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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

When Is Smoke Damage to a Commercial Building Covered By Insurance?

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Soot tags on wall and on ceiling Smoke damage in Topsham, ME.

Smoke damage is one of the most frequent insurance claims in Topsham, ME. Soot and smoke seek out every nook and cranny, often leaving a toxic residue that can fry electronics and smell terrible.
Fortunately, in most cases, commercial insurance covers smoke cleaning, restoration and replacement. There are some exceptions, so knowing what is and isn’t covered can avoid denied claims and premium increases.

What Can You Do To Increase Your Chances of Being Covered?

First off, have your policy in a safe place and make sure you read it. Make notes of any questions you have and ask your agent. Remember – you’re the customer here. If they won’t answer your questions, find a company that will.
There are a few other steps to take, including:

  • File your claim as soon as possible.
  • Document everything and take pictures.
  • Don’t discard damaged items.

When Is Smoke Damage Covered?
While it varies between policies, all fire damage insurance policies should cover everything damaged by smoke from any covered fire. Where there’s fire, there’s smoke, so it’s a covered peril.

When Isn’t It Covered?
If the damage doesn’t exceed your deductible, it won’t be covered. Therefore, it’s best to consult with a smoke and soot damage restoration expert in Topsham, ME. They can help you avoid making a claim that’s likely to be denied and can save you thousands of dollars using an ecologically friendly policy of restoration over replacement.
Another instance where smoke and fire damage isn’t covered is in some cases of arson. If the insurance policyholder is in any way found to be responsible for, or have prior knowledge of, the fire, no damage will be covered by your policy.

What if the Smoke Is From an Off-Property Fire?
Most insurance policies make no distinction about the source of the smoke. If a business next door to you has a fire and the smoke causes damage exceeding your deductible, you should be covered.
Put simply, if the fire is covered by insurance, the smoke damage will be. The sooner it’s cleaned, the faster you can resume normal operations.

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