Don't forget HVAC repairs for smoke & fire damage claims

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Don't forget HVAC repairs for smoke & fire damage claims

original article first published here

After one California wildfire had subsided, the resulting smoke and ash took a toll on an HVAC system located in a home miles away. Soot had coated the condensing unit, the onsite inspection revealed, and it entered the indoor equipment and ductwork. While the diagnosis may seem like damage is extensive, adjusters should know this didn’t require a full system replacement — and neither will many of the claims with HVAC systems damaged by the onslaught of wildfires this year.

 

 

In 2019, approximately 48% of the HVAC systems that the insurance services company HVAC inspected for smoke and fire damage could be returned to pre-loss condition with a repair or were in proper working condition at the time of inspection. In the aforementioned claim, the assessment found the electrical components weren’t affected, and the refrigerant pressures were aligned with manufacturer specifications. 

The split system could be returned to pre-loss condition by cleaning some components and switching out the furnace and ductwork. This is considered a major repair; however, not all wildfire-damaged HVAC systems will need this extent of work either. Adjusters should know what to expect for claims with HVAC systems impacted by smoke and fire as well as be familiar with potential next steps to return the policyholder to pre-loss condition.

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