House fires cause a lot of property damage and lead to elevated stress levels, especially when it comes to your insurance. A solid policy will allow you to file fire and smoke damage claims to receive compensation for anything you lost in the fire. Find out what you need to do before you meet with a fire claims adjuster to review your incident.
1. Request Living Expenses
In many cases, a house fire might cause so much damage that you cannot live in your home. If the fire inspector says you need to move out, ask the public adjuster for an additional living expense (ALE) advance. Your policy may give you money before your insurer settles the claim. It can cover the cost of a hotel room or a rental home, along with any clothing, food, or personal items you might need.
2. Document Your Losses
Before a disaster happens, create a home inventory list and keep it in a safe place. Your insurer will likely ask you to document your losses after you experience fire damage. Your inventory list will help you see what you lost and what you need to replace. Try to include as many details as you can. Instead of just writing down the number of TVs you lost, list the size, make, and model of each one. You’ll also want to indicate when you bought each item and how much it cost. The fire claims adjuster will use that information to determine how much your insurer will pay.
3. Record All Damages
No matter how big the fire was, make sure you take the time to record all of the damage you see. Southeast Public Adjusters can send an insurance adjuster to your property, but the adjuster will want to see any evidence you accumulated. Photos and videos can help the adjuster write your claim. You can use your cell phone to take videos in each room or capture still photographs. Depending on how much damage occurred, you may need to talk to the fire inspector to ensure it’s safe to enter your home.
4. Rent a Storage Unit
Putting out a fire requires a lot of pressurized water, which can damage some of your favorite things. You also risk smoke odors clinging to some items. If you can get inside after the fire is extinguished, consider moving anything salvageable items to a storage unit. The ALE you get from your insurer should cover storage costs. It may also cover moving van costs related to fire and smoke damage claims.
While a house fire is stressful and upsetting, your adjuster will soothe your mind and get the money you need from your insurer. Reach out to Southeast Public Adjusters to see if there is anything else you can do before meeting with an adjuster to ensure your house fire claim proceeds smoothly.