On April 1, 2022 my neighbor had a fire. I was temporarily storing things on the side of my house. I have shelves there so I stored anything that was in the way while I was steam cleaning my home. Unbeknownst to me there was a fire, and there was fire and water damage and ash all over the side of my home and a lot of the things that were on the side of the house. I have mesothelioma so I called my insurance agent and asked him if I could clean up the side of my house so that I could feel a little safer. He gave me the okay so I had some friends come over and clean it up. I paid them to do so. The agent that was handling my case requested a lot of information to prove my personal property loss. I tried to call him but he’s on vacation. Then to top it off my mother passed. I fell into a state of hardship. After paying my deductible I ended up getting just enough to clean up. Now they closed the claim and l feel I have been treated unfairly. I’m in my seventies–what should I do?
First, let me express to you how sorry I am that you were been dealing with a series of unfortunate events in 2022. My condolences for the passing of your mother.
As it relates to the fire, which caused ash and water damage to your house and items stored on shelves while steam cleaning your home, it would be helpful to know who the carrier is and see a copy of the declarations page for your policy. Based on the fact that you did receive a settlement, coverage was afforded to you.
Insurance carriers have a right to investigate and inspect a claim for loss, including personal property, as often as reasonable, per the policy. If after all of your efforts, you feel like you have been treated unfairly, it would be best to write down how you were “short changed.” Is it possible that you received an actual cash value settlement on the items that could not be restored after the cleaning process you employed? If you have replacement cost benefits, you may need to first replace items claimed to recover the depreciation holdback. You stated that, after your deductible (which represents that portion of which you are self insured), you ended up getting just enough to clean up. I am glad that you were able to clean up with the funds received.
If there are specific items you lost due to the fire damage and were not compensated for, you have a right to reopen your claim. If there is no claim activity, the claim will remain closed. If you have replacement cost benefits and you replace some or all of the items claimed, you should send the carrier receipts for the items you replaced. You typically have 180 days to notify the carrier of your intent to exercise your replacement cost benefits, but under the circumstances, they would likely grant an extension.