Insurance Claim Issues

When you are making your fire damage claim you should:

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible
  • Never sign a waiver
  • Never sign any document without knowing its content
  • Never admit to anything. Just state facts as you know or can remember
  • When you feel like you are being interrogated, do not answer more questions, and get a lawyer.
  • Take pictures as soon as it is safe to be around the property
  • Save any undamaged property to avoid further damages
  • Never forget that you have a right to file a claim, and the right to be appraised and compensated for damage caused by a fire.
Home Fire Loss

Common Insurance Claim Issues

Insurance does not cover all losses for three main reasons:

  • Most people are underinsured.
  • Property items are depreciated by the insurance company so that the payout won’t replace the lost items. All too often, insurance adjusters try their best to make sure that you are not paid. They are employees of the insurance company, so their interest and loyalty lie with the insurer rather than with you. Many claimants have been disappointed when the time came to file a claim because when they really needed the compensation, their insurance company used aggressive tactics to deny them the claim or minimize it as much as possible. In situations like this, you need an experienced property damage lawyer.
  • Many categories of damages are outside the purview of insurance coverage completely (like emotional damages, erosion, or lost income) or mostly (like landscaping and trees).

We DO NOT take a percentage of your recovery from insurance. We will help you with your insurance claims without taking any portion of your insurance recovery. We have retired insurance adjusters on our staff who are available to answer any questions you have about your insurance claim and the claim process. We are dedicated to assisting our clients with insurance issues to ensure they maximize their recovery through their insurer and receive the full benefits of their policy.

California Insurance Cancellation Ban

Depending on where you live the State of California has announced a temporary ban on insurance companies dropping coverage for homeowners in high-risk wildfire areas. Learn more about the fire insurance cancellation ban.

Bad Faith Insurance Claims

This happens when your insurance company commits wrongful acts. The adjuster dismisses your proof of loss, even when you supply the required information and include documentation needed. This is considered bad faith because they are overlooking your needs despite the fact that you qualify for compensation. They can opt to give you a low settlement or deny you coverage without providing a legitimate reason.

What if I don’t have fire insurance?

We have helped many homeowners and renters who did not have insurance at the time of the fire. If the fire was caused by someone’s negligent, careless, or deliberate behavior, then you are entitled to compensation whether or not you had insurance.


Fire is an incredibly destructive force capable of causing untold amounts of damage to a structure and to a family’s sense of well-being. The kinds of economic and non-economic damages fire victims often suffer include:

  • Smoke damage
  • Structural damage
  • Loss of personal possessions
  • Burns and bodily injuries
  • Roof collapse
  • Melting
  • Plumbing damage
  • Water damage
  • Electrical damage
  • Loss of trees and landscaping
  • Emotional anguish
  • Stress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Inconvenience
  • Homelessness

The California Fire Lawyers at the Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott Trial Lawyers can provide you with powerful legal representation to advocate to get you and your family the full value of what you’ve lost in the fire. Our property loss attorneys will fight for you and do everything we can to help you get back to your life.


In California, wildfires are common, and they can often be traced to an act or negligence of a gas or electric company, which may be then be found civilly liable for damages the fire caused. The company often will try to escape liability by claiming that the fire was an “act of God” or “due to unforeseen weather conditions” when in fact the fire was caused by the power company’s negligence. The fire lawyers at Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott know how to overcome these defenses and have won millions of dollars in fire claims against utility companies for homes lost to wildfires.


You’re entitled to recover for your lost or damaged structures, injuries suffered in the fire, emotional distress, personal property, items of sentimental value, and alternate living expenses until your home has been replaced. In some cases, you may also recover punitive damages. Insurance does not compensate you for the anguish and inconvenience that comes with losing your home and a lifetime’s worth of possessions; however, we will fight to win you compensation for the emotional distress and difficulties you face in the aftermath of a destructive fire.

In California, when you have a fire damage claim, you’ll find the experienced representation you need when you hire the California Fire Lawyers at Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott Trial Lawyers. We have a powerful record of recovering fire damages for hundreds of families including 1600 clients who lost their homes in the 2007 San Diego area fires. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Contact Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott for a Free Case Evaluation



Has your home or property been damaged by a fire? Have you been physically injured in a fire? Are insurance adjusters trying to take advantage of you during this difficult time? Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott can help you navigate the complexities of your unique fire case, represent your interests, calculate the appropriate value of your damages, and help you recover the fair and full compensation you may need to move forward with your life. Schedule your free case evaluation today.