In the unfortunate event of a home fire, the first decisions you make are crucial to getting your property and life back on track. You must call your insurance agent immediately and ask him or her how to deal with the situation. It’s important to discuss subjects such as protecting what remains of your home, the best restoration companies, temporary housing and selling or rebuilding your home. When interacting with your insurance agent after a home fire, we recommend the following:
1. Report the loss to your insurance agent as soon as you hear about the fire. This is a requirement in all home policies. Contact your agent by phone or email, submitting a “proof of loss claim”, which is the list of losses and their value.
2. Ask what can be done to protect what remains of your home if the fire hasn’t completely destroyed it. Depending on the situation, your agent may advise you to cover the windows or to set up a temporary fence. He or she could also recommend a company that assesses structural damage.
3. Ask about disaster remediation companies that can restore burnt surfaces, clean up soot and remove the smoke odor, provided that the home’s structure is sound after the fire. As soon as the fire is extinguished, it’s highly advisable to seek professional help that can clean up the mess and prevent further damage. Your insurance agent should know several reputable companies that can do the job for you.
4. Ask about temporary housing. In case you can’t return to your home after the fire, ask your insurance agent if your policy includes reimbursement for temporary housing. Some policies may only cover the cost of food, for example. Discuss this matter with your agent.
5. Ask if you should rebuild or sell your house. Selling your home is preferable if your insurance company doesn’t cover all repair costs or the house was not in good shape prior to the fire. However, consider repairing if the damages are minor.
Make sure that you learn all about your insurance policy in advance, since the claims process involves several guidelines that you must follow carefully. After the fire is out, our PuroClean experts can work with your insurance agent to help mitigate the losses and restore your home.