The Harris Claims Insurance Loss Checklist (Quick List)
Saving You Headaches After A Fire
An insurance loss checklist is very important in order to save you money from damages due to a fire, whether it be on your home or place of business. Once you’ve made certain that everyone is safe and secure, it is essential to carefully document all items lost and damages to the property done by the fire (including smoke damages and water damages caused by fire department).
This insurance loss checklist should be bookmarked using your phone’s browser or emailed to yourself, so it can be accessed during a fire disaster.
Here is a breakdown of the insurance loss checklist and important things to consider if you’ve had a fire destroy your property.
- Locate and look over your insurance policy. Make sure you understand all the terms and policies in the document. If you don’t have copies of your policy or can’t find it, you can request copies from your homeowner’s insurance company. Your insurance company should provide you and your family with some form of living expenses such as paying for a hotel and also food expenses.
- After you’ve reviewed your insurance policy and understand the terms and conditions. Call your insurance company to inform them about the damage caused by the fire. Get your attorney involved. Insurance Polices are very complicated contracts.
- If, and only if, it is safe to make repairs to your property then you can do so. This assumes you have settled with the insurance company. Remember it is your property and you shouldn’t wait on an insurance company to get around to it. Salvage whatever you can, take a lot of photos so you have evidence of your damages. Make sure to keep any receipts, bills and any other valuable information that wasn’t destroyed in the fire. Document any structural damage to your property. Remember you are dealing with for profit insurance corporations who will try their very best to cut cost on their balance sheet. So the more documented evidence you have the better off you are.
- After a fire, there is a lot of water damage to your property due to fire fighters using powerful hoses to put out the fire. You should make sure the property is fully ventilated by opening windows and doors so that air can flow through the property and dry the waterlogged. Also, after a fire the scent of burning wood and plastic lingers in the air. This however must be done with care not to leave the property un boarded up.
- Do not, I repeat, do not consume any food or beverages left over after the fire. This is very harmful because of any toxic airborne bacteria that may be exposed because of the fire. You should also stay away from any medical supplies that remain after the fire has been extinguished.
- When an offer to settle is given review it carefully, do no act to promptly to sign it. You must make sure you understand it thoroughly first and know exactly how you are being covered.
- If asked to sign a “pack out” agreement, please don’t. This is an agreement proposed by the insurance company to rebuild your property or do other work such as cleaning the personal belongings. So, you may not be able to claim any money for your loss. Instead, opt for a “cash out” where you can get the money for your damages and also be relocated. Get advice on how to proceed on this from you attorney or public adjuster.
- The property has to be “boarded up”, so remember to look over the board up process to ensure they are saving any of the structural attributes of the property which wasn’t completely destroyed by the fire. Also, any plumbing or electrical fixtures should be properly secured and protected.
- Clean up any materials that maybe surrounding the property to prevent injury to personnel.
So, there you have it, Harris’s insurance loss checklist (the short version actually). It is a concise guide for you to follow in case a fire destroyed your home or business.
If you would like more detailed information and help concerning a fire damages, repairs, or claims please check us out at Harris Claims Services. See what the Harris Advantage is all about!
We are a one-stop shop for all your fire needs. We take care of everything, from providing you with licensed public claims adjusters, board up specialists, repairmen, general contractors, temporary housing, a legal team that fight on your behalf not the insurance company’s, and peace of mind.