Property damage includes losses to real property that are generally caused by fire, wind, water, smoke, earthquake, theft and break-in. Though these losses are typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, there are many technicalities involved in property damage claims. Sadly, it is all too easy to file a claim incorrectly, resulting in denial or underpayment.
KEOSIAN LAW LLP can help you navigate claims and obtain the payment you deserve. We have represented thousands of homeowners and have a proven track record of maximizing insurance coverage.
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Property Damage FAQ
Property damage means direct, distinct and demonstrable, physical injury to or destruction of tangible property. Most homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for sudden and accidental incidents that cause damage to property. For best results, contact the experienced property damage attorneys at (877) 554-2226 before initiating a first-party insurance claim.
As businesses and business owners interact with the public, other companies, or the government, legal assistance is always beneficial.
Every insurance policy is different and it will be best to have one of our experienced property damage attorneys review your policy and explain the coverages you have. In general, most standard policies cover the following perils:
- Water Damage: Most homeowners insurance policies cover sudden and accidental incidents, such as a pipe break/burst or sudden damage caused by rain. On-going leakage or seepage is usually excluded. If not attended to, mold may start to grow within days. Not only is it important to mitigate your damages and prevent further damage, it is also a requirement by all insurance policies and the law.
Although used interchangeably, the terms “flood” and “water damage” have completely different meanings in the insurance industry. Flood occurs when there is outside water that enters the property. Flood requires a separate policy and is generally not covered by standard homeowners policies.
- Fire Damage: Structure fire insurance claims can become very complex and involve thorough investigations. Although responding fire fighters assist with turning off the fire, they cause significant structural and water damage to the building and personal items in that process. Typically, insurance companies retain the services of an arson and/or cause and origin investigator to demine the cause of the fire. It is important to document and memorialize the details of each inspection and to preserve evidence throughout the process.
- Smoke Damage: Large wildfires can cause smoke, ash and soot particles to enter nearby properties and cause damage to structures and personal items. These damages are sometimes hidden and or not visible to the naked eye. Our team of experienced property damage attorneys and consulting experts will evaluate your damages and prepare reports and estimates in relation to same.
- Wind Damage: High-speed winds and/or gusts can cause serious damage to your home. Time and time again, we have represented homeowners whose roofing materials have flown off as a result of high winds and subsequent rain water has penetrated the property and caused serious damage throughout. We have also represented homeowners who had trees fall on their homes and cause serious damage. These claims can become complex. For the best results, contact the experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP. (877) 554-2226.
- Burglary, Break-In & Theft, Vandalism: Burglary claims are generally subject to policy limitations. Most insurance policies apply low limits on cash, coins, silverware, jewelry, watches, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics and other items. Typically, burglars enter the home by breaking glass doors or windows, causing damage to the structure itself. After they break the glass door/window, typically, they walk/run around the home with glass under their shoes while scratching the floors. They ransack the home and while rushing out, they cause damage to walls, dressers, and/or cabinets. It is important to review your insurance policy with our experienced property damage attorneys to determine whether you are adequately covered in the event of a burglary/vandalism loss. Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation.
- Earthquake: California is an earthquake prone state. Your standard homeowners insurance policy does not provide coverage for earthquake. You must purchase a separate earthquake policy for all properties you own. We recommend purchasing a policy with a low deducible, such as 5%. It is important to review your earthquake insurance policy with our experienced property damage attorneys to determine whether you are adequately covered in the event of an earthquake. Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation.
Every insurance policy is different and it will be best to have one of our experienced property damage attorneys review your policy and explain the coverages you have. Generally, there are four (4) main applicable coverages you may seek coverage under when a first-party claim for property damage is initiated. Those coverages are:
- Coverage A: Dwelling – This coverage protects the building structure itself. This includes ceilings, walls, flooring, cabinets, electrical and plumbing.
- Coverage B: Other Structures – This coverage protects detached structures on the property. Examples include detached garages, detached patios, pools, and fencing.
