Fire is the disaster that does not discriminate.
No matter where you live or the condition of your home, there is always a chance that a fire could occur. Most homeowners realize this; in fact, it is probably the most common worry people have when purchasing a home. However, when fires actually do occur, few homeowners are prepared for the emotional and lengthy process. We understand the range of emotions you are experiencing right now. Even when a fire spares lives, it can destroy a lifetime of memories and possessions. VESTAR can help you pick up the pieces.
What to do after the fire
Under no circumstances should you return to your home until you have been cleared to do so by the fire department. Even then, you will likely be allowed to return to your home only to gather essential documents, irreplaceable items such as photos and heirlooms, and other possessions that can be retrieved quickly.
When entering your home, do not use any electricity or water unless the fire department tells you that it is safe to do so. If your utilities have been turned off, do not turn them back on yourself.
While you are in your home, be sure to take as many photographs as necessary to document the damage for insurance purposes. It is also a good idea to take detailed notes about items that were lost or damaged, and to collect as many receipts for these items as you can find.
Dealing with Insurance company
If you are like most homeowners after their homes have been damaged by fire, you are probably wondering what to do next.
- Keep your receipts and keep your replacement items reasonable. You are not entitled to “upgrade” unnecessarily from your lost possessions.
- Keep a detailed account of all expenses while you are unable to live in your home. You may be entitled to recover the difference between your normal living expenses and any extra expenses you have from being displaced.
- It is important that you understand exactly which expenses your insurance will cover, so speak to your agent and ask as many questions as necessary. Speak with your agent regarding help with any immediate expenses.
After the original contact with your insurance company, please contact VESTAR for assistance with the following:- The extent of the fire damage
- The scope and cost of repairs
- Your immediate financial needs
- Your current living situation
- Any emotional or otherwise personal attachment you have to the home
- