Incidents of Fire are common in the winter months

Post date: Dec 30, 2013 9:19:52 PM

The winter months bring us indoors a great deal more often. The increase in indoor activities leads to an increase in the incidence of fire especially house fires. At Dottrio, LLC experience has taught us that insurers will usually offer an initial settlement in a fire claim that is less than half what it costs to restore the damaged property. That being said settlement offers in insurance claims in general are usually a great deal less than fair market value. Policyholders faced with a traumatic situation are often not in the best frame of mind to make decisions and carefully review information provided by insurers. Fires are particularly devastating and leave policyholders vulnerable and confused. Nothing is more important after a fire than taking care of loved ones and rebuilding your property. The last thing you need after suffering a fire at your home or business is a low ball insurance settlement offer that forces you into financial ruin. Don't accept being short changed, options are available to you. A recent Maryland fire claim settled by Dottrio, LLC through the Appraisal process was an example of this experience. The original offer from a major insurance carrier was around $62,000 to restore the cape cod style home. This home suffered fire and smoke damage to the basement and both above ground levels. The insurance carriers preferred contractor estimated restoration costs at around $92,000. This estimate was rejected by the insurance carrier and was not disclosed to the policyholder at anytime during the claim settlement process. The policyholder hired a large Public Adjustment firm who ran into a brick wall when trying to negotiate a fair settlement for the policyholder. The home remained unoccupied for over a year while the insurance company refused to budge. At the suggestion of the Public Adjuster firm the policyholder invoked the Appraisal clause in their insurance policy. The Public Adjuster firm and policyholder then hired Dottrio, LLC to serve as the Appraiser for the insured. Within two weeks Dottrio, LLC met with the insurers Appraiser on-site and went to work on addressing the value of the claim. This Appraisal resulted in a settlement of around $124,000 with the Appraisal Award being signed and the claim resolved within three weeks of Dottrio, LLC receiving the assignment. These results are typical of insurance claim Appraisals completed by Dottrio, LLC.

Appraisals when handled by experts in the process can be resolved quickly and in our experience have always resulted in significant increases in the settlement for the policyholder. The increases in settlement are almost always due to a significant undervaluing of the claim by the insurer. At Dottrio, LLC we pride ourselves on helping you get what you are entitled to under the terms of your insurance policy. Fortunately this homeowner had a Public Adjuster who recognized that no one is more active in the Appraisal process in the State of Maryland than Dottrio, LLC. As the only Public Adjuster firm in Maryland with a General Contractors license and Appraiser/Umpire certifications there is no one more qualified to assist you in the Appraisal process. If you have struggled with obtaining a fair settlement offer from your insurer give us a call and let us assist you. Dottrio, LLC can serve you in the Appraisal process even if you are already contracted with another Public Adjuster or General Contractor. Your Appraiser must be competent and impartial so you will not be able to use your existing Public Adjuster or General Contractor as they will not be considered impartial. Very few firms in Maryland offer insurance claims Appraisal services and the majority that do will do so only for insurance companies. Dottrio, LLC uniquely brings this service and expertise to the policyholder providing a level playing field. If you suffer a loss under the terms of your insurance policy we will shoulder the load of navigating the challenging insurance claims process for you.

More information on the incidence of winter fires


  • 905 people die in winter home fires each year.

  • $2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires.

  • 67 percent of winter fires occur in one- and two-family homes.

  • Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires.

  • 5 to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter home fires.

Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System 2009-2011

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