top of page

Fire Claims with A&H: A Fire Damage Public Adjuster

Home fire

A fire damage public adjuster can be indispensable for homeowners seeking to navigate the often-complex world of insurance claims. These adjusters specialize in assessing the damage caused by fires and advocating for policyholders to ensure they receive the maximum compensation they deserve.


The NFPA® reported startling statistics between 2016 and 2020 showing that [1] Fire departments responded to an average of 343,100 home structure fires annually during this period, causing approximately 2,610 deaths, 11,090 injuries, and $7.6 billion in property damage annually.


What is a Fire Damage Public Adjuster?

Insurance companies handle billions of dollars in fire claims; occasionally, mistakes can lead to underpayment to consumers. Recognizing this, the US Government, via the Department of Financial Services, introduced the role of the public adjuster. These licensed professionals represent and advocate for policyholders, ensuring they receive fair compensation.


A fire damage public adjuster is specialized and knowledgeable with these types of claims and typically manages the claim efficiently to obtain higher payments from the insurance company. They represent your interests and work strictly on a contingency basis. Their fees are transparent, regulated by the State, and can only be collected after the insurance company pays for the claim.


Get in Touch to schedule a no-obligation 15-minute consultation

to find out if A&H can help with your Fire Damage Claim or ask for a copy of our fire damage claim tips guide.


Fire Insurance Claim

A fire damage insurance claim is a formal request by a policyholder to their insurance company for compensation for damages sustained due to a fire. This covers both the structural damage to the property and the loss of personal belongings.


  • Total Loss Fire Claim: A total loss fire claim refers to when a property is so extensively damaged by a fire that it's considered irreparable. This means the cost of repairs would exceed the property's actual value.


  • Smoke Damage: Smoke damage can often be just as devastating as the fire itself. Beyond the visible black marks and discoloration, it can penetrate various materials in a home, leaving behind a lingering odor and potentially harmful pollutants. Addressing smoke damage in your fire claim is crucial because it involves specialized cleaning, disposal of damaged items, and potential replacements.


  • Smoke Damage from a Neighbor’s Fire: If your home has suffered smoke damage as a result of a fire at a neighboring property, you may be eligible to file a claim. In such situations, your insurance might cover the damages or, in some cases, might seek compensation from the neighbor's insurance.


  • Commercial Fire Claims: Commercial fire damage claims pertain to damages suffered by business properties. A&H can be your guiding hand in navigating these claims. It's imperative to document everything: business inventory, machinery, and other property damaged by the fire or affected by smoke, ash, or sprinkler systems.


Fire Insurance Claim Problems

While processing fire claims might seem straightforward, multiple issues can arise, making it a challenging process for homeowners. Here are some common problems faced by policyholders:


  • Documentation Difficulties: Gathering all necessary documentation can be daunting. From photos of the damage to lists of lost items, missing even a single piece can hinder the claim.

  • Disputed Valuations: Often, the homeowner's valuation of the loss and the insurance company's assessment might differ, leading to disagreements.

  • Missed Deadlines: Insurance claims come with stringent deadlines. Overlooking or missing these can jeopardize the claim's approval.

  • Policy Misunderstandings: Not fully understanding the terms and conditions of one's policy can lead to discrepancies in expectations versus reality.

  • Underinsurance: Many homeowners discover they are underinsured only when they file a claim, leading to out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Hidden Damages: Some damages, especially those related to smoke or water, may not be immediately visible. If these aren't identified early on, they might be excluded from the claim.

  • Exclusion Clauses: Certain policies might have exclusion clauses that can limit or negate compensation for specific damages or under certain conditions.


A&H's fire damage public adjuster is equipped to guide homeowners through these potential pitfalls, ensuring a smoother claims process.

Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Fire Claims

Insurance companies may deny fire claims for a myriad of reasons. While every individual claim can have its unique complexities, here are some frequent reasons for denial:


  • Insufficient Evidence: Claims can be quickly dismissed without adequate proof of damage or its cause.


  • Unpaid Premiums: Lapses in premium payment can render your policy void.


