When a disaster strikes your home, you may be too preoccupied with grief and distress to think clearly about next steps. However, this is the time when it is most crucial to think about what you’re going to do next, as it can determine how smoothly the rebuilding stage will be. The best way to handle this is to learn how to deal with an insurance adjuster after a house fire. Knowing all the tips, tricks, and shortcuts will help you handle your insurance claim so that your home will be back to normal in no time at all.
Tips to Help You With Your Fire Insurance Claim
If you find yourself caught in a house fire, chances are that you won’t have time to follow a well laid plan for safety and salvage of all your valuables. Unfortunately, some insurance companies can use this against you when filing a claim, meaning you won’t get full compensation for the things you’ve lost. In order to stop this from happening, this fire insurance claim tips will help you avoid the pitfalls and problems that may arise after a fire.
- Ask For an Advance Against Your Fire Insurance Claim: in the event of a fire, you may be forced to evacuate before you’re able to grab certain essentials. These could be anything from toiletries to clothes for school and work, as well as other necessities required for the day to day. If these things have been completely lost, you can call your insurance company to bring a check, or advance, to your temporary residence after the fire. With this money, you can purchase necessities to help you get through the waiting period. It is important that you only use this money for things you absolutely need.
- Put Everything in Writing and Make Copies: Hearsay is no use to you when filing an insurance claim, so it is important that you write everything down, make copies, and keep a copy for yourself. The “he said, she said” routine can only cause distress and leave you without the things you need. Keeping everything in writer will make it much harder for fraud to occur, or for you to get cheated out of receiving the help you need. Even if you trust your claim adjuster, having everything in writing will keep many claim decisions out of their hands, which could be better in the end.
- Make A List of Everything You’ve Lost: It is important to make a list of everything you lost in the fire for your insurance claim. This may take a while as you should include everything that belonged to everyone in the household. So that you won’t be betrayed by memory, get to work on your list straight away. It is also important that you don’t throw anything away, no matter how ruined it may be. Your insurance adjuster will want to see items before including them in the coverage so that they can make sure you aren’t trying to get more than you actually had or need. With this in mind, it’s easier to prove that you did have that cappuccino maker or flat screen than expecting your insurance adjuster to take you at your word. If there is no proof, there’s very little chance they will compensate you.
- File Your Claim As Soon As Possible: Most insurance policies will require you, the policyholder, to file a fire insurance claim as soon as possible. It is best to call your homeowners insurance agent immediately following the fire in order to get the process started straight away.
- Press Your Insurance Company to Act Right Away: Some insurance agents may drag their feet no matter how quickly you file your claim, so it is up to you to press them to start the process as soon as possible. The best way to get them to stay on top of things is for you to stay on top of things yourself. You should have the following information ready and on hand to spur them on if asked:
– Date of Loss
– Type of Loss/Damage
– Location of Damage
– Others Involved
– Description of Damaged Items
– Condition of the Home
– Any Related Injuries
- Secure Your Property to Mitigate Further Damage: Your insurance company will require you to protect your home from further damage, in order to keep coverage restricted to what’s in the claim. This means taking steps to cover holes in the walls, roof, or flooring to protect from the elements, boarding up the home to prevent looters or intruders coming through, dousing smoldering embers, and moving property at risk of further damage from falling beams, crumbling walls, etc.
- Don’t Settle For Less: Dealing with insurance companies and policies is often a convoluted process that requires many phone calls, emails, documents, and more. Many people find themselves settling for less just to be done with the whole ordeal, but you mustn’t do this if you want your insurance claim to cover all the damage it’s supposed to cover. Stay patient, be strong, and stay on top of all documents, occurrences, requirements to ensure that no problems arise on your end. In short, keep up the fight so that you receive all your rightful coverage and are not cheated out of the help you need and deserve.
Knowing how to deal with an insurance adjuster after a house fire really makes all the difference between a smooth insurance claim and further distress. Though things won’t be easy, keeping your head and staying on top of things will only work in your favor. The fire insurance claim tips should help you every step of the way, but should you need more, go here.