Hopefully, there never comes a point in your life where you need to make a fire insurance claim. Since fire is an increasing threat, familiarizing yourself with the claims process and how to file a fire insurance claim should the time come, is essential.
Properly filing a fire insurance claim will boost the chances that you will get your money back for any damage to your house during a fire. In the unfortunate event that your home experiences a fire, knowing how to deal with the insurance claims can at least remove some of the stress from the experience. Of course, it is also important to equip yourself with a good home insurance package, which gives you extensive coverage during a house fire.
If you have experienced a fire in your home and need to make a claim, follow these house fire insurance claim tips:
Tip #1: Make a List of What You Lost in the Fire
As you go through your home after the fire, record down all of the items you have lost or that have become damaged in the fire. The sooner you do this the better, since you might start forgetting some items over time. Also, by having this information on hand, you’ll have what you need to make your fire claim.
Pro tip: do not throw anything damaged by the fire away. It may be tempting to do so as you clean up, but by holding onto them, it will be easier to prove that the items on your list were indeed damaged. The insurance adjuster who comes to survey the scene must see these, otherwise, you may not be reimbursed for those items.
Tip #2: Immediately File Your Fire Insurance Claim
Another house fire insurance claim tip is to file your claim immediately. Most insurance companies want policyholders to file their fire insurance claim as soon as possible. Once you have gone through your home and determined what you’ve lost, you should go ahead and give your insurance company a call. This will mean that the process can get started sooner.
During the process, you will have to submit what is called a “proof of loss claim”. This is where your list of damaged items will come in. You will submit these along with their value to your insurance company.
Keep in mind the sooner you reach out to your insurance company, the sooner they can get an adjuster out to your property and the sooner the process will be completed, and you’ll be reimbursed.
Tip #3: Ask for an Advance
Once a fire has occurred in your home, there will be expenses that you’ll need to cover. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask your insurance company for an advance as soon as possible. This advance will help you cover things like securing your property from further damage and purchasing materials to cover any areas like windows or parts of the roof that have been damaged from the fire.
If you can no longer live in your home, you’ll also start incurring day-to-day expenses like hotel rooms, meals, and a further commute to and from work or your children’s schools or daycares.
Tip #4: Secure Your Property
Your insurance company will require you to secure your property from further damage according to fire department and building specialist guidelines. This will ensure that your home doesn’t undergo further damage. Some things you may have to do include covering any holes in the roof or walls, moving property that may be at risk of damage, and securing the perimeter of your home so no one can get inside. The last thing you want is for your home to become further damaged.
If your home is a total loss, this of course won’t be necessary.
Tip #5: Ask for Help
When your home has been ravaged by fire, know that it’s okay to ask for help. Reach out to friends and family members who may be able to lend a helping hand. They may be able to help you with the inventory process of determining everything that was damaged or lost, secure your home and property, offer you a place to stay, or watch your children.
Tip #6: Keep a Record of Your Living Expenses
As we mentioned, there will be expenses you’ll need to cover as well as day-to-day expenses once a fire has occurred. To be sure that you will be reimbursed from your insurance company, make sure that you keep a detailed record of what you spend as well as all your receipts.
If you decide to stay with family or friends rather than a hotel, your insurance company may reimburse your hosts for you staying with them. Be sure to determine this at the outset. If you are eligible to do this, have whoever you’re staying with itemize their additional costs now that you (and possibly your whole family) are staying with them.