The Top Concerns Homeowners Have When Filing a Fire Insurance Claim
Filing a fire insurance claim is no easy task. You’ve already been through the emotional ordeal of a house fire, and now you have to deal with an insurance company to make sure you have the money to rebuild your home and get back to normal life.
Homeowners come with many concerns and anxieties when they have to file an insurance claim of this magnitude.
#1 Filing the Right Paperwork on Time
Insurance claims can be difficult at the best of times, and in the wake of a fire in your home, they can feel overwhelming. A fire insurance claim will require considerable paperwork, and navigating it can be a challenge.
One common issue that comes up with paperwork is the Schedule of Loss. The Schedule of Loss accounts for all of your lost and damaged possessions, and the insurer may apply pressure for you to sign off on a finalized version before you’re ready by withholding cash advances or money to get started on other parts of the recovery process.
Recalling all of the things you owned before a fire is a major endeavor, and it’s easy to forget things. But once you sign off on the final Schedule of Loss, you can no longer add things.
#2 Will the Insurance Be Enough?
The financial costs of a house fire of any size can be substantial. Homeowners have legitimate concerns that the insurer is trying to cut down on costs. That can leave homeowners with more expenses than they should.
Working with an insurance lawyer or a public insurance adjuster will help you identify where the insurer may have underestimated costs or made a lower offer than your policy entitles you to.
Your insurance policy is important not just for rebuilding but also for paying for many of your expenses while your home is restored. The Red Cross can provide support for up to 72 hours after a fire if needed, but after that, the cost of things like renting a place to stay should come from the Additional Living Expenses part of your policy.
#3 Could the Insurer Reject Your Claim?
Having your fire insurance claim denied outright would be even worse than having a shortfall in the claim. Fortunately, having your insurance claim denied entirely is fairly rare, but should it happen, it can be devastating.
The most common reasons for having an insurance claim denied are that the homeowner didn’t keep up with their payments, didn’t properly maintain their home, or misrepresented some element of their claim.
Misrepresenting the state of your home would mean claiming that your roof was not as old as it really was or that you had updated electrical work when you had not.
Another way your claim can be jeopardized is if you misrepresented lost belongings and attempted to claim things you did not own. It’s important that you’re honest when you file your claim.