Filing A Property Damage Claim In Daytona Beach After A Fire
Home fires are a common hazard, particularly over the winter months. Between the heat, flames, the efforts to extinguish them, and the remaining soot, they can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your home and personal belongings. While fires are generally covered under your homeowner’s property damage insurance, getting the insurance company to pay can prove challenging. Our Daytona Beach property damage attorney explains what to do when filing a claim.
Tips For Filing A Fire-Related Property Damage Claim
According to statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), more than 350,000 residential fires happen each year. They are common during the winter months and often happen due to mishaps that occur while cooking, leaving candles lit unattended, problems with fireplaces, and wiring issues with electric heaters or keeping them too close to flammable surfaces.
Even a small house fire can end up causing extensive damages. Heat can melt siding, electronics, or other items made with plastic parts while soot and the smell can ruin upholstery and other fabrics. Anything not devoured by flames can end up suffering from major damage due to being doused with water or fire-retardant foam chemicals. Fortunately, your homeowners insurance policy should cover a large portion of your costs. Consumer Reports recommends following these tips when filing a claim:
- Notify your insurer right away: Property damage insurance policies typically have time limits regarding how quickly you need to let the insurer know about a fire or other incidents.
- Carefully document all losses: It is important to make a home inventory when purchasing a homeowner’s policy. If you have created one, use it as a guide in documenting your losses. Include everything affected, noting the severity of the damage, the estimated value/repair/replacement costs, and take photos or videos as you go.
- Walk around with the insurance adjuster: The insurer company will send an adjuster to assess your damages. Walk with them and point items out as they conduct an inspection.
- Check credentials: Whether it involves the insurance company adjuster or a contractor offering repairs, make sure to check their credentials and deal only with reputable businesses.
- Keep a file with important documents: Keep a copy of your policy documents, receipts for out of pocket costs, any letters or notices received from the insurer, and notes regarding any phone calls or other contact you have had.
Contact Our Daytona Beach Property Damage Claims Attorneys
In addition to the damages to your home and surrounding property, fires can cause extensive damage to your personal belongings. Insurance can help offset costs but it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your rights in a claim. At Bundza & Rodriguez, we have extensive experience helping families throughout our area in dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath of fires and other disasters. Give us a call or contact our Daytona Beach property damage claims attorneys online to request a consultation today.