Fire Damage to your home and fire claims

Before we address anything with Fire Damage. If you are in your home when a fire occurs get yourself, your kids, and if you can your pets out of the house! You will be tempted to want to grab valuables and other items. Stop, because you are the important one during a fire. Even if you don’t see any flames, there are people every year who die because there were no flames and smoke inhalation was fatal. Stick with us here as we discuss what to do after a fire has occurred in your home.

Tips to prevent fires

You know the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? There are instances when fires can be prevented from happening in your home. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent fires in your home:

  • Have a fire extinguisher in your home.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working with functioning batteries in them.
  • Check to make sure the electrical in your home is up to code.
  • Teach your family what to do in the case of a fire.

Though it’s not a fire prevention tip one of the most important things we recommend and strongly encourage is to double-check that your insurance policy is up to date and active. One of our saddest stories is we were unable to help a client because their policy had lapsed and so they had no ability to make a claim on their insurance for their home fire.

What coverages should I have in my insurance policy?

There are 4 typical coverages when it comes to your home insurance policy. There are A, B, C, and D. A covers your dwelling, B covers other structures (sheds and garages), C covers contents, and D covers additional living expenses. There is another coverage that most have but don’t know about which is called ordinance & loss. Essentially this coverage would be used to help bring your home back up to code after a loss.

If you don’t know what you’re covered for or you would like to make sure you have enough coverage, we can take a free look at your policy and make any recommendations to improve your policy. There is no cost associated with this service. We just want to make sure everyone is properly covered against loss.

If your house burns down how does fire insurance work?

Fire insurance policies provide payment for the actual house as well as additional living expenses required because you can’t live in your house.  Insurance will also cover the damage to personal property and nearby structures (like a garage or shed).

Many wonder in the case of a fire if fire insurance is a separate policy from their homeowner’s insurance. In simple terms, the homeowner’s policy is typically what will cover your home in the event of a fire.

What about a total loss on a property? A total loss is all things associated with your house are lost. So with a fire your structure has been completely burned down, everything inside the home has been lost and there is nothing that can be recovered. If this happens your insurance company is required to exhaust all coverages on your policy in order to restore the home back to pre-loss condition.

What should I do if I have to evacuate? 

To reiterate what we said earlier if you have to evacuate your home, Your primary concern is getting you and your family out of the house. Now, once you are out of the house safely it’s time to start documenting what is going on. Take out your phone and start taking pictures and recording videos of what’s going on. Be careful not to get too close to the actual fire to keep yourself safe.

Make sure to save every receipt once you’re out of your house. If you don’t have any receipts it will be much more difficult to get reimbursed by your insurance carrier. Be meticulous about your documentation as well as your receipts, because your insurance carrier will actively be looking for reasons to deny your claims.

What is the fire claim settlement procedure?

While this is not the end all of fire claim settlement procedures. It will give you a good idea of what the process looks like and some tips on what you should expect from the process.

  1. Initial damage occurs (this is when the fire happened)
  2. Assessment of loss – here you will say what was lost and the value of the lost items (you should call the public adjuster before this point)
  3. File the claim with your insurance company – be aware of deadlines on how long you have to file your claim.
  4. Verification of claim– your insurance company will review your claim as well as provided evidence to determine if you have a claim.
  5. Survey– here an insurance representative will review your property damage and assess an estimate on damage.
  6. Appointment of arbitrator– If you don’t agree with the amount then an agreed-upon arbitrator is chosen who will give a settlement amount.
  7. Settlement – The insurance company will make a payment of the settlement amount.

How to get rid of the smoke smell in your home

If your home has smoke damage in it, it is a difficult smell to get rid of. One thing we recommend is seeing if you have a claim because basic homeowner’s policies include smoke damage coverage. If you are just trying to get rid of the smoke smell, you can start by ventilating your home, and opening the windows to air out the smell. Often this will not be enough to get rid of the full smell. We have professional remediation services that we can recommend for you that is a company that knows exactly what to do in order to restore your home.

Why hire a public adjuster?

With our 20 years of experience, in all of that time, we haven’t had an insurance company pay the amount that they need to in order to restore a home the first time around. It’s important to give us or another public adjuster a call so you can get what you need, and the amount required to restore your home back to pre-loss condition.

We are proud to say that every time we have represented someone in a fire claim we have been able to get them every dime they needed to make sure their home was restored to the proper condition.

No matter where you are in the process, either from the beginning of the claim or mid-claim dealing with the insurance company and getting what you need, we can support you at any point. We are an advocate for you from the beginning until you get every dime you deserve for your claim.

How to choose the right public adjuster?

There are some things that we recommend looking for with your public adjuster. When major storms hit you see a new crop of public adjusters pop up. Here are some things you’ll need to find a great public adjuster.

  • Experience- a lot of success from your public adjuster comes from them seeing and covering lots of different types of claims.
  • Back office staff- If the adjuster is the only person working you won’t get the personal care that you need in order to make sure your claim is handled correctly.
  • Tenacity- A lot of times it takes a lot of hard work and follow-up in order to get the insurance company to take care of what they need to so you get your claim handled.

We are proud of how we handle, claims the speed with which we get our clients paid, and the honesty with which we do it. Give us a call today for your claim.