House fires are a disaster that no one wants to experience. Learn the steps to help limit further damage to your home after a fire and to get through the claims process.
House fires are a disaster that no one wants to experience. Sustaining water and smoke damage or having your home completely destroyed by a fire is a common fear among homeowners, especially in areas prone to wildfires like Colorado and California.
In high-risk areas, residents are often required to have homeowner's insurance for water and smoke damage resulting from fire. While insurance companies are prepared to help you if you are an unlucky victim of such a disaster, you can take some common steps during the claims process to make the recovery process as quick as possible and prevent further unwanted damage.
Don’t re-enter your home
Gain permission from the fire marshal before going back into the dwelling after a fire. Re-entering your home without permission could void certain aspects of a home insurance policy.
Prevent further damage
Once you can go back into your home, ventilate the area properly to help it dry out.
The insurance company will need information to help determine the cost of your property damages. You'll want to include a police report, list of items that were destroyed, a description of the condition of the home and other items that you want to claim.
Evaluate the situation
You may need money from your insurance company for basic items like clothing, a hotel room and transportation if your home is completely destroyed.
File the claim as soon as possible
Policies usually require homeowners to report their losses right after the incident. You can do this by calling the agent on your policy and notifying him or her of the incident before you file a proper claim.