- Coverage C: Personal Property / Contents – This coverage protects your personal items. Examples include cash, coins, silverware, jewelry, watches, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics, accessories, shoes, purses, and other items.
- Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses – This coverage is for any additional living expenses you incur as a result of the loss. For example, if your home becomes uninhabitable (you can’t live in the home) as a result of a fire or water loss, depending on how your policy is written, you will be entitled to either the fair rental value of your home or to lease a home that is comparable to yours. Other examples include added meal expenses or gas expenses for having to drive longer distance to the temporary location.
Before you speak to anyone, call the experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226. One of our attorneys will explain the entire claim process to you and help determine whether your insurance company should extend coverage for the incident. Keep in mind – What gets said and done in the first few days of your claim seriously impacts the outcome. Don’t jeopardize a successful outcome by trying to handle this process on your own.
Insurance policies require you to take certain steps after a loss. Most insurance policies generally refer to these steps as “Your Duties After a Loss”. If you fail to meet these duties, your insurance company may have grounds to deny your claim, partially or in its entirety. Once retained, we will be in corner and guide you to fulfill all of your duties.
What gets said and done in the first few days of your claim can seriously impact the outcome. Don’t jeopardize a successful outcome by trying to handle this process on your own. Almost daily, we meet people who’ve tried to settle a claim without our help. These people have usually become miserable, realizing they missed options in maximizing their recovery. Remember, insurance companies are in business to be profitable and limit claim payments by pointing to policy exclusions in order to deny your claim or limit their exposure.
Insurance companies tend to handle claims more carefully when an experienced property damage attorney is involved, especially one who will take them to trial in the event they mistreat their insureds by causing unreasonable delays, act maliciously, oppressively, fraudulently and in bad faith, or underpay on a claim.
The experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP have represented and guided thousands of satisfied client to a successful financial recovery. We will represent you throughout the entire claim process and assist every step of way, saving you time and stress.
Having a professional, experienced and aggressive property damage attorney in your corner who has in-depth knowledge in insurance policies, contract law, and insurance law can facilitate a successful and favorable outcome of your claim. We know and understand the emotional toll on families and business and we are there to support you all along the way, working toward taking you back to your pre-loss condition.
The law requires insurance companies to act in good faith while handling claims and meet their legal and contractual obligations in the claim process. At times, insurance companies and their managing agents handle claims maliciously, oppressively, fraudulently and/or in bad faith. At times, they cause unreasonable delays, unjustifiably deny/underpay a claim, and engage in despicable conduct. It is important to document this type of conduct every step of the way so that there won’t be any confusion or hearsay if/when litigation is commenced. Bad faith damages include economic and non-economic damages, attorney fees and punitive damages to punish the insurer and prevent them from engaging in such conduct in the future. Keosian Law LLP has represented several thousand property owners for property damage claims and cases. Our reputation in the courtroom speaks for itself.
“Malice” means that an insurer acted with intent to cause injury or that its conduct was despicable and was done with a willful and knowing disregard of your rights or safety. An insurer acts with knowing disregard when the defendant is aware of the probable dangerous consequences of its conduct and deliberately fails to avoid those consequences.
“Oppression” means that the insurer’s conduct was despicable and subjected you to cruel and unjust hardship in knowing disregard of your rights.
“Fraud” means that the insurer intentionally misrepresented or concealed a material fact and did so intending to harm you.
“Despicable conduct” is conduct that is so vile, base, or contemptible that it would be looked down on and despised by reasonable people.
Before you speak to anyone, call the experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to go over the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. We will explain the entire claim process to you and help determine whether your insurance company should extend coverage for the incident.
What gets said and done in the first few days of your claim can seriously impact the outcome. Don’t jeopardize a successful outcome by trying to handle this process on your own. Almost daily, we meet people who’ve tried to settle a claim without our help. These people have usually become miserable, realizing they missed options in maximizing their recovery. Remember, insurance companies are in business to be profitable and limit claim payments by pointing to a policy exclusions in order to deny your claim or limit their exposure.
