Preparation Makes Fire Aftermath a Little Easier
A home fire is an absolute disaster for any family. Even if everyone is lucky enough to escape without injury, a fire can consume a house and everything in it, leaving the victims without shelter, clothes, prized possessions, and family heirlooms. The prospect of starting over with nothing can be overwhelming. That is why it is important to make some preparations now, just in case you are ever in the unfortunate position of having to deal with the aftermath of a home fire.
First, make sure your home has working smoke detectors in every room. Next, make sure your family all know more than one way to escape the house and where everyone can meet up outside in case of emergency. These two precautions will greatly increase the chances of everyone avoiding injury or worse.
After a home fire, you will be faced with the task of making an insurance claim and trying to get reimbursed for your insured property. You may think this is a simple process. If you do, you may be sorely disappointed if you ever have to fight over the value of your possessions with your insurer. Even the best insurance companies make their money by paying out less in claims than they make in premiums.
To ensure you are treated fairly and compensated justly, you should prepare a list of valuables. This list should include a complete description of all major items in your home. Include make, model, and serial number for any items that have them. List the purchase price as well as current value and replacement price if you know them. Take pictures of each item on your list as well. You can keep a copy of this list in a secure place, like a fire-proof safe, or give a copy to a friend or family member to keep safe for you. Include with it any receipts for the items.
Finally, take a fresh look at your insurance policy and make sure that you have enough coverage for the amount of property in your home. If you have any especially high-value items, like antiques or collectibles, you may want to ask your insurance agent if you need a “rider” on your policy to cover them.
If you find yourself working through the aftermath of a home fire, do not hesitate to call our office with any questions you may have. The insurance company will have attorneys to represent their interests. You should too.