After a home fire occurred, the property owner should immediately call his or her insurance agent and ask about how to handle the situation. The following matters should be discussed: protecting what remains of the home, the best restoration companies, temporary housing and selling or rebuilding the home.
When interacting with the insurance agent after a home fire:
- 1. The losses should be reported as soon as possible. This is a requirement in all home policies. The agent may be contacted by phone or email, and a “proof of loss claim” (the list of losses and their value) should be submitted.
- 2. The owner should ask what could be done to protect what remains of the home if the fire hasn’t destroyed it. Depending on the situation, the agent may suggest to cover the windows or to set up a temporary fence. He or she could also recommend a company that assesses structural damage.
- 3. The owner should ask about disaster remediation companies that can restore burnt surfaces, clean up soot and remove the smoke odour, provided that the home’s structure is sound after the fire. It’s highly advisable to seek professional help that can clean up the mess and prevent further damage. The insurance agent should know several reputable companies that can do the job.
4. Temporary housing should be discussed. In case the home is not suitable for living after the fire, the insurance agent should tell the owner if the policy includes reimbursement for temporary housing. Some policies may only cover the cost of food, for example.
5. The owner should ask about rebuilding or selling the house. Selling the home is preferable if the insurance company doesn’t cover all repair costs or the house was not in good shape prior to the fire. However, repairing the home should be considered if the damages are minor.
Property owners are advised to learn all about their insurance policy in advance since the claims process involves several guidelines that must be followed carefully. After the fire is out, our PuroClean experts can work with any insurance agent to help mitigate the losses and restore a home to its original condition.