If fire damages your home, the insurance claim process can be one of the most severe and long types of property loss to sift through. While it may seem like the most straightforward way go with your insurance company’s claims adjuster recommendation, doing so usually leads to a delayed settlement, underpaid settlements, and insufficient options for repairs to your property. Many homeowners willingly accept what the insurance company tells them, even though they are not experienced, and/or knowledgeable in all the steps, terms, and jargon that are used in the insurance industry.
Insurance Claims for Fire Damage
A fire insurance claim is one of the most complex types. Insurance companies often overlook or underpay the full cost of repairs to your home. Fire claims require attention to detail during the claim process. Homeowners and business owners alike follow the insurance company’s claim adjuster at their peril. Often this can result in many delays, low settlement payouts and even denied claims. This is where Churchill Public Adjusters can assist and ensure you receive maximum compensation for your damages as well as getting your life back to normal.
Being a victim of fire damage to your property can be a very heart-breaking scenario. It is the worst property damage that can occur to a property owner. You can completely lose your property and belongings, and even to the point of having someone get hurt, or fatally wounded. You may be left without a home, or sadly, even a pet. What do you do next? Filing a claim may not be the first thought that comes to mind. You will probably need a few days to regain your composure, but do not wait too long as it is essential to take action immediately. Hiring a public adjuster can allow you the time necessary to compose yourself.
Why You Should Speak With A Public Adjuster
People decide to do it on their own with handling fire damage claims with the insurance companies instead of getting help and legal protection in the form of a public adjuster. This can cause many delays in the claim when the homeowner decides to go it their own the settlements and replacements may be heavily delayed. Most insurance companies will negotiate not to pay the full amount the repairs and replacements will cost. In most cases, insurance companies find it easier to go against homeowners when they do not have their public adjuster as there is no one to fight for the homeowner’s rights and in most cases take advantage of the situation. Many homeowners do not fully understand the complicated process of filing an insurance claim, and the many technicalities of their policy.
A Public Adjuster will always be the homeowners’ advocate and is always recommended to dispute your claim to make sure you receive what you are entitled to receive. We deal with the problem. You don’t need any more issues in your life. We bring our experts to assess the extent of your damages and fight to regain all recompense for the harms done. We work rigorously and promptly so you may continue your normal life regardless of the damage your property has sustained. We will help settle and dispute your claim to make sure you receive every cent you are entitled to and to ensure you as the homeowner, are happy with the results of your claim.
What We Offer You
Insurance companies tend to deny fire damage claims. If you have suffered fire damage and were denied your claim, or just need guidance in what to do, we are your solution. We deal with fire claims daily and have a specialized group of public adjusters. We will strive to obtain the most favorable claim results for your damages.
You might not be up for the fight, but we are your back-up. Losing your property to a fire is not something someone should have to deal with alone. Just contact us today and speak with one of our skillful public adjusters. You have nothing to lose, just to gain.
Tips for Filing Fire Damage Insurance Claim
Homeowners filing a fire damage insurance claim should document damages, this includes:
- Taking pictures of all the damages
- Written description all the damages
- Date of the damage
- Type of loss
- Condition of home
- Specify any injuries
- Contact authorities if necessary
- Mitigate the damages on your property
- Don’t throw anything out or clean anything up until the public adjuster investigates the damage
- Keep all the documents just in case there’s a dispute to settle later in the process
Prevention of Fire/Fire Damage
- Fire alarms: always replace their batteries because you never know when it will come in handy.
- Fire extinguisher: it will help limit the fire damage that is being caused in your home.
- Fire door. Installing a fire door can slow down the progression of the fire which gives you enough time to call emergency services.
Environmental Conditions After Fire Damage
Smoke that is released from a fire is a mixture of particles and chemicals that have been produced by incomplete burning of carbon-containing materials.
Statistics on fire damage
- There is an average of 357,000 residential fires every year, reports the National Fire Protection Association. That is:
- 2,510 civilian fire deaths
- 12, 300 civilian fire injuries
- $6.7 billion in direct damages
- In a national average, about seven people die a year just in the United States alone.
