House and Kitchen Fires Can Be Dangerous and Very Damaging
Sometimes the biggest risks to our home and our property come from within, and from our own actions. One common area where a homeowner is responsible for damage to a home, albeit accidentally, is the kitchen fire.
Fire Damage and Insurance Coverage
Kitchen fires are an even bigger concern today, with so many people either home in an effort to avoid COVID-19, or home because the failing economy has left people out of work. More time at home means more time cooking at home, raising the risk of kitchen fires.
Kitchen fires are covered under most homeowners’ insurance policies as a general clause insuring against fires, no matter how they are caused. It is believed that there are approximately 354,000 house fires every year. And although the coverage for these fires are included in most policies (other than in cases of arson), there are also exclusions, which can lead to insurance denials.
In some areas, where wildfires are common, insurance coverage may exclude fire damage, or else require that you purchase an additional policy. Additionally, remember that your car, if damaged in the fire, is not covered by homeowners’ insurance, but rather by your vehicle’s insurance policy.
Replacement Value in Your Policy
Fires can utterly devastate a home. That means that you should know whether your policy requires the insurance company to pay actual cash value, or replacement value. The replacement value is higher—imagine, for example, that your refrigerator was damaged in a fire. The actual value of your 3-year old refrigerator will be much lower than what a new refrigerator would cost to replace it.
That means that if fire is a concern, and to be fully insured for fire losses, you will want a policy that includes the replacement value, not actual cash value.
How Kitchen Fires Start
It is estimated that 2 of every 5 house fires start in the kitchen. In most cases, kitchen fires happen when busy lifestyles call us away from the kitchen to focus on other things—the TV, the cellphone or the kids in the other room. In fact, unattended cooking items account for about a third of all kitchen fires.
Electric cooking ranges may seem safer, but can actually be more dangerous, because it is harder to tell when it is on or not. Additionally, electric burners can remain hot enough to start fires, even after the stove has been shut off.
Remember to get professional help when there is a fire. Many people are injured or find their property damaged by a raging fire not because of the fire, but because they made the fire worse trying to put it out themselves.
Get help if your home is damaged for any reason, even because of a fire. If the insurance company tries to deny you coverage after a fire, don’t just assume they’re correct–get legal help. Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help.