How Are Fire Loss Damages Calculated in Illinois?

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How Are Fire Loss Damages Calculated in Illinois?

A house fire is a terrifying event that can lead to extensive damages, including significant property losses. After a fire, you and your family are likely searching for stable footing. In the aftermath of such a tumultuous event, you are left reeling with the reality of losing your home on top of finding the next steps forward. Anspach Law Office delivers legal guidance for those affected by fire loss. We understand how big of a burden the claims process can be, so our attorneys are prepared to assist you. 

You may wonder how fire losses are calculated. Illinois laws hold several provisions that can help you set realistic expectations regarding the damages that may be collected in your case. To uncover what your insurance should cover and how you can boost your chances of receiving compensation, schedule a consultation with our team. 

What Is My Claim Worth?

Since fire can ravage a home or property quickly, you have likely suffered major losses. In order to obtain compensation, you will need to negotiate with the insurance company, and this can be a challenging process. Homeowners insurance has a fire loss policy that should cover losses to personal possessions and structural damage. Unfortunately, insurance companies often use tactics to limit the amount of compensation you may receive. Do not be disheartened, as an attorney can defend your rights and pave a way forward. 

Before you can claim damages, you will need to calculate the approximate value of property that was lost. This amount is calculated using the following factors: 

  • Pre-Incident Value. Your property’s value before the incident is relevant to calculating damages. The higher the property value, the more damages you may be able to collect. Creating an inventory of damaged or destroyed property is crucial to proving that your property was indeed lost due to the fire. Don’t toss any items: these can be used as evidence that you had them in your possession before the fire, increasing your chances of success.
  • Total Property Loss. Fire losses include the total loss of property and structure damaged by fire, smoke, overhaul and water. The larger the extent of the fire damage, the greater losses that may warrant compensation. However, damages do not include indirect losses, such as disruptions to you and your family’s daily life or business operations. 

In most cases, fire departments use the International Code Council’s (ICC) Building Valuation Data formula to determine losses. This formula compares the property’s total square footage to the total construction costs per square foot. For example, if a 1,000-square-foot home is completely destroyed, you will multiply its total square footage by the average construction cost per square foot.

Talk to an Attorney

If you’ve experienced a home fire and wish to collect damages, an attorney can strengthen your claim. We are familiar with the tricks that insurance companies use to lower your compensation, so we can quickly help you estimate your lost damages so you can rebuild your life. Call Anspach Law Office today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation. 

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