Fire is one of the costliest disasters any home can experience; it can totally destroy your home. Every homeowner should know what to do to maximize their claims in case of fire damages. Here are some of the tips you can use to help you:
Mitigate Further Loss
As soon as you discover that your house is burning or has burnt, the first thing you should do is to prevent further damage. Therefore, if the house is still burning, call the fire department to extinguish it. Once the fire has been extinguished, take measures to ensure the surviving items don't experience further damage. This may mean, for example, removing such items to safe places so that they aren't damaged by smoke, dust, or any lingering fire.
Don't Throw Away Burnt Things
Insurance fraud is real, and it costs insurers considerable money every year. Therefore, don't be surprised if your insurer thinks you are trying to scam them if you don't have proof of damage. Proof can come in various ways, but one of the best ones is to show the adjuster partially burnt household items. Charred leather seats, partially molten TV sets and blackened books all present compelling evidence of your loss. Therefore, don't be hasty in throwing away burnt items before talking with the adjuster.
Keep Track Of Your Living Expenses
Homeowners insurance doesn't just pay for damaged structures and household items; it also pays for your additional living expenses (ALE) if you are forced to live outside your house while it's being repaired. Unfortunately, it's easier to keep track of the cost of your damaged house (and its contents) than it is to do the same for your ALE. Therefore, you need to make a conscious effort to ensure that all ALE expenditures are recorded. Every time you buy something, pay rent or settle a bill, note it in your ALE records.
Understand the Scope of the Damage
A fire disaster is a harrowing experience, and you shouldn't be surprised if you keep on forgetting some of your items during the claim process. Not only that, but some form of damage may be hidden from view, meaning you may not discover them immediately after the disaster. For this reason, don't rush into settling and accepting your claim as closed until you are sure everything has been paid for. In short, investigate your losses, document them and understand them fully before letting the insurer close your claim.
For more information, talk to a professional like Martin Insurance Company.