Whether a small fire or one that completely destroys homes, any type of fire damage is devastating. Various regions of the world are highly susceptible to fires, and making sure to know how to deal with these damages is vital. Filing a claim can be an extremely difficult and lengthy process if you are not educated on how or who to contact. More times than not, the insurance company only has their best interest in mind. This is when a public adjuster comes in handy.
Here are the top tips for filing a fire damage claim and making sure you are prepared for the worst.
Keeping You and Your Family Safe
First things first, account for everyone that could have been in your household at the time of the fire. That includes pets as well. Your family’s safety is your first priority. Once everyone is in a safe location, begin damage control and secure important documents and items.
If the fire is small and manageable without putting you or your loved ones in harms way, do your best to salvage what you can. Call 911 immediately and keep your neighbors aware of what is going on. Sadly their homes and assets may be in danger if in close proximity.
Record Fire Damages and Keep Your Receipts
A priority is documenting the damage. This includes taking photos of the smoke damage, water damage, and damage from the fire itself. Account for all lost belongings, write down the items you have lost and the cost of each item if possible. Take photos of all of your personal assets that can not be salvaged and get yourself organized.
Keep any and all receipts that are relevant to this tragedy, because you can include them in your insurance claim. Whether that may be personal essential personal items you needed to purchase after the fire, hotel prices and food costs as well. All of these expenses may call for compensation, but without the receipts their is no way to know for sure.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company will be one of the first phone calls to make. They will send in an adjuster to inspect the property and see what type of damage the fire has caused. They will also document losses and estimate how much the damage costs.
Your adjuster will also be the person who begins your claim process. Depending on the severity of the damage they might recommend a restoration crew to come in and begin repairing the home. Unfortunately, these insurance adjusters have the best interest of your insurance company in mind. They try to their best to come up with the lowest number possible for your compensation. They will also find the loop holes that you may have thought you had coverage on, but in reality you didn’t.
Understanding Your Policy
Read over your insurance policy, before a disaster occurs, to make sure you are properly covered. Surprises are not a good thing during a claim process and the insurance company will do everything they can to save them money. Make sure you go over everything in your policy and check you are covered and have fire protection. Oftentimes, people assume fire damage is included in their property insurance, but it may not be.
Contacting a lawyer is never a bad idea in situations like this. Even if damage is minor you want all of your bases to be covered. Insurance policies tend to be wordy and very hard to understand, so having a lawyer read over it can help understand what exactly you are covered on and not.
Bring in a Public Adjuster
After calling your insurance company and getting your claim started, you are going to want to hire a public adjuster. A public adjuster fights with your best interest in mind to get you the compensations you deserve. The insurance adjuster is employed by the insurance company and is there to suit their needs, not yours. With a public adjuster they will be engaged in getting the largest dollar amount for the fire damage and get it paid to you directly.
When your insurance policy is dragging their feet with your claim, your public adjuster is your middle man. They speak with your insurance company directly and push them to get the ball rolling. Without a public adjuster, claims can take months and even years before you see a penny of compensation.
Aftermath of Fire Damage
It can be very difficult getting things back to normal after a fire has done property damage or destroyed your home. The following tips above can help you get through that process with ease. It will allow you to get the max compensation for your lost assets. Exodus Public Adjusters are also here to assist you every step of the way. If you are in Florida or the Woodlands, Texas please contact us or visit our website to get more information on how we can assist you.
Don’t get taken advantage of by your insurance companies, and get the most compensation back with a public adjuster.