A house fire can be a devastating experience, and as a fire damage restoration expert, I understand how difficult it can be once the smoke clears and the dust settles. Dealing with insurance just adds to the stress of such a traumatic situation for homeowners. Here are some tips for dealing with your insurance after a house fire:
Keep records of correspondence
As a property owner, you need to look out for yourself. Keep detailed records of all of your interactions with the insurance company, from phone calls to emails to letters. For phone calls, take note of the time, date, and the names of the people that you speak to. Print out copies of email exchanges and put them in a folder for safekeeping.
Take your own photos
While an insurance adjuster will be coming to the property to photograph the damage, you should not rely on them alone. Take your own photos of the home, detailing the damage in each area, as well as the damage to your personal belongings. You’re more familiar with your home and you know exactly what has been damaged, so as difficult as it may be to face the reality of the fire, you need to do it to protect the value of your property. It’s very helpful if you have photos and receipts for big ticket items stored away before an incident occurs.
Don’t accept reimbursement until you are completely comfortable with it
Take the time to go over the details to ensure that you are getting what you are entitled to. There is no need to rush and make a hasty decision. Ask for explanations of the numbers that the insurance company has come up with, and don’t accept an offer that only covers cosmetic fixes. You want to be sure that any structural issues and damage below the surface have been looked into so that you can have the necessary repairs made.
Choose a fire damage restoration company that offers direct insurance billing
Direct insurance billing gives homeowners peace of mind. There’s so much to think about after a fire, and it’s helpful to have the restoration company bill the insurance directly. This means that you won’t have to stress about the numbers and deal with confusing phone calls and back and forth. Managing a claim can be difficult for any homeowner, since they aren’t typically familiar with the details of the process. Let the experts handle the claim and make all of the necessary repairs, while you worry about getting your life back to normal.
A skilled restoration company will know what to look for, in terms of damage, and they will make sure that all of the issues are uncovered and accounted for. Homeowners may just simply take the initial settlement offer, and find that the repairs end up being far more extensive and costly. One of the best ways that homeowners can protect themselves after a fire is by working with a qualified fire damage restoration company.