The term “Personal Property” is refers to your personal items such as furniture, clothing, accessories, purses, shoes, belts, electronics, documents, and more. These items may become damaged after a loss.
Burglary claims are generally subject to policy limitations. Most insurance policies apply low limits on cash, coins, silverware, jewelry, watches, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics and other items. It is important to review your insurance policy with our experienced property damage attorneys to determine whether you are adequately covered in the event of a loss. Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation.
No. That adjuster works for your insurance company. The adjusters get paid by the insurance company and their job is to represent the interests of the insurance company. It is best to have an experienced property damage attorney on your side who will work in your best interest and maximize your recovery.
Preferred vendors are contractors who get substantial work from insurance companies who are willing to work for smaller profits than local competitors, which can impact the quality of their work. Insurance companies often times try to force insureds to hire preferred vendors because they are likely to support insurance company adjusters when faced with decisions like whether to repair/clean versus replace (they will likely choose the least expensive method). Be very cautious of this. You may request the insurance adjuster to hire the preferred vendor directly instead of you hiring them because if something goes wrong, the adjuster could point out that you hired them, not the insurance company (in an attempt to wash their hands from any liability).
Burglaries have been on the rise (for multiple reasons). Having represented thousands of property damage clients whose homes have been damaged or burglarized/vandalized, we recommend the following:
- Install and regularly monitor your security cameras. Install cameras that will notify you once motion is detected. Older cameras are nice but serve little to no purpose nowadays.
- Install and activate your alarm systems ALL the time, even when you’re going to run a quick errand at a nearby market. Burglars/Vandals usually monitor homes and enter when no one is there. An alarm system will help minimize/limit their time in your castle.
- Install glass breaking sensors. Since some alarms won’t sound unless a door or window opens, burglars/vandals have been breaking glass and entering without opening a door or window. A glass breaking sensor will sound the alarm, even if the door or window doesn’t open.
- Get a large dog because they are great deterrents. Burglars’ main objective is to enter and steal as much as they can in the least amount of time, without having to encounter people or dogs.
- Put up signs that tell outsiders that you have an alarm system, security cameras and a dog.
- Install bright motion lights around your house. Burglars don’t like the attention that comes with bright lights.
- Stay in touch with your neighbors. Keep each other informed of unusual activities within the neighborhood.
- Don’t create habits. In other words, don’t leave the house every morning at the same time and come back home at the same time. Make their job as difficult as you can – to a point where they can’t reasonably track when you leave or when you come back.
- Always pay very close attention to your surroundings.
- Purchase adequate insurance to properly insure your jewelry, watches, coins, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics and other items that have limits on our homeowners insurance policy.
- Don’t leave cash at home. Most insurance policies will cover only up to $200 in cash.
- If you have a safe, make sure it’s bolted down.
Save our number and call us with any questions regarding burglary/vandalism issues and/or claims. (877) 554-2226.
You should review your insurance policies every year. Why? The cost of construction fluctuates. You may have remodeled your property with more expensive materials such that your prior coverages would be insufficient. You may have purchased more personal or business items which would require additional coverage. You may have expanded your business where you may need additional liability insurance coverage to protect yourself in the event of an accident or negligent conduct of your employee(s). Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation and a complimentary review of your homeowners, business and/or automobile insurance policies.
A public adjuster is simply an adjuster who will write a repair estimate and try to reach a settlement with the insurance company. Why settle early on when you can hire a licensed and experienced property damage attorney to fight for you and recover more money on your claim? Remember, a public adjuster is not a licensed attorney. Typically, public adjusters are connected the fire departments’ radio systems and desperately and randomly show up at your door step to solicit your business. If/When a public adjuster reaches an impasse with your insurance company, the insurance adjuster knows there’s not much legal recourse a public adjuster can take. Usually, public adjusters contact experienced property damage litigation attorneys like Keosian Law LLP to take over the claim when they’re at an impasse with the insurance company. One may ask, why go through the haste? Shouldn’t I just hire the experienced property damage attorney from the start? Well, there you have it; you’ve answered your own question.