Filing a Fire Insurance Claim: 5 Best Practices
Fire damage to your home or business can be a nightmare. Fortunately, filing a fire insurance claim with your insurance company can help you get back on your feet. There are some steps that you will want to take to ensure it's done right, however. Speak with a fire insurance claim lawyer about best practices. Meanwhile, in today's blog, we'll break down some of our house fire insurance claim tips.
5 Fire Insurance Claim Tips and Best Practices
Sometimes it can feel as though insurance companies make filing a fire damage insurance claim overly complicated. There are a number of different problems that you can run into throughout the claim process. Fortunately, you don't have to go through it alone; and there are some steps that can help guide you through the fire insurance claim process seamlessly. Here are a few of our fire insurance claim tips and best practices:
1. Get Help From a Fire Insurance Claim Lawyer
The first step is to find a good fire insurance claim lawyer. Ideally, it's a good idea to have a lawyer experienced with insurance claims before the fire ever happens. If you don't have one, then you should hire one right away.
This attorney can both advise you as you go into the claims process and negotiate with the insurance adjusters to ensure you get the recovery funding you need. If the insurance company unjustly denies your claim or refuses to pay, your attorney can go to bat for you. After all, you pay the insurance premiums month after month, and you deserve to have support when you need it.
2. Start the Fire Insurance Claims Process Immediately
If you wait too long to file the fire insurance claim, your insurance carrier may wonder why. They may suspect that you don't actually need the financial assistance. Most insurance policies will only allow you one year to file your claim. The sooner you do so within that time, the better. It can be difficult to spring into action immediately after a fire. Remember that the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can get approved and get back on your feet.
Go through your insurance policy to find the steps to file a claim. Find a way to do some fire insurance claim calculation to get an idea of how much you would receive, and look at other fire insurance claim examples. Take pictures of the scene and clearly record everything that happened. Take pictures of smoke damage as well as fire damage. Fire smoke damage insurance claims can be just as important when it comes to finding your footing again financially. Then make a plan with your fire insurance claim lawyer to file your claim. Once that's done, it's time to file. No more putting it off.
3. Document All of Your Losses and Don't Discard Anything
Your house fire insurance claim will need to be backed up with evidence. That's why it's important to document all of your losses. Hold onto any incident reports, any invoices, or any other record that helps your claim. You need to be able to establish that the fire happened through no fault of your own, and that it caused substantial damage to your home - or business, in the case of a commercial fire insurance claim. You will need to be able to prove that the fire is an incident that is covered in your homeowners insurance policy. It's better to have too much documentation than too little.
4. Track Your Living Expenses
The fire damage to the insured property may also impact your way of living. For instance, if your home burns down or needs significant structural rebuilding or remodeling, your family may need to stay in a hotel for a while. If you're unable to use the kitchen, you may have to eat out more often than you would have before. Make sure to track these living expenses. Even if they're not direct costs to repair your home, they do still impact your financial well-being. Your insurance proceeds may be able to help cover this.
5. Secure Your Property From Further Damage to the Best of Your Ability
You may not be able to account for everything that could happen to your home. However, you can take steps to make sure that your property is better protected. If there are any construction or repair solutions that can protect your property, you might invest in those. If you find that your insurance coverage is too limited or your insurance agent unhelpful, you might look for another insurance policy.
You Don't Have To Deal With Insurance Companies Alone
The issue that faces many home and business owners when filing fire insurance claims is that the insurance companies run their business on trying to pay as little as possible. Insurance adjusters often twist the words of the claimant in order to suit their needs and make the claim deniable. You may feel that it's a battle of David against Goliath when fighting the insurance companies. The good news is you don't have to fight that battle on your own.
Our team at Daniels Law can fight for you. We have experience dealing with insurance adjusters and advocating for the rights of our clients so that they get the approved insurance claim and proceeds they deserve. Even if you just need some fire insurance claims tips, we're happy to advise you. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.