Things To Know Before Filing A Fire Damage Claim
House fires are devastating events. The fire and smoke will cause significant damage, but so too, will the water used to extinguish the fire. The structure of your home, as well as many of your personal items, will suffer serious damage that is very costly to fix. You can likely file a claim under your homeowners insurance policy, but this does not mean that obtaining compensation is easy. Filing an insurance claim is very frustrating, but you can make it easier by knowing a few important things first. Below, our Daytona Beach fire and smoke damage lawyer explains further.
Tell the Insurance Company as Soon as Possible
After your property has been damaged by fire, notifying the insurance company may not be the first thing you think about. Still, it is critical that you tell your insurance company about the fire, and resulting damage, right away. Insurance companies are required by law to respond to any claim within 14 days of receiving it. They must also pay the claim in full within 90 days. The sooner you tell the insurance company about the damage, the sooner you will receive the coverage you need.
Understand the Full Extent of the Damage Before You File
Once you file your claim, the insurance company will try to offer a settlement that is not enough to fully cover the cost of damage. This is why it is so important to understand the full extent of the damage before you file. Only then will you understand whether a settlement offer is fair or not. Still, you should not sign any settlement offer until a fire and smoke damage lawyer in Daytona Beach has reviewed it and determined that it was fair.
You Must Prove Damage Occurred
You will need strong evidence that a fire occurred and that specific items were damaged. Write down everything that was lost in the fire and take pictures of the damaged items. Do not throw anything away, unless the item is perishable, until your claim has been resolved. You may need it to show the insurance company in the future if a certain item is called into question.
You Must Mitigate Damage
A fire will cause great damage to a home, but that damage can also open the door to more destruction. For example, if your roof caught fire and is now nonexistent or is filled with holes, the interior of your home will become damaged if there is rain the next day. You are required to mitigate the damage that happens to your home and if you do not, the insurer will not provide coverage for damage. Using the same roof example, you would be required to tarp the roof or board it up to prevent additional damage from occurring.
Call Our Fire and Smoke Damage Lawyers in Daytona Beach for a Free Consultation
If your home has been damaged by smoke and fire, having legal representation before you go up against the big insurance companies can help. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach fire and smoke damage lawyers can provide the sound legal counsel you need and will help you obtain the fair coverage you deserve. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.