When you purchase homeowner’s insurance, you protect your home from accidents, including fires. While a home fire can be personally and financially devastating, fire insurance should compensate you fairly for the cost of repairing and replacing the home. Insurance also should cover most of the valuable items in the house.
Claiming with your insurance company can be stressful for laypersons. Unfortunately, many homeowners making a fire insurance claim accept whatever their insurance company offers. You have rights as a consumer; you purchased homeowner’s insurance to safeguard your home and finances. Speak to a Chicago insurance claims attorney to ensure you get the best outcome for your claim.
Remember the following fire insurance claim tips, and contact a Chicago insurance claims lawyer if you have questions.
After ensuring everyone is safe, taking detailed photos of the damage to your home is critical. Take indoor and outdoor pictures of the fire damage. Show as much property damage as possible, and don’t forget to photograph your damaged personal possessions.
Put up tarps or boards if any home part is exposed to the outdoors. Shut off the water main, remove standing water, and tear out damaged carpeting and furniture. The more fire and water-damaged items you remove from the home, the better.
You may need to hire a mitigation and restoration professional to dry and clean the home. Remember that every insurance policy requires the homeowner to mitigate property damages.
Homeowners’ policies can differ significantly regarding how fire-damaged property is valued. For instance, some policies cover replacement value while others only pay for depreciated value.
Your policy may also limit certain pieces of property, such as jewelry or firearms. Further, you should carefully read your policy to find out about applicable exclusions.
After a fire or natural disaster, home repair contractors may contact you to offer their services. Ensure that every contractor you hire is licensed and bonded. Unfortunately, shady contractors may try to take advantage of you and get you to pay for work they never complete.
Some fire damage is apparent, but some could also be hidden. There could be extensive damage behind the walls and floors that are expensive to fix. Make sure expert fire damage professionals evaluate the entire home.
If you have a fire insurance claim, relying on your insurance company to settle it is a bad idea. You should not take the insurance company’s initial offer. You may think you have no choice but to take what the insurer offers. However, you have more options with a Chicago insurance claims attorney.
Working with an experienced insurance claims lawyer from the start ensures the case will have the best outcome. If there are complications, your attorney will aggressively negotiate to protect your rights. Please contact Anspach Law Office today for your fire insurance claim case using our contact form.