- 3/5 deaths in the US were due to fires in the home that have no smoke detector or no working smoke alarms
A restaurant in Washington, DC caught on fire after an electrical short in a $50 vent fan above the kitchen ignited two alarm fires. Water and smoke also caused damage to the structures. Despite the employees being their main priority, the furniture was a signature piece of the restaurant. Consequently, it was urgent that the restaurant replaced their historic furniture with similar pieces. The insurance denied the claim, so they hired a public adjuster who negotiated a deal with the insurance company to pay the staff in an agreed amount per week until the reopening. The public adjuster also hired several mechanical engineers to work on the reconstruction and hired a moving and storage company to take care and handle the collection of artwork, furniture, and fixtures.
How Smoke Can Affect Your Health
- An individual with a heart or lung condition, an older adult, young children, a person with diabetes and a pregnant woman are the main ones at risk during a fire.
- According to the Department of Health, inhaling smoke even for a short amount of time can have adverse effects. Irritation to the eyes, throat, nose can be caused by inhaling smoke. In the instances where you inhale carbon monoxide, it can reduce alertness, it can aggravate a heart condition and give you headaches because carbon monoxide diminishes oxygen supply in your body
- Individuals who live in areas with higher air pollution, can suffer long term effects that include: increased mortality rates, cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases.
Should I clean the fire damage or should I hire a professional?
Most people don’t know that if you try to clean up smoke damage by yourself, it can actually cause more damage to you, your home and your personal belongings. Hiring a professional is the safer route because professionals will be able to properly remove all the fire damage.
- Smoke particles tend to linger in your home if its not removed properly and thus hiring a professional would be ideal for this job.
- Smoke damage and smoke residue can’t be washed or wiped away because it will still leave traces of smoke particles. Professionals will work with you to help you restore your things.
- You need more than yourself to get the job done. Addressing fire damage by yourself is hazardous even if you think it seems like an easy cleanup.
Does Home Insurance Cover Fire Damage?
Homeowners insurance should cover fire damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner’s insurance will help pay for additional costs of having to live away from your home if your home is uninhabitable. Your insurance should also cover detached structures such as sheds or detached garages and fences, if they were caught in the fire. Your personal belongs and/or landscaping that may have been caught in the fire are also part of the homeowner’s coverage. If you feel like your homeowners insurance has not entirely covered for everything that was in the fire, reach out to an experience public adjuster. Churchill public adjusters will help you win your case!
What Can’t Be Covered Under A Home Insurance Fire Damage?
- Arson and fire damage in a vacant home are not covered under insurance policy. For one, arson is a criminal offense and often gives incentives for people to collect insurance money.
- When a vacant home suffers fire damage, insurance companies usually would not cover it. A home is vacant when no one has lived there for more than 30 consecutive days. In some home insurance policies, they provide “vacant home insurance” which essentially covers theft, wind, hail, fire vandalism and anything standard that’s given in a standard homeowners insurance policy.
What Do I Say Or Ask My Insurance Company After A Fire Damage?
- As soon as you contact your insurance company ask them about the immediate needs of your house which includes pumping out water, covering doors, windows, and other openings to the home.
- Ask them what to do next. Most insurance companies would tell you to make a list of everything that has been damaged in the fire and they will ask you to describe the items in detail and include all the price for how much you paid for the damages.
What To Expect After A Fire Damage?
- According to The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, you should expect to see severe damage to your home after a fire due to the flames, heat, smoke, and water. Anything that you want to keep will need to be cleaned properly. The firefighters may cut holes in the walls to look for existing hidden flames and they may also cut through the roof to let out the heat and smoke.
- It is also important to use caution when re-entering your home and be aware of the health and safety risks.
What Precautions Do I Need To Take After The Fire?
- Do not enter a fire damaged home unless the fire department tells you it is safe to go.
- Look out for damaged that may have caused the fire
- Be aware of roofs and floorboards may be unstable to walk on after a fire
- Contact your insurance company immediately.
DIY Sites On Cleaning Up After Smoke Damage
If you don’t go the professional route, here are some do it yourself sites to help you: