After suffering a fire the homeowner will need to do file a claim for property damages so they can clean up and start to rebuild. Fires are devastating and sometimes homeowners will make a costly mistake during and after the settlement of their fire claims. Most will let a fire claim adjustor come survey their property and make the claim but there can be things that are missed during the initial claim. One thing to note is that after the insurance company sends you a check and closes the fire claims the homeowner has three years to add to the existing closed claim. This can be done if it is found that the damages were not assessed correctly. To help make sure that you get the right settlement for your fire claims, here are some tips to help you.
Document the damage to your home and other buildings
Take the time to inspect and document all of the damage yourself. If the home is not a total loss make sure that you take pictures of the damaged rooms. Try to take overviews and some close-up photos. Before you enter the room, hall, or closet take an overview. By doing this it will help you to organize your pictures and which ones belong to which room. For example, with the living room, take an overview, then go from top to bottom of the walls, ceiling, doors, and the floor.
Document damage to your contents
The next step is to go back to each room and closet to inventory your contents. For everything that is damage, including clothes, shoes, furniture, paintings, etc that have been damaged by the fire making sure to show the damage on the picture. Yes, this is going to take a lot of pictures but everything needs to be documented in order to get the right settlement. Make a list of all contents that have been damage. Once you have listed the damaged items and have the pictures take another look around the room to make sure that you have not missed anything. Make an inventory list for each room with the pictures attached.
Review your insurance policy
Yes, insurance policies are hard to understand but before filing fire claims you should take the time to review your police basics, such as how much coverage you have on your home, how much coverage is on your personal belongings, and how much will the policy pay for you to stay in a hotel.
Once you do fire claims the fire claims adjuster will cover to the site of the fire and start their own claim. Do not give them the original photos and inventory claim sheet but a copy. This will help them expedite the claim.