Fire damages can be catastrophic to a home and property. There are different types of fires that can cause damage to your home or business. One form of fire are ones that start outside of the building, such as a wildfire or campfire, that cause destruction to a property. The second type is a fire that starts inside the home, for example a lit candle or an electrical fire. If your home or business sustains damages from a fire, here are some of the steps to take, according to the United Policyholders organization:
- Take care of your family’s immediate needs first.
- Finding temporary housing is a priority. Your insurance company should help you find a place of similar size.
- Start a recovery diary. Any notebook will do. Take notes on who you talked to, the number you called, date and time, what was said. Keep your paperwork organized.
- Ask your insurance company for cash advances for:
- Living Expenses
- Replacing personal property
- Keep all receipts while you are displaced. Hotel bills, clothes, and pet boarding may be reimbursed but require receipts.
- Take photos of your property before any cleanup or debris removal happens.
- Do not rush into signing contracts. Get copies of ALL paperwork you do sign.
- An insurance adjuster will eventually come and inspect your home. If they make you a settlement offer on the spot, get a 2nd opinion on what you’re entitled to.
- Inventorying your damaged and destroyed property is time-consuming and unpleasant. United Policyholders offers tips and tools for getting this done. They also have a free home inventory spreadsheet (UP Home Inventory Spreadsheet (Excel)) that can be used as a guide to document personal property that was lost in a fire.
- Give your insurer a chance to do the right thing but be prepared to stand up for your rights and get help if you’re not being treated fairly.
- Register with FEMA (federally declared disaster) and the SBA (state disaster declarations needed), if it was a wildfire incident.
Your residential or commercial policy might cover both, one, or neither of these fire scenarios. Our firm can help with all types of insured fire claims and will work to ensure all resulting damages are fully addressed. This includes not only the direct losses caused by the fire and smoke by also the damages resulting from the fire suppression.
We would love to help!
If you would like to make an insurance claim for fire damage in the big bend area, or would like us to handle an existing fire claim, please fill out our customer intake form located here. If you would like more information about our services or to request a free claim consultation, please visit our Contact Us page.