There is nothing more disheartening than losing one’s home to a house fire. Seeing your dream home covered in soot, ashes, smoke, along with water damage throughout your home is saddening. The contents charred and windows blown out is more than a person can tolerate. Here are some suggestions that may help make the process of recovery a little easier on you and your loved ones.
Call your insurance company right away. They will send an adjuster out immediately to help sort things out. Your insurance company may cover your living expenses for several months. Your claims agent will help document your losses.
Do not give out your phone number to anyone or agree to services from companies you do not know. Do not answer your phone to any number you do not know.
Make sure you know the public adjuster, who will help board up your home and come up with the losses in your home. They are bonded and licensed by the state you live in. Check out anyone that says they are an adjuster. Confirm that they are before you hire them.
Document your losses as quickly as possible. Make sure you take note of the age of the items, condition, and the cost to replace it. Your insurance company will do this for you, however, all of the items damaged may not be added to the list since they are unaware of all of your belongings.
If your insurance company offers an adjuster ask questions about this person before you accept. You will want to know how long they have been an adjuster, how important your claim is to them, and what their area of expertise is. If you are not satisfied with the answers they give then contact your insurance company and let them know you would prefer someone else. You want someone you will feel comfortable with and has the knowledge to handle your claim.
Push the process along with your insurance company. House fire claims can linger for months if you do not stay on top of them. Go over their head, if need be, to their boss. Hopefully it will not have to come to this, but, know your options.
Most insurance companies will allow you to have your home and belongings restored. If this cannot be done then they should be replaced. This may be a struggle on your part but DO NOT give up. If you do, it will only be your loss.
If you have valuables and they were not agreed upon with your insurance agent prior to the fire, you may have a hard time collecting the true value of the items.
It usually takes approximately 3 to 9 months to fully resolve a house fire claim. Be patient, however, be persistent. Make sure what they tell you will happen and when it will take place actually does.
You do not have to wait for the insurance adjuster to send a contractor to start the rebuilding of your home. You can get estimates from contractors and submit them to your insurance company. You may have to haggle with them in order to come to an agreement on the damage estimate and the cost of repairs, but, it will be worth the time spent to do this.
After you have received the estimates you can save on the materials and supplies needed…along with all the other items you need to replace, such as furniture, appliances, clothing…the list goes on. This is not just for the time of rebuilding, but, for the rest of your life. You and your family deserve a break such as this after going through so much. Rebuild and save today – and for a lifetime!
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