Fire is one of the most common causes of property damage, resulting in serious problems for homeowners, businesses and commercial property owners. In addition to damage from fire and smoke, there may also be problems related to the process of putting out the fire, such as water or chemicals inside the building, and potential damage to the building’s structure, electrical and heating-cooling systems.
Regardless of the cause of a fire (explosion/gas leak, lightning, electrical, grease, etc.), an owner needs to make quick decisions while still under a great deal of stress and confusion. Who should you call? Where do you stay tonight? Which belongings escaped unharmed? What exactly did you have in the building? How can you start the clean-up process?
PageData is there to help you put your insurance to work for you. We have the experience and the knowledge to answer your immediate questions and help you through the complicated claims process. One of the first things we do is to evaluate all of the damage and take a good hard look at your policy. Determining the “scope of loss” and analyzing your policy will help us best determine the best way to move forward with your claim to get you the maximum possible settlement.
When we evaluate fire damage, we look carefully at all the damage related to the fire, including smoke, soot, raw heat and of course, all of the water or other extinguishing materials. You should be paid in full for all of the damage – not just part of it. If your residence or business is not livable or workable, you may need to find new quarters while the damage is repaired. Many people don’t realize that “additional living expenses” like hotel accommodations, restaurant meals and dry cleaning can all be claimed and covered. We’ll help you sort out those issues, so you can get back to living your life.
The question of “repair or replace” comes up frequently after a fire. Please be cautious if you are approached by “restoration” companies. They may try to get you to authorize unnecessary work, or ask you to sign an authorization form that will allow them to bill your insurance company directly. Before agreeing, think through your options and ask yourself: Do I want to give someone else the right to collect directly from my insurance company… especially for work that may not be needed?
Hopefully you will never find yourself staring at the fire-damage remnants of your home or business, but if you do, count on PageData to assist you in finding the experts who can help you get your property back to its pre-loss condition.
If you live in a multi-unit building and one of the other units is damaged by fire, you should call us. Your residence may have suffered damage from soot, smoke or heat that may not be apparent. Find out for sure whether or not you have a claim worth filing by calling us for a complimentary, no-obligation property evaluation.
Things to Do
- Obtain a certified copy of your insurance policy and a copy of the fire report.
- Create a detailed inventory list of personal property damaged or destroyed in the fire.
- Do NOT allow a restoration company to remove your property for disposal or restoration until you know all your rights and options.
- Do NOT dispose of any damaged property until your insurance company representative has inspected it and authorized disposal.
- Obtain three estimates for the cost to rebuild or replace the damaged property.
- Document and keep all communication (letters, email, telephone conversation notes, meeting notes, etc.) with your insurance company adjuster.
- Do NOT sign contracts with contractors for rebuilding or repairing until you have reached an agreement of the covered costs with your insurance company.
- Consult with a Public Adjuster to make sure you are receiving all the benefits under your insurance policy to put you back to your pre-loss condition.