While you may have insurance to help protect you from a disaster like a house fire, it is possible that you may never actually use the insurance to file a claim for an event like this. However, it helps to know what will happen if the need arises at some point in the future. Here is what will happen when you use insurance after a house fire.
Contacting Your Insurance Provider
The process starts with contacting your insurance provider immediately to let them know about the fire. They will get the paperwork started to file the claim, and send an insurance agent out to your home to start the repair process. They will assess how much damage was caused, how long it will take to make the necessary repairs, and recommend the next steps to you.
Arranging Temporary Housing
Expect to stay at a hotel the first night after a fire while the damages are being assessed. If it is a small fire and the repairs are estimated to not take long, you may be told to continue staying at a hotel with insurance covering the bill for your temporary housing. However, much bigger repairs that will take many months to complete may change your living arrangements. It is common to find a rental house for you to stay at so you can live a normal life during this time.
Insurance should help cover your additional expenses for food while you are living out of a hotel. If you are in a rental home and have a kitchen, you can expect your insurance to not cover any additional food-related expenses.
Purchasing Immediate Need Items
If you can't go back into your home due to the extent of the fire, insurance will give you an allowance to purchase items that you need immediately. Things such as a change of clothes, toiletries, and other necessities in order to get by during the next few days.
Cleaning and Documenting Personal Property
Insurance will hire a cleaning company that specializes in fire damage restoration to clean any personal property items that were damaged by the fire. This includes removing stains left behind by soot and removing the odor of smoke. Things that are unable to clean must be documented and replaced by your insurance provider. If they are not replaced with a new item, expect to receive the depreciated cash value of what the item is worth.
Reach out to your home insurance company to learn more.