If a house fire damages or destroys large parts of your home, you may wonder how your homeowner’s insurance can help you cover the costs.
The answer is yes, under most circumstances. There are a couple of exceptional scenarios where you are going to have to push your insurance to cover your losses, but generally, house fires are covered by most insurance plans.
Fire restoration in Utah can be a stressful process. Insurance companies can be hard to deal with. Though the fire has long smoldered out of existence, you probably feel the heat of the financial pressure that fire left you under every moment you deal with your insurance company.
How Does House Insurance Work With a House Fire?
In the early phases of house fire recovery, getting to the end of the disaster, the part where you’re in your repaired house sleeping in your very own bed without a worry in the world can feel very distant. Here’s how it all works.
Homeowner insurance policies protect you, your family, and even visitors from liabilities that come with a home. These liabilities must be unforeseen. Hence there may be some circumstances where your insurance won’t cover the costs of damages.
When a fire happens, your first priority is the safety of yourself and your loved ones. Be sure to deal with the crisis at hand, including contacting first responders and getting clear of danger.
File a Claim
Once first responders deem your home safe to enter, you should start taking pictures and try to get ahold of your insurance.
Each insurance company has a different claims process. Some may have you call in to make a report, while others prefer you start in their app or on their website. Most insurance companies have multiple ways available for you to start the claim process.
Getting started fast is usually the best option. The longer you wait to start the claim, the longer it will take for your insurance to get you your money.
Part of the claim process is evaluating how much the damage is worth and how much your insurance will cover. Start taking photos as soon as it is safe to do so. Keep these for your personal records and to send them to the insurance when they ask.
Work With Your Insurance Adjuster
In the case of house fires, your insurance company will send out an adjuster to evaluate the damage and cost of repairs. They are there to represent your insurance company in determining how much of the damage will be reimbursed to you.
Adjusters get a bad reputation for not being on your side. This isn’t necessarily the case, but you do have to be assertive in your stance. Be sure to push for as much coverage as you can but remember to remain civil.
Start Making Repairs
Don’t waste time putting off making temporary repairs to your home to prevent further damage. If a localized fire burns a hole through your roof, make a makeshift cover out of tarps to protect your home from the elements.
Being assertive about your repairs can show your insurance company that you are responsible and proactive.
Carefully documenting your repairs is also a good idea that will help you and your insurance company get the correct numbers for reimbursement. When you are working through your claim, you will need to provide your insurance company with an accurate summary of all you have spent repairing your home.
Resolve Your Living Situation
Some house fires leave your home in such a mess that it is too dangerous or impractical to live there. Work with first responders and organizations like the American Red Cross to determine if your home is safe to live in. Still, if you don’t feel like your home is safe, trust your instincts and protect yourself and your family.
Many insurance companies will work with you in helping you find a place to stay and helping pay for living expenses while you are working on your home. Rather than waiting on your insurance company to figure things out for you, try to resolve your problems and keep detailed notes of your expenses.
What Type of Fire is Covered by the Fires Typically Covered by Homeowner Insurance Homeowner’s Policy?
Financing your house fire recovery depends on the circumstances of your home’s damage.
Your insurance will help you recover from accidental fires. If there is substantial evidence to suppose that an accidental fire could have been avoided, you may have a tough time getting your insurance to pay.
Fires That Are Typically Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance
Your insurance typically covers accidental fires. Some examples of this are:
- Candle/Open Flam Fires.
- Grease Fires — Damage caused by cooking oil or grease caked in your oven or on your range.
- Electrical Fires — Fires caused by old or faulty electrical problems.
- *Natural Disasters — This isn’t always the case, but fires caused by lightning or a local wildfire may be covered.
When is a house fire not covered by insurance?
Homeowners insurance is meant to cover accidental damages to your home. Most homeowners insurance policies cover damages caused by burglary or vandalism, but if you intentionally start a fire, don’t expect your insurance to cover it.
If your house fire was caused by a preventable cause, you might have trouble getting your insurance to cover it. In the case of wildfires, some insurance companies won’t cover damage if your home is in a place prone to wildfires.
How Does Insurance Payout After a Fire?
How your insurance pays depends on what kind of damage your home sustains.
If your home is at a total loss, your mortgage lender will get the majority of the funds. If your home is reparable, your insurance company will reimburse you for the repairs you make on your home and other financial actions you need to take as a direct result of your house fire.
This is why keeping good records of your spending is essential. Keep all your receipts and correspondence between you and the companies helping with your house fire recovery.
Let Total Fire and Flood Restoration Help You Recover from Your House Fire
If a house fire has damaged your home, you need a local Utah fire restoration expert to help you through.We work with you at Total Fire and Flood Restoration to make your home clean and livable again. Contact us today to see how we can help you get your life back together.