Most homeowners know the importance of including a fire accident clause in the home insurance policy and most insurers offer this coverage by default. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is that considerable damage can be wrought by smoke too. It is imperative for you to verify that your homeowner’s policy also covers damage caused by smoke and to take advantage of any such coverage when your home has been damaged in a fire accident.
What kind of damage can smoke cause?
Often, the homeowner finds that even if the fire has been controlled before it can cause substantial destruction, many of the items in the home are no longer usable. Items like paintings, family heirlooms or antiques can suffer permanent, irreversible damage because of the smoke.
The smell of smoke may make items like mattresses, bedding and curtains difficult to use. Smoke can coat crevices as well as pores and cause sensitive electronic and mechanical equipment to malfunction. The HVAC system of your New Jersey home may need cleaning and major repairs after a fire accident. Put all of these together and you can see that significant monetary loss may arise just from smoke damage even if your home escaped reasonably unscathed from a fire. Of course, smoke coated walls will need to be repainted too, which is sure to cost you a good sum.
Professional cleaning is the best option
According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), ash and smoke that is left behind after a fire accident may result in corrosion, discoloration and etching. Calling in the professionals for a thorough clean up should be your priority after the fire accident. The sooner you call in the experts, the greater your chances of mitigating the damage since ash can cause permanent discoloration if ignored for a few days.
Most home owner policies cover smoke damage, but it is still in your best interests to thoroughly check what this coverage includes when you buy your home owner’s insurance. Make sure that the policy covers costs of restoring the home to a habitable condition. This should include any restoration/cleaning expenses that you may have to bear to ensure that all signs of smoke damage are eliminated from the home effectively. If your current policy does not cover this kind of damage it may be time to switch to another insurer who is more committed to serving your needs. Take a look at this article on our website about understanding home owners policies to learn how to identify the perfect insurance plan to cover your home.