Home Improvement

Fire or Flood: The Homeowner’s Next Steps

Nobody ever wants it to happen, but sometimes things are simply out of our hands. When fire and flooding damage a home it is a personal disaster. The problem could have come from inclement weather, forest fire, a neighborhood fire, a burst pipe, a water main break or any other number of possibilities. The cause is often not preventable, and the damage can be severe. There are certain steps to take in the event of damage to a home whether it is a small or large-scale problem.

Take Pictures

As soon as the area is safe to enter homeowners should begin taking pictures of the damage. It can be tempting to begin the clean-up process immediately, but for insurance purposes getting photo evidence of the damage is more important. Take many pictures of the source of the problem if available. Also photograph any damaged furniture, goods, electronics, appliances, and, most importantly, damage to the interior or exterior of the home.

Call the Insurance Company

The next step is to call the insurance company or agent. They will ask many questions to begin a claim for the damage. They will schedule a time for an insurance assessor to come to the home and take their own pictures. The photos taken immediately after the event may be submitted in most cases, if not it is best to keep the pictures for personal records in the case of a dispute later on.

The insurance company will provide the homeowner with important information about when they anticipate beginning repairing the damage and replace items that were ruined. Each policy is different, and the deductible varies based on the consumer’s individual selection. The company will provide next steps and a general timeline of when to expect repairs and so on. Following the insurance company’s instructions is important for consumers to be able to get the most return on their home insurance coverage as these companies are very particular.

Begin the Restoration Process

Once the insurance company has all of the information that they need to create the claim and assess the damage next comes restoration. Clean up is very important. Fire and flooding damage can have a negative impact on the health on a home’s inhabitants. Mold and smoke can make people seriously ill. It is best to hire a professional service to get the home back to a safe, clean condition before repairs begin. There is more info here.

Home damage from fire and flooding can be severe. After such a traumatic event it can be challenging to know what to do next. Everything can feel overwhelming. The first step when it is safe is to take lots of pictures of the damage. Next, call the insurance company. The last step is to begin the cleaning and restoration process. Insurance companies will vary on the time required to begin repairs. Keeping a cool head and trying to stay focused on each step helps the process go quicker.