When a home catches on fire, no one is really prepared for what comes next. This is something that not many people plan for in their lifetime. However, homeowners’ actions after a structure fire are some of the most important ones they will make. Here is a look at the top mistakes homeowners make after suffering a house fire.
Throwing things away
Resist the urge to trash items that have been ruined in a fire. Chances are you are going to need them to prove your claim. Throwing things away will give insurance companies an easy way out of paying what you rightfully deserve. Those items are not trash, they are proof.
There is a natural inclination among most homeowners to clean up after a fire. But there is a fine line between securing your place so that it sustains no further damage and wiping away remnants of a fire. The insurance company needs to see the damage, so it’s a good idea to put the tools away and let the damage speak for itself.
Insurance companies are looking to settle as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. This may prompt them to ask for your signature on something you don’t fully understand. Don’t sign anything without talking to a public adjuster.
Trust the insurance companies
Some insurance agents will make it seem like you are their No.1 concern and priority after a fire. The harsh reality is you are not. Insurance companies are in business to make money. If they always look out for the customers, business will not be as lucrative. Remember they are not on your side no matter how nice they appear to be.
Don’t make records
It is vitally important to your claim to compile detail records of the items that have been damaged or lost. Taking pictures and making a list are essentials as it is a way to provide proof to your insurance company that your claim is substantiated.
Restore the home yourself
After you have handled the insurance essentials, the restoration of your home should be left to the professionals. Otherwise, it will cost you more time and money. It is important to seek out a company that is certified in fire damage restoration and repair. This will allow your home to be properly repaired as there are certain ways to deal with fire and smoke damage.
For more information on the best ways to handle fire damage claims, contact your local AmeriClaims adjuster.