Written by Andy Gurczak

May 10, 2022

How to Negotiate a Fire Damage Insurance Claim

How to Negotiate a Fire Damage Insurance Claim

Of course, one of the most traumatic events experienced by homeowners is a fire in their homes. Certainly, the potential for serious injury can be significant. However, the relief that no one was harmed soon fades away as the reality of the property damage sinks in. Now, one key question for the homeowner will be how to negotiate a fire damage insurance claim settlement.

How to Handle a Fire Damage Claim Tips

Generally speaking, your homeowners’ insurance policy is a contract between you and your carrier. Besides paying regular premiums, the insurance policy requires you to do several things:

Report the fire as soon as possible

There will be a time limit to report covered events such as a fire in your home. As a result, if you don’t report the fire within that time, the carrier can deny coverage.

However, you will want to report the fire as soon as you can. In fact, you want the insurance claim process to start as soon as possible. Indeed, the sooner the claims process begins, the sooner you can get your settlement check.

You must mitigate damages

Your homeowners’ policy requires you to take the steps necessary to protect your property and prevent additional damages to your home. Consequently, if there is standing water in your home from the firefighting efforts, you should have it removed. As another example, if there are broken doors or windows, you may have to erect boards.

For this reason, you may have to put a chain-link fence around your home.

Additionally, you should get a contractor and/or a restoration company to remove the debris the house fire caused.

Of course, smoke and soot spread throughout a house during a fire. Therefore, you will have to hire a professional restoration company to clean up the smoke and soot from the affected parts of the home. Consequently, Ultimately, insurance carriers will cover the cost of debris removal/restoration after a fire.

Take pictures!

The more proof you have of the fire-damaged property, the stronger your fire insurance damage claims will be. Therefore, take pictures of fire-damaged furniture, appliances, walls, etc. In addition, take pictures of any personal property that can’t be cleaned /restored before you throw them out.

Lastly, be prepared to share these pictures with any insurance claims adjusters who come to inspect your fire-damaged home.

Prepare a proof of loss

Insurance companies require property owners to file a proof of loss after reporting damage from a covered event. Consequently, in that proof of loss, you will detail the parts of your home that the fire damaged.

Additionally, you will detail the personal property that the fire damaged. For instance, this includes carpeting, appliances, electronics, clothing, etc.

Keep all your receipts

It is very important to document all your expenses related to the fire. As an example, your homeowners’ policy will reimburse you for Additional Living Expenses (ALE). These are expenses you incur because of the fire.

For instance, if you have to leave your house while it is being repaired, you will stay in a hotel or rent a house. Therefore, you can get reimbursed for the hotel/rental.

Likewise, if you drive further to work while you are out of your home, you can claim that mileage.

Similarly, if you must eat meals at restaurants, save those receipts.

Moreover, if you have to buy clothes to replace the clothes destroyed in the fire, you can get reimbursed for those expenses.

By the way, you can ask the insurance company adjuster to give you an advance for these expenses. Or you can ask to get reimbursed as you incur these expenses.

In short, anything the company advances to you will be deducted from the final settlement amount.

Now, Put It All Together

You have collected all the pictures and contractors’ estimates and bills. In addition, you have all the receipts for your additional living expenses. Lastly, you have the receipts for new appliances or furniture you bought or estimates of what they will cost.

Are you ready to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company?

However, what if you missed something?

Let AllCity Adjusters Negotiate a Fire Damage Insurance Claim for You

Most people don’t negotiate very often over big-ticket items. Of course, you may negotiate with a car salesperson when you buy a car. Or you may negotiate with someone when you are buying or selling a home.

However, very few people negotiate for a living.

Meanwhile, at AllCity Adjusting, that is exactly what we do! Indeed, we are public adjusters and professional negotiators. Consequently, we make sure we have the best evidence and make the best presentation so we can negotiate from a position of strength.

Consequently, we will back up your damage claims with a complete damage assessment and complete and accurate repair estimates. Alternatively, if we believe they should replace your home, we will have the proof supporting that opinion.

