Smoke damage from a fire will stain walls, leave behind a persistent odor and cover everything in soot. Recovering from the damage almost always requires professional cleaning by a company that specializes in cleaning up after fires. In most cases, the cost of this cleaning will be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. It may not always be, though.
An Unexpected Peril
Most fires are unexpected, which is the type of emergency homeowners insurance policies are designed for. After you pay your deductible, insurance companies will usually pay any other expenses associated with recovering from a fire. This includes, among other things, cleaning up any smoke damage.
If the fire was preventable, however, your insurance company might refuse to pay. Possible causes of a preventable fire include:
- using appliances outside of the manufacturer’s guidelines
- an known electrical issue that remains unaddressed
- improperly maintaining or using a fireplace
These are just a few examples of situations where your insurance company might not reimburse you for smoke damage, because you could have prevented the fire.
Review Your Specific Policy
Whether your specific home will be covered depends on your specific insurance policy. If you are unsure of your policy’s exclusions, contact our agents in West Hartford, CT. All of our agents are licensed to sell insurance in Connecticut and knowledgeable about homeowners policies. They are able to go through your policy with you and clarify any questions you have.
In addition to ensuring you are properly insured against smoke damage, the best way to protect yourself from smoke damage is to not cause fires in the first place. Clean your chimney annually, maintain your home’s electrical system and do not leave the stove unattended while it is on. If you have reviewed your policy with an agent and take basic safety precautions, you are doing as much as you can to protect yourself, your home and your family.