Tips for Handling a Smoke or Fire Damage Insurance Claim
Smoke and fire damage insurance claims can be tricky. With a little research, however, you can maximize your chances of having your claim approved and ensure you get coverage at a time when you need it most.
Below, you’ll find some of our favorite tips for handling a smoke or fire damage insurance claim.
Document Everything: The more photos and documentation you have, the better. Photograph anything damaged by smoke or fire or anything that you even think is damaged by smoke or fire. Keep any receipts you have. Keep track of contractor estimates and other paperwork.
Contact your Insurance Company Immediately: Never wait a few days to contact your insurance company after a loss. All major insurance companies have 24/7 claims reporting. The sooner you contact your insurance company, the better.
Hire a Public Adjuster: Public adjusters work for you – not the insurance company. They negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain a fair settlement. A public adjuster can maximize your claim while eliminating your burden and confusion. Get a fair and justified claim settlement by hiring a public adjuster.
Understand your Policy: Read through your insurance policy to verify you understand all information. Check the sections related specifically to fire and smoke damage. Certain insurance policies may have restrictions preventing you from claiming certain damages.
Ask for Emergency Funds from your Insurer: Your insurance company should provide you with emergency funds after a serious fire. These funds can cover hotels, meals, and other expenses if you are unable to stay in your home. Emergency funds may also be available even if you are able to stay in your home.
Keep All Receipts: If staying outside your home, keep all receipts for lodging and meals. Your insurance company needs proof.
Ask for a Second or Third Opinion: Consider requesting an estimate from a restoration company or contractor – especially if there’s a cost dispute with your insurer. Fire and smoke damage insurance claims can be tricky, and sometimes it’s best to see what other experts think.
By following the tips above, you can ensure you enjoy a smooth and hassle-free smoke or fire damage insurance claim process.
For more in depth insurance claim tips on smoke and fire damage see here.