After a fire, the homeowner must file a property damage claim so they can clean up and begin rebuilding. Fires are devastating and sometimes homeowners make a costly mistake during and after settling their fire claims. Most will have a loss adjuster come in to examine their property and file the claim, but there may be things that are missed during the initial claim. One thing to note is that after the insurance company sends you a check and closes the fire claims, the homeowner has three years to add to the existing closed claim. This is possible if it turns out that the damage has not been estimated correctly. To help you make sure you get the right settlement for your brand claims, here are some tips to help you.
Document the damage to your home and other buildings
Take the time to inspect and document all damage yourself. If the house is not a total loss, be sure to take pictures of the damaged rooms. Try to take overviews and some close-up shots. Before entering the room, hall or closet, make an overview. By doing this, it will help you organize your photos and which ones belong to which room. For example, in the living room, take an overview and then go from top to bottom over the walls, ceiling, doors and floor.
Document damage to your content
The next step is to go back to each room and closet to inventory your contents. For anything damage including clothing, shoes, furniture, paintings, etc. damaged by the fire, make sure to show the damage in the photo. Yes, this is going to take a lot of photos, but everything needs to be documented to get proper settlement. List all content that has been corrupted. Once you’ve listed the damaged items and had the photos taken, look around the room again to make sure you haven’t missed anything. For each room, make an inventory list with the attached photos.
Check your insurance policy
Yes, insurance policies are hard to understand, but before you file fire claims, take the time to review your police basics, such as how much coverage you have for your home, how much coverage there is for your personal belongings, and how much the policy pay to stay in a hotel.
Once you have filed fire claims, the claims adjuster will go to the scene of the fire and file their own claim. Do not give them the original photos and the claim form, but a copy. This will help them expedite the claim.