Q: A fire damaged my home. What do I need to know?

A: Fires that damage but do not completely destroy a home create special insurance claim issues. These claims are often called “partial losses” because the home has only been partially destroyed. Things to watch out for with partial losses include:

  • Hidden damage (water, smoke, ash, mold, air quality, ducts)
  • Inadequate or improper cleaning and repair methods
  • Delays: Particularly after disasters, partial losses can be low priority for overworked insurance adjusters
  • Disputes over “matching” and line of sight: Repairs should return your property to a “uniform and consistent appearance” even if that means replacing undamaged items such as roof tiles or carpeting.