House fires are a prevalent threat, especially in California. Losing your property and belongings to a fire is a devastating experience. For this reason, insurance companies attempt to cut corners on a fire insurance claim Los Angeles to save money. A fire insurance claim can get you your money back when it's filed correctly. Don't know how? Below are some tips you can follow.
1. Get an advance against your fire insurance claim. If you’re forced to evacuate because of the fire, you may have left your essentials behind. Such essentials include clothes and toiletries. You may have lost them in the fire, too. What you can do is to call your insurance company and get someone to send you a check. Doing this can help you buy the necessities without waiting for the ultimate insurance coverage. This advance will be deducted from the amount you'll receive from the insurance company.
2. Make a list of the things you've lost. You need to make a list of the things you’ve lost in the fire. This may take time but you need to do this as soon as possible. This list will help you when you file a claim. Don’t throw anything away, as the insurance company may not compensate you. It will be easier to prove that you lost them if you hold on to them. Wait for the insurance adjuster to see the damage.
3. File the fire insurance claim. Policyholders need to file the claim as soon as possible. The insurance company may require a proof of loss claim, including the value of the items you lost. You need to be prompt in filing the claim, especially if many homeowners are affected. You might end up in the bottom of the list.
When filing a fire insurance claim Los Angeles, you need to include these information:
· Date of loss
· Type of loss or damage
· Location of damage
· Related injuries (if there are any)
· Others involved
· The condition of the home
· Description of the damaged content
· Necessary temporary repairs (if there are any)
· Police report
This is a complicated process which involves countless e-mails, calls, documents, and letters. Make sure to keep track of the documents and communication. Take note of the date and time of all your phone conversations and face to face meetings.
Keep all the original documents. Your insurance company may need proof of a document so just give them a copy and keep the original.
If you’re prompt in filing the claim, the insurance company will also be prompt in getting back to you.
4. Secure your property. This only applies to homes that aren’t a total loss. Your insurance company may require you to take care of your property. To achieve this, you need to secure your property from any more damage. This is called mitigating damage, which means to alleviate the damage.
Here are the ways to mitigate damage:
· Smoldering all embers
· Covering the holes in the roof and walls
· Moving items like TV, couches, computers, etc. from further damage
· Building fences to prevent the looters
5. Take note of your living expenses. Insurance policies include a loss of use clause. The insurance company will reimburse you for your living expenses while being displaced from the damaged home. But there’s one thing that you need to remember. You only get the difference between the costs when you’re displaced and the cost when you’re in your home.
A lot of people decide to be with friends or family members instead of staying at hotels. Will the insurance company reimburse the costs for this? It depends. There are insurance companies that reimburse the host for additional costs. You can ask the host to itemize the costs of your stay. After all, you’re saving the company a great deal of money by not staying at hotels.
6. Get the accurate repair estimates and keep the documents and receipts. Filing a fire insurance claim Los Angeles allows you to repair and rebuild your home. Actual cash value policies give you the amount of money needed to rebuild your home.
Replacement policies give you the amount needed to replace your home and its contents. It doesn’t cover rebuilding your home on the same lot. As long as the new place has the same value as the old one, your insurance will cover it.
You will need to provide an estimate of the fair market value of the damaged property or replacement property before the fire.Insurance companies have adjusters who will make the decisions in the company's best interest. If you hire your own adjuster, then he will look out for yours.
7. Pay your insurance premiums. Many people make the mistake of canceling their premiums after filing a claim. Your insurance covers liability protection for your house and pets. Also, give your address to your insurance agent. Doing this means your current address will be added to your liability coverage.
If you want to reduce your insurance premiums, you can ask for modifications. You can ask that the section covering the structure of your house to be cut back. This is if your house was a total loss. Just make sure to adjust this after getting a new house.
8. Hire a public adjuster. Hiring a public adjuster can help you negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Some people don’t like doing this because there’s an extra cost. The cost is usually between 9 to 15 percent of what the insurance company is paying you. However, this can be worth it.
9. Don’t worry if you lose your insurance coverage. Many people fear that they will lose their fire insurance if they file a fire insurance claim Los Angeles. This doesn’t work like car insurance companies. As long as you’re only filing a legitimate claim after a real disaster, you shouldn’t lose your coverage.
There are those who file insurance claims with the evidence of fraud. This is why insurance companies are strict with their policies. Only file a claim if you need to.