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Filing an Insurance Claim After a Fire: A Guide

If you’re home has experienced a fire, you’ll need to file an insurance claim immediately. Homeowners who’ve experienced property damage require insurance coverage to recover—money-wise. While filing a claim has varying degrees of success, it’s an incredibly important part of fire damage restoration. Before interacting with your insurance company, you should know what to expect. Take the following steps below, and secure as much coverage as possible.

One: Protect the Property

Before anything, make sure your household is safe. Every policy requires than you take several steps before filing a claim. If your provider has reason to believe you didn’t stop the damages, you won’t get coverage. This is called your duty to “mitigate damages.” First, stop any smoldering. Board up the home and protect the property from any vandalism.

Two: Take Photos

Get photo evidence of anything damaged—even if it’s a small personal property item. Take pictures of any fire-damaged walls, flooring and even ceiling spaces. If possible, record the cause of damage. Photos are your evidence to support a claim, and they’ll ensure a higher insurance coverage payoff.

Three: File the Claim

All home insurance policies require homeowners to report their losses as soon as possible. Comply by contacting your insurance agent. You’ll need to submit a “proof of loss” claim, which itemizes all household losses alongside their values. Make sure you include all photo evidence.

Four: Collect all Invoices and Bills

When getting insurance coverage, you’ll need to be organized. Save all emails, letters, invoices and bills. Any building contracts and permits, too, should be saved. If your insurance company wants to see a bid or invoice, you’ll be expected to provide it immediately. Any living expenses, too, should be covered. Your insurance policy likely covers a “loss of use” clause, which entitles the homeowner to reimbursement of living expenses while they’re unable to live in it.

Five: Keep Copies

It’s important to keep copies of any send information, too. While your insurance company will ensure the safety of any stored documents, you’ll need backups to handle ongoing repairs, rent options and even provider shopping. The condition of your home, again, needs to be recorded at every stage. Once you’ve received coverage, consider contacting 24/7 services, like H20 Drying Solutions, to keep your property operational, safe and reliable.

Residential restoration services don’t take long, and they’re incredibly worthwhile whether you’re facing small or large damages. If you’re stuck without a home, consider staying with friends or family. While you won’t be paying your hosts, your insurance company may reimburse them for the living costs. Ask your hosts to itemize the value of services and space they’re providing. Even if you’re staying with a friend or family, they’ll appreciate the effort.

When getting insurance coverage, it’s important to be as specific as possible. While roundabout values can work, specific values ensure on-the-point coverage. A lot of companies, in fact, won’t offer complete reimbursement unless recorded values are totally accurate. If you’ve experienced fire damage, don’t panic. More often than not, a solid insurance company can cover you.