Fire losses are one of the most horrific events that a family or business might experience. It is quite hard to deal with the aftermath of a house fire at all levels .Intense feelings, accompanied with practical needs and complex fire claim insurance procedures, make it even more problematic on top of what is already a tragic situation. Fortunately, insurance for homeowners is a safety net which enables to assist you to financially recover.
Even under immense stress and confusion, people who went through disastrous fire damage still need to make significant short-term decisions. Sad to say, there are still see many errors being made on decisions on how to manage and talk with a restoration company or what contracts and agreements to sign. It can sometimes have significant negative effects as to what you recover from your insurance for a fire damage claim. It is advised to hire a public fire claim adjuster so that you can get the most out your insurance for a fire claim. A fire claim adjuster has the experience and knowledge to assist you in negotiating with your insurance provider’s complex processes of obtaining your fire claim to be paid equally and fairly. They will be able to apply years of practical and relevant experience to your fire damage claim. To prevent making any mistakes when dealing with restoration contractors and your insurance provider, it is best to get a fire adjuster involved early on.
Who to hire: a fire claim adjuster or an attorney
There are some policy holders who are getting a bit confused about which one they should hire to manage their fire damage claim – a fire adjuster or an attorney. These two professionals both have a significant advocacy function during the claims process. Although, it is suggested to hire a fire adjuster on the front end to handle your fire claim. Unless you are declined or legal problems occur that the fire adjuster is not capable of handling, that is the time that you should think about the additional cost and time to hire an attorney.
Why hire a fire claim adjuster
You are at a disadvantage if you went through and suffered major damage to your house or a complete loss of your home due to fire. You are most likely to face a tedious process of home insurance claims of fire damage claims that can quickly extend for even more than a year, involve a lot of paperwork and will leave you physically and mentally depleted.
You really would not know what to expect after a tragedy happens to your home – that is unless you have already experienced processing a home insurance claim. So it is advised to hire a public adjuster or fire adjuster to do the works for you. Public adjusters act on behalf of policy holders to assist individuals benefit from insurance claims everything they are supposed to. They assist assess damage and reconstruction expenses, monitor the movement of insurance payments and due sums, and partner with house insurance companies to speed up insurance claims of their customers.
Now that we have established who to hire after having your property caught in a fire and the reason why you should hire one, we will now tackle the tips on how you can go on about firing for a fire damage claim.
Tips for filing a fire damage claim
As fires are becoming an increasingly widespread danger, insurance companies are constantly attempting to cut corners with fire insurance claims in order to save money.The rising threat of fires makes it more important than ever to become familiar on how to file with your insurance for fire damage claims. Losing your house and any other belongings to a fire is a terrible experience already. The last thing you need is that your homeowner’s insurance company giving you a difficult time about your fire claim. Below are some guides regarding fire damage claims when dealing with your homeowners ‘ insurance company.
- Request an advance for your final claim for fire insurance.
You might not have gathered necessary items like toiletries or clothes if you have been pressured to evacuate due to the threatening situation. Most of your stuff might have been also lost in the fire entirely. It would be best to contact your insurance company as soon as possible and ask somebody to check wherever you are staying. This will allow you to buy essential needs without waiting for your ultimate insurance coverage.
Purchase what you need, but do not go overboard. Be sensible with what you purchase as the insurance company can refuse to pay you back for unnecessary things. For instance, if you have to work and you will basically need a pair of slacks and a dress shirt, do not assume that you can just go ahead and buy the most expensive work clothes.
Keep in mind, this advance will be subtracted from the total sum that you will be receiving from your insurance company.
- Draw up a list of all that you have lost and do not discard away anything.
It is best to put together a list of all you lost in the fire – this would take some time and effort from everybody in the household. You need to make sure that you begin generating this list as early as possible so whenever you file your fire insurance claim you could still remember to include everything lost.
Also, make sure that you will not throw away anything. It will be much easier to claim and prove that the items on your list are really lost or damaged if you keep them for the insurance fire adjuster to see and inspect the damage. Your insurance company may decline to compensate you if you throw them away.
- Immediately file your fire claim and make sure that the insurance will act on it as soon as possible.
