How to File a Fire Insurance Claim

If your home has been damaged as a result of a fire, it is crucial that you know how to fill out and file a fire insurance claim. Doing this will prevent you from having problems with your insurance company.

Inform the Insurance Company

Your insurance company should be immediately informed about the fire accident. Although a phone call is the fastest way to do this, you should also back the call up with a letter mailed to the insurance company’s office. The written notice will serve as part of your official claim.

Things to Ask Before Filing a Claim

In order to get the reimbursement you expect from your insurer, you need to ascertain some very important facts before filling out a form for the fire insurance claim, such as:

  • What properties are covered by your policy? A typical home insurance policy covers property loss and damage. Property like furniture, appliances and clothes are usually covered under the policy. However, a typical policy does not cover all of the property inside a home. Make an inventory of your household possessions and make sure that the items that you are filing a claim for are covered by the policy. Pay particular attention to your most valuable possessions.
  • How much is the deductible? Examine the deductible amount stipulated in the policy. This will give you an idea of how much you should expect to be reimbursed by the insurance company in the event of a fire. If for example the total amount of the loss is $5000 and the deductible is $500, the insurer will repay $4500.
  • Is temporary housing or relocation covered by your policy? If your policy covers "loss of use" or additional living expenses, then you don't have to worry about paying for a place to live while your home is repaired after the fire. If this provision is not in your insurance policy, inquire whether your insurance company will be willing to pay for a hotel or an apartment while you wait for the repairs.
Information Required for a Valid Claim

If you inform your insurer about the loss and your plan to file a fire insurance claim, you will probably be asked to fill out some forms. Generally, you will be asked for the following:
  • the date of the loss
  • physical location of the damages/loss
  • lists and amounts of items affected by the fire that are covered in the policy (also photo copies of item receipts or proof-of-purchase documents)
  • the detailed condition of the home
  • full estimates for reconstruction and replacement of necessary structures
  • the police report relating to the fire
  • photographs of the aftermath
  • all related injuries that occurred during the accident

 

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