Paying for fire damage restoration and making your home livable again can be a costly endeavor. According to Angi, it costs $20,518 on average. But restoring your home after a fire can cost under $1,000 if the damage is minor and $38,000+ if the damage is extensive (on the high end, a restoration can cost $158,000!).1 So the question is now, “Who pays for fire damage restoration?”
Must I Pay for Fire Damage Restoration Out of Pocket?
It depends on the cause of the fire, how much damage occurred, and other factors. If your home is damaged or destroyed by a fire, you may not have to pay to fix or replace it, or at least fit the entire bill. Here are some of your options:
Your insurance policy will likely cover fire and smoke damage caused by a cooking mishap, electrical malfunction, or a problem with heating equipment. Even if leaving a stove unattended caused a fire, your coverage may apply. Insurance may or may not protect against damage from wildfires (if not, a separate policy is needed). But if you started a house fire intentionally, your insurance will not cover the cost of repairs.
Insurance Coverage for Fires
A separate fire policy usually isn’t required. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover fire damage repairs. Other add-ons may be available depending on your insurance company. These can include dwelling coverage to help rebuild your home, personal property coverage to repair or replace damaged items, and liability coverage to pay for damage to a neighbor’s property.
Whether a tenant who rents and occupies the property or a landlord who owns the property pays for restoration depends on several things. The cause of the fire and if fire damage liability insurance is involved are factors. If someone rents an apartment and a fire starts because they forgot to turn off an appliance, it would be the tenant’s responsibility to cover the cost of repairs. But if the landlord’s actions or negligence led to the fire, their liability coverage would help pay for fire damage restoration.
How Much Will My Insurance Cover?
With any insurance policy, the payout is limited to the maximum monetary value it will cover. You are also responsible for paying the deductible before the policy kicks in. This means you’ll have to pay for the restoration out of pocket until you reach this amount and the insurance company provides a payout. The deductible can be defined as a percentage of the total coverage or a specified dollar amount, depending on the policy.
Fire Damage Restoration Is a Professional Job
The cost of restoration also varies depending on the type of fire. There are five categories of fires as recognized by the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association. Their associated costs, considering a 2,500-square-foot home, are as follows:
- Kitchen Oil Fires: A fire that starts with kitchen oil, grease, or animal fats can spread quickly. The average restoration cost is $12,000 to $20,0001.
- Electrical Fires: Often resulting from a hidden problem, electrical fires can cause extensive damage and are often associated with soot and smoke damage; a restoration can cost from $12,000 to $23,0001.
- Ordinary Combustible Fires: The sources include paper, plastic, wood, and other common materials. Since these fires spread less quickly, restoration costs are often in the $9,000 to $14,000 range1.
- Gas Fires: These involve fuel oil, petroleum, oil-based paints, and similar chemicals. Restoring a home after such a fire can cost between $14,000 and $20,0001.
- Combustible Metal Fires: A fire originating from aluminum, titanium, or other types of metal is more common in industrial settings but is difficult to extinguish and spreads quickly. If one occurs in a home, restoration can cost $16,000 to $25,0001.
But fire damage restoration isn’t only about cleaning up debris, smoke damage, and soot. It often requires rebuilding, the cost of which varies widely. For example, remodeling a kitchen after a fire can cost up to $40,000 on average. Drywall installation can cost up to $3,000, roof replacement can cost $6,500, and floor repair can cost anywhere from $400 to $20,0001.
Should I Attempt Fire Damage Restoration Myself?
Attempting a DIY restoration is unsafe and probably won’t save you any money. Your insurance policy may not cover the repairs. Fire restoration professionals specialize in cleaning up fire damage, removing hazardous materials, and salvaging and restoring furniture and valuables. They can also effectively clean up soot, remove odors, and mitigate damage from the water used to extinguish the fire.
Working with a professional also yields benefits such as:
- A faster restoration process
- Knowledge of building codes and regulations
- Lower risk of exposure to toxic smoke, chemicals, and residue
- Avoid damage such as a wall or ceiling collapse
- Insurance policies cover restoration by a licensed, insured contractor
Call Restorerz – Emergency Services for Fire Damage Restoration
Restorerz provides fire damage restoration services in Los Angeles. We are available 24/7 and respond in 60 minutes or less, so we can reach your home quickly to minimize smoke damage, eliminate odors, and begin cleaning up your home. We are also approved to work with all insurance companies. If your home has been affected by a fire, call Restorerz – Emergency Services at (323) 402-6156 today.