  • Underinsurance: If your coverage isn't adequate for the value of your property or possessions, you might not receive the compensation you expect.


  • Lack of Documentation: Proper and thorough documentation is key. The absence of vital paperwork or evidence can be a stumbling block.


  • Arson: Intentional setting of fires is a criminal act and voids any claim.


  • Unpermitted Work: Unauthorized modifications or construction can be grounds for denial.


  • Inflated Value of Damage: Overestimating the damage value can raise suspicions and lead to potential denial.


  • Failure to Take Preventative Measures: If it's proven that the homeowner didn't take standard safety measures, it might result in denial. (learn more about fire prevention). The presence of safety features such as smoke detectors and sprinklers, especially in apartment buildings, helps in early fire detection.


  • Policy Exclusions: Every policy has its limitations. Damages falling outside the scope of the policy's coverage can lead to claims being dismissed.


What to Do if Your Fire Insurance Claim Is Denied?

If your claim has been denied, it's essential not to panic. You have the right to appeal their decision and reopen a fire claim. Our fire damage public adjuster can assist by reviewing your property coverage, analyzing the claim details, and evaluating the insurance company's final report.


How A&H's Public Adjusters Can Help

Rejections over technicalities can be frustrating. A public adjuster plays a pivotal role in such situations. By ensuring your fire claim is meticulously compiled with all the necessary details, our adjusters can significantly improve your chances of achieving the best outcome. If your fire claim has been denied, undervalued, or delayed, reach out to us for a comprehensive assessment and guidance.

Fire Damage Restoration Cost

Understanding fire damage restoration and recognizing the various cost aspects involved in this process is essential. Restoring a property after a fire isn't just about reconstruction; it's about returning the property to its pre-fire condition. This restoration can encompass several elements:


  • Structural Repairs: Rebuilding damaged walls, ceilings, and other structural elements.


  • Smoke Odor Removal: Ensuring the property is free from the lingering smell and harmful residues of smoke.


  • Property Redesign: If extensive damage, redesigning parts of the property may be necessary.


Each step in the restoration process has its associated costs. Being aware of these can aid homeowners in planning their recovery journey more effectively and making informed financial decisions.


House Fire Insurance Investigation

As a policyholder, you must understand that a fire insurance investigation often takes place, depending on circumstances. 


A fire insurance investigation is a detailed examination undertaken by insurance adjusters when assessing the aftermath of a fire. Their primary role is to evaluate the extent of the damage, estimate repair costs, and determine the fire's cause. The due diligence process is comprehensive and follows a structured approach:


  • Site Visit: Adjusters inspect the fire-damaged site to grasp the destruction's scale and nature.


  • Evidence Collection: This involves gathering police and fire department reports, creating detailed diagrams of the scene, and photographing damaged areas.


  • Witness Engagement: Adjusters interview witnesses, if any, to get firsthand accounts and gather more insights.


  • Damage Estimation: The insured is asked to provide a repair estimate for the physical property damage and to list damaged personal belongings.


  • Specialist Involvement: Adjusters might collaborate with specialized investigators depending on the damage type. For fires, a fire investigator is engaged to ascertain the fire's origin and cause.


  • Investigation Duration: The timeframe varies, influenced by factors like witness availability, fire magnitude, extent of property or life loss, and any signs of suspicious activities.


  • Parallel Investigations: In cases where the fire's origin seems intentional, a police-initiated criminal investigation might run concurrently with the insurance company's claim assessment.


This investigation aims to ensure transparency and accuracy in fire claims processing. If there's a discrepancy in the claim or doubts about damage coverage, A&H's team can provide additional support. We help homeowners ascertain hidden damages, like those from water sprinklers or smoke and ashes affecting AC ducts, fire damage cleaning, and guarantee that the claims encapsulate all damages, ensuring optimal compensation. (Ask us about smoke and ash insurance claims.)


Qualities of a Fire Claim Adjuster

Understanding the essential attributes of a fire adjuster is crucial in ensuring a comprehensive claim process. What truly makes an adjuster stand out in handling these claims?


1. Recommendations and Networking: A seasoned adjuster can guide homeowners by suggesting trusted fire damage restoration companies, fire damage contractors, and a known fire damage attorney, among others.


