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Fire Claim First Steps

Your house is on fire, what do you do? First, make sure everyone safely gets out of the house and call 911. First responders will work to put out the fire and prevent it from spreading. This may include opening a section of the roof to allow the smoke to release.

At this point, restoration contractors could show up, offer their services, and explain how they can help. While protecting your property and mitigating damages are your duty as the homeowner, take caution with these contractors and know what you are getting into. We do not recommend signing any contracts with anyone until you have done your research and read through the entire contract first.

Many contractors and restoration companies have a direct pay authorization they will want you to sign. Do not sign this. This authorizes your insurance company to pay mitigation invoices directly without you listed as a payee. We’ve seen many claims where homeowners never see the invoice or estimate from the contractor because it was sent directly to the insurance company. Instead, request that you as the policy holder be listed as a payee and payments come to you so that you can have record of your claim payments.

Next, you should call your insurance company and file the claim. Typically, this requires basic information on the type of claim, your contact information, and the extent of damages. They might also ask if you have mitigated your damages. For a fire claim this is usually covering the hole in the roof from the fire department and securing access to the home. These expenses are covered as they are emergency services.

Please note: Public insurance adjusters are prohibited to be at the loss location while emergency vehicles are present. Call a public adjuster as soon as possible to help you through the process.

Tags: independent adjuster, insurance adjusters, Public Adjuster, public insurance adjuster

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