Featured News 2013 Steps Homeowners Should Take After a Fire

Steps Homeowners Should Take After a Fire

When disaster strikes, your recovery can rest heavily on how successfully you deal with your insurance company. Working with insurance adjustors can be a hassle though, and when you are in need of immediate help, it is vital that you know how to protect your full rights.

First off, if you had to leave your home in a rush, you may be left without daily necessities. You should look over your policy to ensure that there is a replacement coverage for the house as well as its contents, and for more than the "actual cash value" of these contents. Your insurance should cover you for the cost of living, from clothes to hygiene products. But you cannot wait until you file a claim with your insurance to collect this immediately needed help. What you can do is call your insurance and ask for an advance on the claim you will be filing; you can ask for someone from the company to give you a check. Keep all your receipts, and remember that you will end up with the bill for exorbitant expenditures, such as purchasing designer clothing.

Before you leave, you also need to be aware that you need to be diligent to "mitigate damages" as much as you can. This can include things like turning the water off at your house when you find that a pipe has broken, and putting out any smoldering flames. You should take measures to protect against vandalism as well, such as boarding your place up. You may also have to keep a lookout on your house from time to time.

Then file your claim immediately. Your insurance requires that you contact them about your loss as soon as you can, and then you can file a proof of loss claim. Ideally, you will already have made an inventory of your property, well before any calamity befell your house. That way you can easily inform insurance on what has been damaged or lost. As fun as it does not sound, you will have to be exceedingly thorough, even creating a notebook to hold notes of all communication you have with insurance. You will also need to collect your receipts, contracts, invoices, etc.

You can keep you insurance company honest as well. That is to say, if your company is taking too long to get back to you, then you should not have to put up with it. You can write to the company, and you might want to give a copy of this document to the state insurance department. Demand that you get paid in time. State laws govern within which time you should receive payment.

In the meantime, you need to detail how much you are spending to live outside your house at this time. You can get reimbursed for whatever extra you pay. So that means if you are paying only a hundred dollars more for food than usual, then you should get one hundred dollars back, not the full amount you spent. If you are staying in a hotel, then you should get this full amount back, since you are still paying a mortgage and other house bills. Also, be sure to never stop making your house insurance payments, though you can ask your insurance to remove a destroyed property from the policy.

If you are staying at someone else's house, then you might ask insurance to pay your friends or family as well. Now this might not be an easy thing to run by your insurance. But you can compare how much less such a reimbursement would cost compared to having to pay for you to stay in a hotel and eat out over that same time period.

Be mindful to not accept payment until you are ready. You might get a check in the mail that says you have agreed to it "in full release" of the claim you filed. If you have not agreed to anything, then run a line through the false sentences, sign and initial it, then return it to your insurance with a thank you and a notice that you still have more to put on the claim. This can be important if you forgot to put something into your original claim in the crazy aftermath of a disaster. Thus you usually will not want a claim to be finished until a few months have passed.

If you have any more questions about your rights as homeowners, or any legal action you may need to take, contact a real estate attorney today!

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