A house fire is a devastating experience. Not only can it threaten your life, but it can also destroy your belongings and cause massive damage to your home. While shocking to learn, a small flame can turn into a massive fire in just 30 seconds. After a fire, you will most likely feel overwhelmed, preventing you from making clear and concise decisions. Of course, your first step after a fire is to exit the home safely. However, once you are in a safe environment, you will need to start the process of making claims and repairs. Here are a few steps to take after a house fire.
Consult Your Insurance Provider
First and foremost, you need to notify your homeowner's insurance provider. It is smart to store the company's or your personal agent's contact information in your phone. This will be helpful since you may not have access to documents and papers after the fire.
Most standard policies cover house fires, but coverage to replace your belongings may not be included. Therefore, you need to ask your agent about coverage for your specific policy.
Your insurance company will also recommend fire damage restoration services who can start cleaning up your home.
Contact the Restoration Company
Once you notify your insurance company, you can consult a contractor who will begin restoring your home back to its pre-fire state.
The restoration company will first check the home to determine if it is safe to reenter. Once this clearance is given, you and the restoration company can enter the home.
The contractors are not only there to clean up your home, but they are also there to prevent further damage to your home's structure and interior belongings.
Fire restoration companies work on your behalf, not the insurance company's behalf. They have your best interest in mind, increasing the time it takes for your home to become inhabitable again.
Make a Detailed List
Having a detailed list of all your belongings before a fire is best, but that is rare for most homeowners. After the fire, you should make a detailed list of all the belongings that have been damaged beyond repair.
The list should include the item name, brand or manufacturer, and model number if possible. Knowing the purchase price or having receipts on hand for these items is also beneficial so your insurance company will be able to cover an adequate amount of the item's value.
The detailed list will be given to your insurance company before payouts are made. Be sure to check over the list and your home multiple times before sending it to your provider.