Nobody ever expects a fire to happen to them, but when it does, it’s important to be prepared. Fire and smoke damage to your home can require a lot of work to get it back to its previous condition. If your home has been damaged by a fire, you will likely need to file a claim with your insurance company. This can be a tedious process, but with the right information, you can perform it fairly easily. In this blog post, our Texas lawyers will discuss some of the best practices for dealing with insurance companies after a fire damage incident. Continue reading for more information!
Initial steps to take
Fire is considered to be one of the most destructive forces a homeowner can face. Not only do they cause serious property damage, but they also create a serious safety hazard. In the event of a fire, the first priority should be to evacuate the building and ensure everyone is safe. Once the immediate danger has passed, homeowners should contact their insurance company and begin the process of filing a claim. It is important to take pictures of the damage before taking any steps to mitigate it. This will provide documentation of the full extent of the damage to the insurance company. In addition, it is important to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage. The costs associated with these mitigation efforts will be covered by the insurance policy. Some examples of how to mitigate fire and smoke damage include the following.
- Ventilation and air circulation in the home
- stop any combustion
- sabotage prevention board
- Cover the carpet after removing the soot to prevent it from tracking on the floor
- Be alert, new problems may arise
Dealing with your insurance company
Homeowners insurance policies typically require the policyholder to report any loss as soon as possible after it occurs. This can be done by contacting the agent or insurance company, either by phone or email. Once the loss has been reported, the policyholder will be required to provide a “Proof of Loss Claim”. This claim will detail the losses and determine the value of each. The insurance company will then use this information to process the claim and determine the amount of payment due. By reporting the loss promptly and providing complete and accurate proof of a loss claim, homeowners can help ensure their claims are processed quickly and smoothly.
It is important to keep track of all communications with the company, including phone calls, emails, and letters. This will help ensure that you have a record of what was said if there is later disagreement about who said what to whom, and when. In addition, keep all relevant documentation in a three-ring file, including estimates, invoices, bills, permits, and repair contracts. and never separate from the original document; If the insurance company wants to see a bill or bid, make a copy of it. Your insurance company will want to close your claim as soon as possible, but it is important to resist that pressure. The longer you open your claim, the greater the chance that you will find out and file a claim for an additional loss. However, homeowners often discover losses they initially ignored, possibly due to the stress of living through a disaster. Protect against this possibility by waiting at least a few months before allowing your claim to be closed. By taking this precaution, you can ensure that all your losses are properly accounted for and compensated for.
When to ask for legal action
If you experience a house fire, it is important that you take the time to understand your insurance policy and file a claim. Unfortunately, many homeowners face resistance from their insurance company or are given an insufficient amount of money to cover damages. In these cases, it is helpful to have legal representation that understands property law and can help you get the settlement you deserve. Voss Law Firm, PC has been protecting the rights of policyholders for the past 16 years, and in that time, we’ve recovered billions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Ready to see what we can do for you? Complete the online contact form or call our office at 888-614-7730 To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team. We work in emergencies, so don’t pay anything unless we win your case.