A house fire can throw your life into disarray. Even in the case of a small fire, you’ve likely lost personal belongings and it could be months before you can move back into your home as the damage is repaired.
There will be a lot to do in the coming days, weeks, and months. You’ll be initiating an insurance claim, reporting all of your lost belongings, and getting the rebuild process started as soon as possible. There are a few things you should know about in advance of the process.
#1 Dealing with an Insurance Adjuster in Canada
Your insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to handle your claim. The insurance adjuster is hired by the insurer, either directly or as a third-party, to assess your claim and recommend how much the insurer should offer to the claimant. They may hire other professionals to help assess the damage. They will evaluate expenses such as:
- The cost of rebuilding or repairing the structure of your home;
- The value of belongings lost in the fire;
- The cost of maintaining your lifestyle without the use of your home.
If you want your own advocate in this process, you may want to hire an insurance lawyer like Virani Law. A lawyer can provide fire insurance claim advice and negotiate with the insurance adjuster.
Should you disagree with your insurer about the size of your claim, an insurance lawyer can help you negotiate a better settlement.
#2 Paying for Additional Living Expenses
Even when you can’t live in your home, you generally have to keep up with mortgage payments and property taxes. Regular expenses aren’t covered by insurance, but the expenses you incur for where you’re living in the meantime are covered. This will likely be at a hotel at first, followed by a rental as you settle in and wait for your home to be repaired.
If you’re feeling the stress on your wallet, you can get a cash advance on your insurance claim to help pay for those immediate expenses. It will be deducted from your claim later on, but it can help you avoid going into debt.
#3 How to Clean Up Smoke Damage After a Fire?
The rebuild process begins with the cleanup. In cases where a house has been partially damaged by fire, there will still be a lot of smoke damage to restore in the remainder of the home.
Smoke is highly corrosive and potentially dangerous. It’s not just wood that the fire has burned through, but plastics, fabrics, and other construction materials. Take safety precautions against toxicity in the air when you re-enter. A restorer’s first priority will be to ventilate the home for the safety of those working inside.
Professional smoke damage restorers must move quickly to minimize damage and costs. Smoke damage worsens over time. Waiting weeks before the work begins can escalate costs as discoloration and corrosion worsen with prolonged exposure to soot residue.
It’s important to move quickly with your insurer to get work started in a timely manner. Higher restoration costs may eat into your insurance limits, leaving less money for other important construction or restoration work.