Insurance providers require policy holders to file their claims for fire damage as soon as possible, so reach out to the homeowners’ insurance agent to initiate the process immediately. The insurance company will ask you to submit a proof of loss claim – this is a list of all the things that you have lost, including their worth. Your timely action is particularly crucial if the fire affected a lot of other homeowners. When you do not act immediately, you might fall to the bottom of the priority list of policy holders who also have fire insurance claims, and it could take a long time before the fire adjuster reaches out to you. A list of details that should be included in your claim is as follows: date of loss, type of damage or loss, location of the damage, any injuries, people or home involved, condition of the home, description of the damaged things, any essential temporary repairs and a police report.
Having to deal with insurance company for a fire claim is a very complicated process that usually involves numerous calls, emails, letters and paperwork.Make sure to keep track of all files and communications, which include mailing receipts from the post office. Make sure to keep track of all files and communications, which include mailing receipts from the post office. Placing everything into a folder or file organizer will enable you to organize into your own specific portion the different forms of documents, receipts, bills, licenses, repair agreements and insurance forms.
And since you take immediate action to meet your policy obligations, your insurance company must also act quickly on your claim for fire insurance. The law actually requires insurance companies to manage fire damage claims in a timely way, and most countries provide particular timetables for insurance companies.
If your insurance company is taking too long to get back to you, write them about your concern and let them know that you are giving a copy of the report to the Department of Insurance of the state. This should compel the company to act because they know that they are being tracked and monitored and therefore they would not want to create a mistake or drag their feet when handling your fire damage claim.
- Safeguard your property to lessen damage.
The insurance company will need you to take the necessary care of your property. Hence, ensure that you secure your property against further harm or damage. It would be irrelevant, of course, if the property is totally damaged or lost. But in cases wherein only part of the home is damaged, it is advised to take proactive steps to prevent further destruction or damage. This is dubbed as “mitigating damage” by insurance companies, which implies reducing the level of damage.
There are many ways on how to mitigate damages and this could include covering walls and roof holes to safeguard against elements, constructing a fence or gate to prevent looters and moving personal belongings that may be at risk for further damage (take for instance; you can move an undamaged television away from a hole that is in the ceiling).
- Monitor your living expenses.
Your insurance plan contains a “loss of use” provision, stating that the insurance company will reimburse you with your living expenses while you are out of your damaged home. Even so, note that you are only permitted to the difference between how much costs you when you are relocated and how much it cost you while you are at home.
More often than not, people will choose not to stay in a hotel but instead stay with family or friends. The insurance company sometimes will repay your hosts for your stay’s extra expenses, so request your host to specify the extra expenses. Take additional notice to be rational and not frivolous and be cooperative with your insurance provider if they are willing to negotiate the expenses with you.
- Get the accurate estimates of repair and keep all receipts and paperwork.
You could still repair or even rebuild your damaged house by filing with your insurance a fire damage claim. The “actual cash value” policy of the insurance entitles you to the total amount it would take to revert back your property to its fair market value pre-fire, including its contents.
The “replacement” policies of the insurance will also automatically grant you to the sum you would need to replace the house and its contents, irrespective of the value lost. The coverage of “replacement” does not require you to reconstruct your home on exactly the very same lot.You have the freedom to choose on where you want to rebuild your house. So, as long as it has the same market value with your old lot, insurance will definitely cover it. Obviously, you will end up having to pay the difference if you relocate to where the property is more costly. If you choose not to rebuild but instead spend the money in something totally unrelated, such as with college fund, the policy of “substitute” becomes a policy of “real cash value,” giving you with about 15% less.
An estimation of the fair market value or rate of the replaced damaged assets before the fire will be required by the insurance company. Insurance companies are going to send their own fire adjusters, so it is important to keep in mind that they are going to try to make decisions in the best interest of the insurance company and not yours.You do not have to acknowledge the estimates that they are giving at you, and hiring your own fire adjuster or contractor is also a wise idea.
- Consider in hiring a public insurance or fire claim adjuster.
Even if you are unable to obtain an adequate settlement after hiring your own independent estimator or contractor, consider hiring a public fire claim adjuster to settle on your account with the insurance provider. Some people are reluctant to do so because of the additional cost — typically, you pay around nine to fifteen percent of what the insurance company usually pays you. However, if the adjuster manages to get you substantially more than you would have received, it could really be worth it.