If you have a house fire and damage occurs, one of the most important things to do is file your fire damage insurance claim. This can be a daunting task, and many people get overwhelmed trying to figure out all the details. Some people have no ideas where to start. This guide is meant to help you navigate your way through the fire damage insurance claim process.
Tips For Filing Your Claim
Know Your Policy
After a fire, you are probably looking at your fire damaged home and property, wondering… “What exactly should I include in my fire damage insurance claim?”
The truth is… it all depends on your insurance policy and the type of coverage you have. The very first thing you should do is locate a copy of the actual policy and the contract that you’ve signed with your insurance company. If you don’t have one, or it’s burned, contact your insurance company and have them provide you with one.
Once you have your policy, read it carefully, highlight everything that’s covered and underline anything you are unsure of. Sit down with someone from your insurance company and ask them to clarify anything that you are uncertain of.
Once you are completely clear of your policy, you should have a much better idea of what is covered, and what to include in your fire damage insurance claim.
Get Damage, Repair, and Destruction Estimates IN WRITING
The next step in filing a fire damage insurance claim is getting an estimate of the damages. When you do this, make sure you get copies of everything in writing. The insurance company will ask for this and use it in determining your payout.
If your house will require repairs and rebuilding, be sure to get written estimates of this as well.
Gather All of the Required Information
Every company is different in what they require in a fire damage insurance claim, but there is some essential information that almost all companies will ask for. These items include things like: the date of the fire, the location of the damage, a list of injuries, a report on the condition of the home, a complete damages list, repair estimates, and estimates of all replacement needs.
You will also almost be asked for a police report, so make sure you file one with your local police department (and get a copy in writing).
It’s always better to be safe than sorry when going through the process of filing a fire damage insurance claim… KEEP EVERYTHING. Make copies of every single piece of paper, every estimate and every receipt that you see. Keep it together in a folder, you never know when you’ll need to have it or what your insurance company might ask for.
And finally … Never sign ANYTHING until you’ve carefully read all the fine print and fully understand what you’re signing. If you have an attorney, it’s always good to have them look all paperwork over before signing it.
We hope this guide to filing a fire damage insurance claim helps, if you have further questions, feel free to contact us at anytime.