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How Home Insurance Covers Fire, Smoke, and Lightning Damage


Your home insurance policy is designed to cover most of the ways in which houses and residences are damaged. It is important that you read your home insurance policy to fully understand everything that is covered and, just as importantly, what is not covered. You should be prepared in case the worst should happen to your home.

Do Most Home Insurance Policies Cover Fire, Smoke, and Lightning Damage?

The answer is yes. While there may be some exceptions, a home insurance policy is designed to cover expenses that are generated from these three events. Within the smoke, fire, and lightning damage policy, there are a few exceptions that may prevent the coverage from being applied. For example, if the fire is a result of arson committed by or at the direction of the home owner, the coverage would not apply.

What to Do

It is always a good idea to go over your homeowner’s insurance policy to see what is covered and to place the contact information of your agent and claims department in your phone. That way, you’ll have the information handy in case the worst should occur.

The first step should be to contact your insurance agent who will help guide you on the finer points of filing a claim. While most insurance companies have similar procedures for filing a claim, there are often subtle differences that you will need to know to ensure that your claim is a successful one.

Cause: The damage to your home, if caused by fire, will need to be addressed by the fire department. Lighting damage may require a call to your insurance agent depending on the extent and nature of what happened. In any case, you will need an official report of the damage for it to be accepted for your claim.

Document the Damage: You can use the camera on your cell phone, smartphone, tablet, or digital camera to take pictures of the areas which were damaged by fire, smoke, or lightning. If you are unable to take the photos yourself, then have your agent or representative take the photos.

List all Damaged Items: While the photos will document the damage to the home, you will need to list the more expensive items that were lost due to the fire, smoke, or lightning. It helps if you keep a list of valuable items stored safely in a separate location making it easy to refer to the items that have been damaged.

Answer All Questions: Once you have submitted your claim, you will probably be asked questions from the claims office. Be prepared to answer them in a truthful manner as lying or misleading them about what was damaged will most likely lead to a denial of your claim.

Keep in mind that the insurance company may want more information about the cause of the fire, smoke, or lightning damage and this may delay the approval of your claim. However, if you have presented all the information in the proper manner, then you stand the best chance for having your claim approved.