Fire-related hazards and accidents are growing by the day. Having insurance for these kinds of disasters offers us a bit of security and ease. When we experience fire damage, having our properties insured may sound good to us, but not to our insurer. That is why some of them will try to cut corners on your fire damage claim in an effort to save money, for example by hastening the closing of an insurance claim.
During this stressful and trying time in your life, having an insurance agency giving you a hard time processing your claim is not something we look forward to experiencing. This article aims to discuss tips to consider in filling out your fire damage insurance claim.
File and compile as soon as possible
When a fire breaks out and burns your property, you must contact your insurance company as soon as possible once the fire is extinguished. Acting quickly during this period is more than necessary for a number of reasons. One of the most prominent reasons is to be on the list of those who will be visited first by the adjuster. This is critical, especially when a large number of properties are also impacted by the fire. During this period, the insurance company wants you to file a “proof of loss claim.” Failure to respond quickly may result in being at the bottom of the adjuster’s schedule of homes to visit, and you may be the last to get your fire insurance claim.
Taking notes during this period is very important. Along with filling out a fire damage claim comes a significant number of emails, phone calls, and letters. Keeping track of every conversation is vital. Another thing that will greatly help would be providing a folder for the receipts and for filing all the original documents gathered during all the transactions.
Mitigate all the prospective damage
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. This saying is also true, even for your property that has recently experienced fire damage. Keep in mind that most, if not all, insurance policies, tend to cover only fire damage caused by accidents. This means that when the fire only damages part of your property, you are expected to mitigate the possible damage that can be incurred. Electricity-related damage can be mitigated by plugging holes in the roof and walls. Looters may also be interested in taking advantage of your property, so creating a temporary fence can prevent this from happening.
List the most accurate repair and/or replace estimates
You have successfully filed a claim and have mitigated all the potential damages. Now, what’s next? The next step you should take is to list all of the items that were damaged and their repair and/or the replacement value. For you to be able to claim your insurance, your insurance agency will require you to submit both the replacement cost and the fair market value. For this data to be accurately gathered, the company will send an adjuster, but keep in mind that the adjuster’s best interest in mind is the company it represents, not you. To mitigate potential loss on your part or at least have a second opinion the public adjuster can be of great help to you.
Are you overwhelmed by all the things you are expected to do and the documents that are expected to be gathered? Well, you are not alone. A huge number of people that experience disasters like fire and water damage turn to public adjusters to represent their interests during the insurance claim process. Having a public adjuster represents a lot of benefits. A notable benefit is ease on your part. Unlike yours, a public adjuster’s day-to-day job is to represent your best interests. This places them at an advantage compared to you, who may only be filing an insurance claim for the first time or not as frequently as they do. This also means they are more than aware of the processes and the necessary documents that may be expected. Another advantage of a public adjuster is that they can see past the things normal insured sees. This means they are fully aware of the repair and replacement values of your property. A common problem that a person that files an insurance claim encounters is the problem of lowballing an insurance claim. Lowballing in an insurance claim occurs when a person tends to offer an unrealistic calculation of the damage. They do this when they offer a very low, or sometimes very high, value for the property or the object that may result in the insurance company completely turning away your claim due to its unrealistic nature. This is not a problem for a public adjuster since they have both the background and software of the insurance company to accurately calculate this for you.