When a fire damages your home, it’s understandable to be shocked and overwhelmed. You may not know where to go next and you may find yourself struggling to get your home back together. You will likely contact your insurance company only to have them be more unhelpful than anyone in this situation. This is where a public adjuster can come in and handle the entire fire damage claims process for you, eventually helping you reach the highest possible settlement on your insurance claim. In this blog, we will discuss just that, how to handle the fire damage insurance claim process, while informing you on how a public adjuster can be your best option in this scenario.
Immediately After The Fire
We figured this is an important step to include especially since we are discussing the entire fire damage insurance claim process. Before even thinking of filing the fire insurance claim, you want to make sure your property is safe and secure. No matter how big the fire was in your home, a fire could easily have damaged gas lines, electrical wires, support beams, ceilings, floors, etc. If this is the case, your home may not be as secure as it looks at first sight. Have fire officials, deem your house safe to enter before entering and inspecting the damage. Furthermore, not to mention they will assess the fire damage, determine how it started, and give a better estimate of what needs repair or should be considered totaled.
Now that you can enter, begin to take pictures of your home. Just like with any other insurance claim, having your own pictures will go a long way to support your claim and help the process go smoothly. It also shows what the fire damage looked like immediately after the fire and not when the insurance adjuster came to assess your property. Sometimes it may take a while before the insurance adjuster is able to come out to your property, therefore, always having your own documentation of the damage is a good rule of thumb.
The Fire Damage Insurance Claim Process
Start the Claims Process After Gathering Documentation!
After taking pictures and gathering documentation yourself of your house fire, call your insurance company and file a fire insurance claim. Contact them the same day if possible, as getting the process started sooner rather than later means you can hopefully get the money you need from your insurance company faster. Furthermore, familiarize yourself with fire damage claims and the process that must be followed by both you and your insurance adjuster. Your insurance company will have the answer to these questions for you, as every insurance company has a specific protocol they follow for each type of insurance claim. Also, be sure to understand what is needed from you before they arrive, so you can get answers to all your questions.
During The Claims Process
Now that you have successfully filed the insurance claim, and are in the middle of it, there are a couple of things you can do to speed along the process. For one, stay on top of everything yourself, and push your insurance company to speed the process along if you feel they are not moving along quick enough for you. They are required to send you a “notice of intentions” within 30 days. This means they must at least send you everything they will and will not be covered on everything you filed. It’s also important to note that if you have reached a settlement with your insurance company, they are required to pay you within that 30 days. If they are dragging along the process, fight them on finishing up the claim so you can get to fixing your home.
The End of Fire Insurance Claims
Once you have reached your settlement and received the money to fix your home, what’s next? No matter the extent of damage to your home, you will want to look into hiring a restoration company. Fire damage is nothing to mess with, especially the smoke and soot damage that comes from fires. This is why we highly recommend hiring a restoration company to fix any damage in your home as a result of the fire. However, if you want to use the insurance money to locate a new property to build on, you may do so. If this is the case a restoration company is definitely in your best interest to hire, as they can help build you a new home under the insurance money you received. However, it is important to note that this will only work if you have replacement coverage on your insurance policy. Before considering rebuilding completely, check with your insurance company.
More General Tips When Dealing With A Fire Insurance Claim
File For An Advance
What is an advance? An advance allows you to replace damaged items in your home from the fire before the initial claim process begins. In most cases, a fire may leave you without some of your belongings for a period of time. Instead of waiting the potential of 30 days for your insurance company to reimburse you for the loss or damage for items you need immediately, file an advance to get the money you need to purchase the items yourself, as it should be covered fully under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Keep Fighting For Your Claim
Unfortunately, in some cases, your insurance company may not give you enough money to fix all of the damages in your home due to a fire. An insurance policy should be there to help protect you and your family in the case of a disaster. What happens when your insurance company underpays you or even denies your claim? What’s the point then of having fire insurance if you are unable to get the money you need to repair everything in your home fully. This is why you should always keep fighting for your claim, in order to receive the highest possible settlement. If this doesn’t work, we have one last tip for you that may solve all your issues.
Hire A Public Adjuster For Your Fire Insurance Claim
Performance Adjusting Is On Your Side During All Insurance Claims
If you are not receiving the best possible settlement on your insurance claim, then you need someone on your side when filing a fire damage insurance claim. That is where we come in. As a public adjusting company, we have been representing families and their insurance claims for over 18+ years. Our public adjusters will handle your claim from start to finish, with no extra costs added on to you. Let someone else take the stress away from you when a fire destroys your home, you already have enough to deal with. Call or contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you with a fire damage insurance claim.