2. Unbiased Evaluation: Our fire damage public adjusters offer an impartial second opinion, meticulously appraising damages to ensure you receive what you're rightfully entitled to.


3. Comprehensive Assessment: At A&H, our team is adept at evaluating property damage. Drawing on extensive experience, we document all commercial property concerns. Licensed and bonded by the State, we ensure that insurance adjusters have thoroughly outlined damages, safeguarding against potential claim denials.


4. Legal Support: Should the need arise, our recommended fire damage attorneys are ready to recommend the best course of action in litigation scenarios.


5. Expertise in Negotiation: Our deep understanding of the claim process and seasoned negotiation skills give us a distinct advantage when liaising with insurance companies.


6. Comprehensive Understanding of Fire Damage: We comprehend the devastating impact of property fires. From the costly aftermath of smoke and ash damage to the potential total loss, having an expert by your side is essential. While property insurance covers homes and condominiums against fire, the claim process can be intricate.


7. Championing the Policyholder's Rights: Insurance companies might occasionally overlook the genuine cause of damage or undercompensate for the recovery required. Our Florida-based team of public adjusters boasts the proficiency to ensure you obtain the requisite compensation for repair or replacement needs.


Common Causes Of Residential Fires

The following text complements the fire claims discussion; therefore, as a preventive measure it is recommended to understand the main causes of fire claims. Our experienced fire claim adjusters regularly deal with incidents in homes, condominiums, garages, sheds, backyards, and other properties.


 It's essential to realize how swiftly fires can ignite, devastating assets and possessions significantly. The Incidence Distribution for Home Structure Fires in 2021 was as follows:


  • One- and two-family homes, including manufactured homes: 64%

  • Apartments or other multifamily housing: 11%

Predominant Causes of Fire

Five primary causes for most home fires and casualties were identified: cooking, heating equipment, electrical distribution, and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials.

Leading Causes of Home Structure Fires

Cooking was the predominant cause of home fires and injuries, while smoking materials were the leading cause of fire-related deaths.


More stringent code requirements for apartment buildings make them safer than one- or two-family homes. Apartments are more likely to have monitored smoke detection systems and sprinklers.


60% of reported fires in apartments from 2016 to 2020 were confined cooking fires, many of which were put out before the fire department arrived. In contrast, only 22% of fires in one- or two-family homes were confined cooking fires.

Leading areas of origin in home structure fires: 2016–2020 (NFPA's "Home Structure Fires")

  • Christmas tree fires

  • Firework-related incidents and injuries

  • Grill-related fires

  • Electrical malfunctions

  • Cooking-related fires

  • Heating equipment mishaps

  • Fires originating from mattresses and upholstered furniture

  • Incidents related to clothes dryers/washing machines

  • Deliberate structural fires

  • Fires initiated by hot work activities, like welding

  • Mishaps involving children playing with fire

  • Lightning-induced fires and strikes

  • Fires caused by smoking

  • Lithium battery explosions come from scooters, electric bikes, and electric cars.


Regardless of the underlying cause, our fire claim adjusters are committed to assisting you throughout the claim process, ensuring you obtain the compensation you rightfully merit.


A&H – A Fire Insurance Public Adjuster

Considering the services of a public adjuster in Florida, especially for fire-related claims? Look no further than A&H Public Adjuster Corp. Guided by Maria E Shalack, our licensed adjuster with knowledge about fire-related claims since 2002. We offer comprehensive support to Florida property owners facing intricate fire claims.


Contact us today to discover how we can assist you in navigating fire claims. You're welcome to visit our offices located in Doral, Port Charlotte, and Ft Pierce, Florida.


[1] Home Structure Fires Report April 2023 (National Fire Protection Association, NFPA)

[2] Economic Impact of Fire: Cost and Impact of Fire Protection in Buildings


[4]  Leading causes of home structure fires

[5]  Leading areas of origin in home structure fires: 2016–2020 (NFPA's "Home Structure Fires")


Proud Member Logo.png
AB Seal (1).jpg
bottom of page