Out of all the disasters that can damage a home, an uncontrolled fire might be the worst. Depending on where the blaze begins, it can tear through the property quickly and cause extensive damage before the fire department arrives to fight it. In a worst case scenario, a little spark that starts from a defective power outlet could end up burning the entire house down.
Due to the high likelihood that even a small fire in a home will cause widespread damage and accrue thousands of dollars in repair costs, insurance companies have become notorious for resisting the payout of any such claim. In order to get the coverage you deserve and as it is outlined in your insurance policy, you will want to be thorough in how you go about preparing and filing it.
Ways to increase the validity of your fire damage claim include:
- Before & after: Assuming that a fire has not already damaged your home, start cataloguing the condition of your home and expensive property with a photo gallery now. Be thorough, especially around areas that could be fire-prone, like your fireplace, oven, electrical outlets, garage, etc. Make both a physical copy of your catalogue and save a digital copy, perhaps a cloud network where you can always access it.
- Forensic investigation: It could be worth your time to hire a forensic investigator to look into the cause of your house fire. You have to be able to prove it was not intentional or due to your own egregious recklessness. In some situations, the police will do this as part of their own investigations, if the scene could look like an act of arson.
- Fire department reports: If the fire department needed to come to your property to put out the blaze, as is likely, there should be some official reports generated by the men and women on the scene. How the fire was extinguished can give you valuable insight into how the fire began.
After you have prepared to back your claims with useful evidence, the last thing you will want to do is get a third-party appraiser to evaluate the damage. Pass their estimated cost along to your insurance company with your fire damage claim. Your insurance company should send out an investigator to the site within 10 days of receiving your estimate. Compare your appraiser’s findings with theirs and look for inconsistencies that could reduce how much coverage you get.
If you suspect that insurance bad faith tactics are being used by your insurer, let our team of New Orleans insurance claim attorneys know right away. At Scott, Vicknair, Hair and Checki, LLC, we take homeowners’ insurance claims with utmost seriousness, as we know that our clients’ livelihood is on the line. No one should be without a home simply because a large insurance company does not want to pay out a tiny fraction of its finances as part of a claim.
Ready to get started on your claim? Contact our team right away – if we cannot be reached immediately, we will do everything we can to contact you as soon as possible.