homeowners and business property insurance claims law practice covers all types of property damage, including earthquake, flood and wind damage as well as fire. Insurance trial lawyer Jeffrey Fleitman also helps people fight the denial or cancellation of life insurance policies, the denial of essential life-saving surgery under a health insurance policy, and other important insurance policy matters. Insurance companies have been known to rescind life insurance policies for what they term “undisclosed medical history” that was never in question when the policy was issued, or to deny essential life-saving surgeries and medical procedures they deem “ineffective” or “experimental” but that are really just costly to the insurance company. By the time the insurance carrier approves the surgery or treatment, the condition has spread or worsened significantly, sometimes beyond the ability of medicine to repair. Don’t let misguided or bad faith insurance practices stand between you and the benefits you so desperately need.
Get the Help You Need and the Benefits You Deserve from Your Fire Insurance Policy
For help with a fire insurance claim or any insurance policy dispute in Los Angeles or southern California, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey Fleitman for a free initial consultation at 310-399-2889.