If you ever have to deal with a fire in your home or business knowing The Untold Secrets Of Mastering Your Fire Insurance Claim can make a real difference. There are several important decisions you will have to make immediately following a fire and it is those decisions made before you file that strengthen or weaken your Insurance claim.
Before You File Your Insurance Claim
Filing a fire insurance claim is not always straightforward and can be a painstaking process. You have just experienced a loss which is highly upsetting and making inventory of burned belongings alone can be a daunting task. However, it is important to do that before you file.
Document Contents and Details
The insurance company’s only responsibility is to cover the damage after the Fire Insurance claim has been filed while there’s many daily tasks that require attention immediately following a fire. For instance, if you cannot live in your home after a fire, however temporarily, you need another place to stay. If there’s business interruption following a fire you need to properly document it.
The most important thing that makes your Fire Insurance claim strong is documentation, such as photographs. Whether it’s your business or home it is a good idea to go around with a camera as soon as it’s safe to do so and document the extent of damage. Never throw anything away and file your claim as soon as possible.
In addition to listing all belongings lost in the fire you also need to include the police or fire department’s report in your claim so make sure you obtain one. If any immediate repairs were needed to secure further damage you must include those as well. That’s a lot of details to keep track of immediately following a loss.
Also, keep in mind that fire may leave damage you cannot see therefore will be unable to estimate on your own. You may lack the expertise to properly detail the extent of your damage in your claim and the insurance company’s job starts after you file, not before. They will usually not point out the things you miss even if they become aware of them.
Insurance Clam Assistance from Loss Assessor
It may be helpful to have a Loss Assessor on your side who will help you with these things before you file so that you have peace of mind that you are properly preparing the claim. That way you also won’t have to worry about negotiating with the insurance company because they will take care of that for you.
The Secret of Filing Your Fire Insurance Claim
The essential thing about filing a claim is to do it within a reasonable amount of time with an itemized list of damaged property already in hand. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible by telephone or email.
The insurance company will ask you for Proof of Loss so make sure you have detailed all items first and have not thrown anything away. Every item you include in this inventory needs to be assigned an approximate value. This does not need to be the exact value but should be an accurate estimate. It’s also important to keep receipts for every purchase that has to do with your fire loss.
When you do file your claim with your insurance company, they will assign an adjuster to handle it. The loss adjuster will arrange to meet with you, most likely at the damaged property, to assess your loss. This meeting will be what their report to the insurer will be based on and they may ask you some uncomfortable or upsetting questions during it. It’s helpful to be well prepared for this meeting.
It is the claim adjuster’s job to determine how much the insurance company should pay for the damage. It is also their recommendation that initially decides whether the claim should be accepted or denied. To Master Your Fire Insurance Claim, you need to be as prepared as possible in all communications with them.
The Secret of Making Your Fire Insurance Claim Strong
Since insurers can reduce or even deny your claim for several reasons it is important to avoid some common mistakes a lot of claimants make. Knowing the small print in your own policy is essential to a smooth claim process. Make sure you have adequate cover. How much your claim is worth, or the amount of your settlement depends largely on how much you are insured for. If you can’t find your policy get a copy from your insurance company and read it.
If you file on time and have proper documentation but do not agree with the adjuster’s assessment of your loss you don’t have to accept the insurance company’s offer.
If you think your claim is worth more communicate that in writing and ask for a justification of the offered estimate. This is where hiring a loss assessor can prove especially helpful because they will negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf. This spares you the unpleasant experience of going at it alone.
A loss assessor, such as the Oakleafe team, will work towards the highest amount the insurer is willing to pay, not just the minimum. They will also make sure your insurance company accepts liability as soon as possible.
After You File Your Fire Insurance Claim
Straightforward fire claims, such as a kitchen fire, should be settled within 3 months but if the insurer finds reason to investigate it could drag the process out for a lot longer. Most insurance companies hire forensic experts if there is a need to investigate a claim further. This can be particularly stressful for a lot of people and can make them feel like suspects instead of victims.
To Master Your Fire Insurance Claim document all contact with the adjuster and insurance company and keep copies of any and all documents you provide them with. For instance, if they advise you to start repairs make sure you have that communication in writing.
The next important thing is to stay in control of your belongings. If the insurance company decides to send your property to a company they work with to be restored, you do not have to agree to this if you think they are beyond salvageable or if you don’t think restoring them will be satisfactory. If you decide to hire a Loss Assessor, they can be a great help with this as well.
There are many things which can prove difficult in Mastering Your Fire Insurance Claim, but they don’t need to be. If you keep in mind that time and documentation are key and if you decide to hire a Loss Assessor your claim can be processed both quickly and for an adequate amount with respect to your loss.
Any fire is a grim experience but you can save yourself a lot of hassle afterwards by knowing exactly what to do. Since you will already have enough on your mind with worrying about your family or business, companies like Oakleafe are here to lessen the stress of the Fire Insurance Claim process and save you time. The Secrets of Mastering Your Fire Insurance Claim are timing, documentation and obtaining the right kind of help.