How To Determine The Value Of Personal Property Damage After A House Fire
House fires are devastating events. A fire can destroy your home in just a matter of minutes. Even if the fire was contained to just one area of the home, you will still lose a lot of personal property. Fortunately, homeowners insurance can cover the personal belongings that are damaged or destroyed by fire. When filing a claim, however, you must be able to accurately value the damage of the property. Below, our Daytona Beach fire and smoke damage lawyer explains how to do it.
Common Items Destroyed by Fire
Any personal item can be destroyed by a house fire. Some of the most common types of damaged property include:Appliances
- Sporting equipment
- Golf clubs
Create a List of All Damaged Property
Of course, you can only know what property you need to value by first understanding everything you lost. Do not sift through the damaged section of your home if it is not safe. The fire department can tell you when it is safe to reenter. Create a list of all the damaged property and if property was completely destroyed, include any missing property.
Take Pictures of the Damaged Property
You should take pictures of any damage so you can prove the extent of it to the insurance company. However, photos of damaged property can also help your lawyer and appraiser place a value on your personal belongings.
Collect Receipts and Invoices for Property
If possible, collect receipts and invoices for damaged property to determine its value. The type of insurance policy you have will determine whether you will receive the actual value of property or its replacement value. The actual value of the property is its cost at the time of purchase, perhaps minus any depreciation. Replacement value will provide you with coverage for the cost of replacing the item today. Of course, obtaining receipts and invoices may not be possible if they were destroyed by the fire.
Contact an Independent Appraiser
You may not always remember how much you paid for certain damaged items. A professional appraiser can help you determine the value of your property. Your insurance company may use their own appraiser to determine the value of the damage. However, these appraisers work for the insurance companies and protect the insurer’s best interests. You should always contact an independent appraiser who can provide an accurate valuation of your property.
Contact a Fire and Smoke Damage Lawyer in Daytona Beach
Experiencing a house fire is one of the most devastating events you will ever go through. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach fire and smoke damage lawyer can help you value your personal belongings so you obtain the full coverage you are entitled to. Call or text us today at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys and to learn more about how we can help with your claim.