Many people think that a house fire will never happen to them. However, there is a chance that it can happen to anyone at anytime. The sad truth is that most people are not fully prepared to handle what comes after such an awful experience. There is a lot to take care of in the first days after a fire has broken out in your home. It can be very stressful figuring out what steps to take in order to get your home taken care of and get your life back together. In the unfortunate event that you have a fire in your home, below are some of the top steps to take afterwards.
Call Insurance Company Right Away
Once you have a fire and the word gets out, you will most likely be getting contacted by numerous contractors and public adjusters who are going to try and offer you every deal in the book to get your house put back together. However, if you have insurance that covers fire damage, it is in your best interest to only talk to your insurance company’s adjuster and no one else. Speaking to anyone else can lead to more stress and confusion in the process.
Ask For Restoration Referrals
When you are talking to your insurance agent, they may be able to refer you to some local, reputable fire restoration companies. It is essential that you hire a reputable company to take care of the situation. Your insurance company deals with these situations on a daily basis and they will be able to work with you to find a company to hire. Additionally, many of the restoration companies will have good connections with engineers, architects and contractors who they can work alongside to get your home put back together.
Separate Damaged Property From Undamaged Property
Your insurance company is going to need a detailed list of everything that was damaged in the fire. Take time going through what you are able to and separate the damaged items from the undamaged items. This list will make it easier and quicker for the adjuster to get your claim processed. Some things that should be included in your list are when you purchased the item, how much you paid and a description of the item.
Save Undamaged Property
Any items that you find after the fire that are not damaged need to be stored properly. They should be put in a safe place while your home is being fixed. Depending on the extent of the damage from the fire, it may be necessary to move your undamaged belongings to a storage facility until your home is repaired. Many insurance adjusters will add more funds to your claim to cover storage costs when necessary.
Find Somewhere To Stay
Ask your insurance adjuster if your policy covers food, clothing and shelter while your home is being fixed. Most policies include coverage in cases like this called “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents”. This can help set you and your family up in a motel for a specified period of time while you are getting your insurance claim taken care of. More often than not, your insurance company will send an adjuster out to your home within a day or two to view the property and start the claim process. Be sure that you are available for any questions or calls from your insurance company. Being available for all calls and meetings will speed up the whole process and get your life back on track quicker. If your policy does not have this clause added to it, you may need to ask family or friends to let you stay with them for a while.
It is important to know what steps to take after a fire in your home. However, it is better to know what to do before any disaster strikes. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy periodically to make sure you have adequate coverage to fix your home and replace all of your belongings if they become damaged. The last thing you will want to find out after a fire has damaged your home and belongings is that you don’t have enough coverage to get you back on your feet.
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