How Much Will Allstate Pay If I Lost Everything in a House Fire?

Written by James Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Fires can be particularly devastating. Like floods, they tend to damage or destroy structures and possessions without prejudice. Unfortunately, they're also one of the most common hazards that American homeowners can expect to face. As a result, homeowner's insurance companies generally offer robust protections for policyholders whose homes are damaged or destroyed by fires.

While your Allstate policy might not reimburse you for the full cash value of your home in the event of a total fire-related loss, it's likely to provide you with a sizable payout. In many cases, it will also pay to replace some or all of the personal possessions that were damaged in the fire. The exact amount that you stand to receive after such a tragic event is likely to depend upon the terms of your policy and the circumstances surrounding the event. Before you draw up any rebuilding plans, be sure to talk with your insurance agent to determine the likelihood that you'll receive a full payout.

If your home is deemed to be a total loss, Allstate is likely to issue a payout for its current market value. You'll need to use this payout to clean up your lot and rebuild your home. If most of your possessions were destroyed in the fire, it's likely that the company will provide you with market-value compensation for each of them.

It's important to note that Allstate will send a claims adjuster to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fire. Depending upon the pre-incident value of your home, it might send an entire team of adjusters. In addition, it will work with your local police and fire departments to develop an understanding of the incident.

This extensive fact-checking will serve two related aims. First, your policy almost certainly contains a "negligence clause." If Allstate determines that the fire that destroyed your home was caused by an act of negligence, it may refuse to issue a payout on your claim. Negligent acts might include smoking a cigarette in bed, placing flammable curtains near a gas range, or drying combustible fabrics on a standing heater.

If Allstate determines that the fire was the result of a fraudulent or criminal act, it will also refuse to issue a payout on your claim. In addition, it will almost certainly void your policy. Depending upon the severity of the act, the company might even file a police report. After all, insurance fraud is a serious crime. If you deliberately set your home on fire, it's likely that you'll face criminal charges.

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