September 22, 2016

Today’s video is about fire losses and dealing with the insurance company.

Fire Losses and Dealing with the Insurance Company

Imagine this, now the fire is over, you’ve called your insurance company – “now what?” What does the insurance company have to cover whenever you’ve had a fire. The first thing they have to do is to put you in a safe place. That may be a hotel or it may be an apartment, it doesn’t matter.

Safe, Clean, Appropriate Place

The most important thing is, above all the property that you own, the insurance company owes a duty to put you in a safe, clean, appropriate place that is similar to the conditions that you lived in prior to the fire. This can be a problem sometimes, because individuals own pets, or they have several children or extended family members that live with them. Insurance companies have a tendency to push back on that, but understand what they are obligated to do to make you safe is under your additional living expenses coverage in your policy and it has to be honored immediately. Even if the insurance company has not even made a determination as to whether or not they are going to cover your loss, and their reasons for that.

Inventory and Repairing Your Property

The second thing they are responsible for doing is inventorying and repairing all of your property. What that means is, they will have a vendor come in to your house, photograph, and sometimes take possession of all of your personal property. And it could include things like your clothing, your electronics or your furniture. Sometimes it can be repaired, most times it cannot. Damaged caused by smoke and water can be worse than the fire itself, especially when you are dealing with personal property. Or imagine, if you have a computer that is under warranty- well, if it was smoke damaged or water damaged, now that warranty is void and the insurance company is responsible for replacing it, not just repairing it.

Putting Your Home Back in it’s Original Condition

The third category is putting your home back in the condition it was prior to the loss. That means that  when you walk into your home after it has been repaired, painted and just literally put back together that that house is not going to have a smell of smoke, and certainly it won’t appear as such. That is what the standard is. Invite one or your neighbors in. If they can smell smoke, the insurance company’s job is not done.  We understand fire losses and dealing with the insurance company. You take care of your family and we’ll take care of the insurance company.