What You Should to Do After a House Fire
A house fire is a devastating event that leave families distraught and uncertain of what to do next. Here, the fire loss attorneys at AFSL detail critical first steps you should take after a house fire.
Experiencing a fire in your home is a terrifying and stressful situation. In such a situation, your primary concern should be to ensure that you and your loved ones exit the house safely. Once you have done so, call the fire department to report the incident and any injuries sustained.
Once the chaos has settled and the fire has been extinguished, there are several important steps that you will need to take.
Call Your Insurance Company
It is important to get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible, to begin the process of filing a fire claim—these claims are usually given top priority, and an adjuster will likely be out in 24 to 48 hours of your call. “Loss of use funds,” meaning your losses restricted on account of having to leave your home or possibly an advance on your claim, may be available to help you cover daily expenses. Your insurance provider should also be able to recommend restoration and clean-up companies when the time comes.
If you have received an advance of loss of use funds, begin keeping track of your day-to-day living expenses, as you are only entitled to compensation for any money you spend that exceeds your daily cost of living prior to the fire.
Find a Place to Stay
Even a minor fire can leave your home in an unfit state for living, and it is important to find suitable accommodations. Most homeowner’s insurance policies include “Loss of Use” or “Loss of Rents” coverage, which will cover reasonable living arrangements—shelter that is “like in kind and quality” to your former home—for you and your family.
Safely Recover Undamaged Property
Depending on the intensity of the fire, some of your personal belongings may still be intact. After it is safe to do so, begin inventorying what has been lost, and what can be saved. Your insurance company will require a detailed list of your losses once they have investigated the damage. This list should include the date the item was purchased, the brand name and the price you paid, as well as the serial number, model and a description of each item. If possible, receipts and photos should be provided to assist with the loss claims.
Once you have created an inventory, find a suitable space to safely store your belonging. Most insurance companies will act fairly when remunerating you for reasonable storage costs.
Contact a Fire Loss Attorney
The loss of your home to fire may be one of the most tragic losses you face in life, especially if a loved one was injured or even killed as a result. Through AFSL’s comprehensive strategies and practices, our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of fire loss and injury rebuild their lives, and receive the compensation they deserve. For more information, we urge you to contact us today.