How to file a fire insurance claim

Wisdom comes only through suffering.

-Aeschylus

Here’s what you need to do to file a fire insurance claim.

Step 1

Confirm your policy covers fire damage. Most do, however. To confirm coverage for fire damage, either call your agent or review the “insuring agreement” part of your policy. The next steps assume there’s coverage.

Step 2

Report the claim to your insurance company as soon as possible. Don’t wait. Most insurance companies have a number to call or website to visit so you can immediately report the claim. For example:

  • For GECIO, go here;
  •  For Liberty Mutual, go here;
  • For Allstate, go here;
  • For State Farm, go here; and
  • For Travelers, go here.

Step 3

Document your losses the best you can. Take photos, or better, video. Get the names and numbers of any witnesses. And get any police reports or fire department reports. Keep all documents you give and receive from the insurance company. Make a list of all of your damaged personal property (i.e. your stuff).  Save any receipts related to travel, food, and lodging.

Step 4

Make sure your insurance company sends out an adjuster to view the damage. Get the adjuster’s card and note the date he or she came and the time spent at your property. Consider obtaining your own appraiser too; don’t only rely on the insurance company. If your loss is catastrophic, consider asking your insurance company for an advance payment. Be warned, however, that can present its own problems.

Step 5

Know what coverage is available under your policy and in what amounts (e.g. Coverage A up to $200,000, ALE up to year). Keep paying your premiums too. Don’t allow the insurance company to drop coverage. And be careful of whatever you sign from the insurance company.

 

 

Questions? Contact Me for a free consultation.

Evan W. Walker is a Property Loss Attorney in San Diego who helps clients with fire damage claims.

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