Fire is an ever-looming threat and it can have devastating consequences. Your home can be quickly destroyed by a fast-spreading fire. The sight of all of your home and all of your personal property being turned to ash is emotionally overwhelming. On top of this, you will have to plan for things like where you will stay while your home is being repaired and also worry about things that we often take for granted like having clean clothes and toiletries. All of this may have been wiped out in the fire. Unfortunately, while you are paying for the necessary cost of living expenses after a fire, an insurance company may end up dragging its feet in responding to your claim. What’s worse is that they may give you a hard time in paying your claim or undermining the value of your claim. There are, however, certain steps you should take after a fire to help streamline the claims process and protect the value of your claim.
What to Do If Your Home Is Damaged by Fire
There can be many expenses after a fire such as paying for temporary housing and the need to buy things like clothes and food. If you are struggling financially with these added expenses, you can request an advance from your insurance company. Just remember that this advance will come out of the final sum for your claim. Please be prudent in your spending and, if you can do so safely, grab things from your home, such as spare clothes and toiletries, so you do not need to pay to replace these items.
It is crucial that you file your claim as soon as possible. There is likely a provision in your homeowners’ insurance policy that requires you to file a claim as soon as possible. In addition to this requirement set forth in your policy, it is also a matter of getting your claim processed as soon as possible. The longer you wait to file your claim, the longer the line of claims in front of you can become. Waiting can result in your claim taking much longer to process. Do not hesitate to file your claim. Some people mistakenly believe that filing a homeowners’ claim will result in their premiums skyrocketing or the loss of their homeowners’ insurance. This is not so. As long as there is no evidence of fraud, you are not at risk of losing coverage or having your insurance premiums go up.
Additionally, keep paying your insurance premiums throughout the claims process. It may be tempting to stop paying your insurance premiums because it is another expense, you have a pending claim, and the insurance company may be taking a fair amount of time to process your claim, but failure to pay your insurance premium could jeopardize your claim. Your insurance company may even sop processing your claim based on your failure to maintain a policy with them.
It is also very important to document all of your losses. It is an arduous, time-consuming task. Making a list of all of your personal property that you have lost in a fire is probably not something you want to undertake, especially when there is so much else going on. However, this is documentation that will support your claim. An insurance adjuster will want to see a list of your losses to support the claim amount. The list of losses should include the value of what was lost. You may very well need to get estimates of the value of the property you lost as well as the cost of replacing the item. The insurance company will send its own adjuster to provide estimates. However, you also have the right to get your own adjuster to provide estimates. This is a good thing to do as the adjuster for the insurance company works for the insurance company and will have their best interests in mind.
Florida Fire Damage Claim Attorney
The last thing anyone wants to do after their home was damaged in a fire is to deal with an insurance company taking their time or fighting their claim. That is why the Law Office of William J. Roe is here to advocate on behalf of clients and their right to full and fair compensation for their losses. Let us take on the insurance companies while you focus on getting your home and everyday life back in order after a fire. Contact us today.