Your home is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make, but disasters do happen. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are over 500,000 structure fires annually. Here’s what to do should one of these fires strike your property.
- File your claim as soon as possible. This is understandably a stressful and difficult time, but it is important to call your insurance company as soon as possible. This is especially important if there are other properties in your area involved in the fire, as often claims are first come first served.
Tip: Know exactly what is covered on your policy.
- Secure your property. Part of your responsibility as outlined in your policy is to “mitigate damages” to your property. To do this, you’ll want to make sure your property is not vulnerable to more damage or theft. During this process, make sure not to throw anything away so you may be properly reimbursed.
- Document all losses. As a preventative measure, you should keep electronic receipts for all of your purchases. Take photos of the items that were destroyed and any structural damage. An adjuster will help you do this, but you’ll want to get this started as soon as possible after the fire. The more documentation you have, the better.
- Track Your Living Expenses. Your “loss of use” clause entitles you to reimbursement for living expenses. You should keep track of all of the living costs including food, laundry, hotel stays, extra gas. You should be reimbursed for any living expenses above and beyond what you would normally pay.
Before tragedy strikes, it’s important to make sure you have the correct home owners coverage to ensure you are protected. You’ll want to make sure you’re covered for the structure of your home, personal possessions, liabilities and additional living expenses.