Experts explain insurance coverage of damage sustained from nearby fires

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March 26, 2014 8:25:20 PM PDT
The fire that destroyed a Houston apartment complex also damaged nearby homes.

Make no mistake the worst of the damage is across the street, but those who live on this side of West Dallas did not escape the damage entirely.

The flames that consumed the Montrose-area apartment complex did most of its damage to the units still under construction, but neighboring town homes are showing scars as well.

"It busted the third story window and uh, that was about it except for the water around the window sills from them spraying and stuff," Montrose resident Sarah Richards said.

Richards now has to figure out who pays for the repairs, her first call is to the insurance company.

"We're kind of looking to see what's going to happen," she said.

Homeowners insurance covers this kind of damage, but the big question is whether or not to file a claim? The answer depends on how much repairs cost and if that is greater than your deductible.

"If the damages are below your deductible it probably is not wise to make a claim, if you have damages that are significant over you deductible it always make sense to contact your insurance agent," said Theo Franklin with State Farm Insurance.

Franklin says if you do file a claim it will not make your insurance rate go up, but in most cases, damage like that sustained by neighboring homes rarely is more than the deductible.

"Usually the damage is below the deductible and I advice they go ahead and take care of it themselves," he said.

Typically deductibles are 2 or 3 percent of your homes value. For some, that means damages have to be above the $4,000 or $5,000 to make filing a claim worth while.

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