Your Home Was Lost to a Fire, Now What?
Moving into a home can be a wonderful, freeing feeling. You and your family have ample space to live and make memories that will last a lifetime. Suddenly, disaster in the form of a fire strikes and your home is destroyed.
That is why you got insurance, right? Sometimes, they offer a much smaller settlement than your coverage suggests you should get, and now you have another problem on your hands. If you have lost your home to a fire, here are a few things you must do.
Preparing the Claim
If you want the process to go smoothly and get fair compensation from the insurance company, you must prepare your insurance claim properly. This means creating a Schedule of Loss that shows them what was destroyed or damaged in the fire.
The list needs to include where you bought these items and what you paid for them. The more evidence you provide to corroborate the claim, the better.
Usually, insurance adjusters assess the damage and let contractors they work with bid on the job. It’s savvy to document the damage to your home with photos or videos, as it helps you avoid issues from the start that could result in a lower settlement.
In the aftermath of a fire, you will need a place to live, clothes to wear, and other daily essentials. Document these things as you buy them and store the receipts somewhere safe. You should be compensated for them after the claim in a timely fashion, but you have to be cautious to not splurge or take advantage of the situation. The insurance company will only offer reimbursement for additional expenses that are reasonable.
Just because you submit something for reimbursement does not mean the company will pay it.
Rein In Your Budget
Unfortunately, a home insurance claim can take months or even years to wrap up. The home may not be repaired or ready to live in once the claim is complete, so you could be out of the home even longer.
You do not want to spend beyond your means in this temporary period, even if you have extra costs to bear, like renting an apartment until you can move back in. Your insurance company can provide a cash advance for any Additional Living Expenses after your loss. Just ensure you know your ALE limit and stay within it.
Prepare for a Rejected or Undervalued Claim
The insurance company will not necessarily pay out the settlement you think your coverage warrants. You can get angry and stew about it when this happens or be ready and prepared for this possibility.
The leading insurance lawyers can help you dispute the results and get the settlement you think you deserve. They will help you navigate the process, review your claim and policy, and maximize your return.
Losing your home to a disaster such as a fire is devastating. However, it is important to be mindful that insurance coverage may not cover all expense you face. Being prepare and organized, following through with the actions described above will help put you in the best position to handle your claim. If you’re mindful of budget, keep records of expenses and what was damaged, and find a committed and experienced insurance lawyer, you will be in the best position to restore order in your home quicker than you think.