Insurance Claim Tips: 3 Things To Do After A House Fire

25 March 2016
 Categories: Insurance, Blog

One of the last things you want to deal with is a fire in your home. However, as long as you have homeowner's insurance, you should have protection. Here are some things to do after the file when it comes to filing a claim.

Make Sure the Property is Safe First

You first need to make sure your home is safe before doing anything else. If it was a larger fire, you probably vacated the premises until the local fire department arrived. In this case, they will let you know if it is safe to enter. For smaller house fires that you controlled on your own, you will at least need to make sure you start airing out the house by opening all windows and doors and turning fans on. Make sure the flooring has not been compromised so no injuries take place. Keep your children and pets away from the area of the home that was damaged by the fire. More serious fires require them to stay elsewhere so they don't inhale smoke and fumes.

Figure Out What Was Damaged

Once you know the home is safe to enter, you will need to assess the damage. Go through each area that was burned and figure out exactly what was destroyed. Depending on the severity of the fire, this might be part of your home's structure itself, including siding, flooring, walls, ceiling, and roofing. Items inside might have been damaged, such as appliances, furniture, clothing, and valuables. With smaller kitchen fires, you might need all new dishes, cookware, and appliances, and to have the countertops and flooring replaced. Make a list of all items that look to be damaged so you can compare this to the items you have claimed in your homeowner's insurance policy. The insurance adjuster will need a detailed list and the approximate value of those items for an accurate estimate.

Get the Property Inspected

Finally, once you have assessed the damage on your own, you will call your insurance company to have them inspect the property as well. You should already be done taking pictures of the damage and taking down detailed notes before they arrive. You will compare this with what the insurance adjuster finds when they arrive. Once they are done with their inspection, you will prepare your paperwork and file your claim with the insurance company. Include all documents you have, making sure you have copies to save just in case you are not happy with their first settlement offer and want to make a counter-offer.

To learn more about making a claim after a fire, speak with an insurance company such as United Insurance Agency Inc.