In addition, at AllCity Adjusting, we are experts in all types of property damage claims. AllCity has handled fire damage claims hundreds of times. We can review the damage to your property, including the fire department’s water damage, damage from fire and smoke, structural damage, etc.

Additionally, if there is any hidden damage from the house fire, we’ll find it. For instance, smoke and soot can get behind walls and in crawl spaces. Likewise, water from firefighting efforts can seep behind molding or get into floor joists, creating the risk of mold or mildew.

Therefore, we’ll make sure your claim for fire damages will include all your damages.

Fire Claim Settlement Procedure

In conclusion, we’ll meet with the company adjuster and negotiate a fair settlement for you. Additionally, we’ll organize damage evidence and repair estimates for your fire insurance claims.

Lastly, we’ll get you every penny you deserve.

Don’t get fooled, get the company that gets you more. Therefore, call us today at 844.692.3587 or visit our website to find an office near you.

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Best way to beat the insurance company is to hire AllCity Adjusting

At AllCity Adjusting we help residential and commercial clients alike get the claims support they need. Moreover, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping get our clients the max settlement time and time again. If your claim has been low balled or denied entirely we can help increase your maximum settlement. Call us today for a FREE consultation. Experience the AllCity difference.

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Salvageable v. Non-Salvageable Property After a Fire

Salvageable v. Non-Salvageable Property After a Fire

If a fire has occurred at your home, your first concern, of course, is the safety of yourself and your family. However, depending on the extent of the fire damage, you will have to resolve the issue of salvageable v. non-salvageable property after a fire. Homeowners’ insurance protects your home itself (Dwelling Coverage) and its contents (Personal Property Coverage). High heat, smoke, and soot can cause extensive damage to your personal property, such as clothes, furniture, hardwood floors, and appliances. For instance, smoke damage causes fabrics, clothes, and soft goods to reek of the smell of smoke. Additionally, smoke and soot can discolor objects and reduce the life span of electronics and machinery. Consequently, you and your insurance company will have to determine which personal property is salvageable v. non-salvageable property after a fire.

Actual Cash Value v. Replacement Cost Value

Actual Cash Value v. Replacement Cost Value

Many homeowners never read their homeowners’ insurance policy. Then a covered loss, like a fire or hurricane, causes extensive damage to the home and contents. Of course, the homeowner files a claim with her insurance company. Eventually, the homeowner gets a claim settlement offer from the home insurance company. However, only then does the homeowner learn the difference between actual cash value v. replacement cost value coverage.

What is an Appraisal Clause in an Insurance Policy?

What is an Appraisal Clause in an Insurance Policy?

Water damage insurance claims are some of the most frequent home insurance claims that homeowners file. However, homeowner insurance does not cover all types of damages caused by water. Therefore, handling water damage insurance claims requires the homeowner to be careful and diligent before and during the claims process.

Homeowners’ Property Damage Claim-Do You Need an Attorney?

Homeowners’ Property Damage Claim-Do You Need an Attorney?

Unfortunately, a terrible storm moved through your area. It left fallen trees and damaged homes in its wake. Your house was one of them. You have never filed a claim with your homeowners’ insurance company. But you now have a homeowners’ property damage claim-do you need an attorney?

Insurance Claims for Poorly Installed Stucco

Insurance Claims for Poorly Installed Stucco

Stucco is a popular siding used on new developments, homes, and businesses since the early 1900s. Manufacturers make it of cement, limestone, and silica. In fact, it has become very popular in the last 20 years. However, when not installed properly, it can lead to several problems. Therefore, some homeowners will have to file insurance claims for poorly installed stucco.

What is Coinsurance in a Homeowners’ Policy?

What is Coinsurance in a Homeowners’ Policy?

If a storm or fire damages a home, the homeowner will file an insurance claim with his homeowners’ insurance company. An adjuster comes to inspect the damaged real estate. Later the insurance company confirms the amount of the loss. However, the company tells the homeowner that the claim payment will be reduced by a coinsurance penalty. The homeowner asks himself: what is coinsurance in a homeowners’ policy?

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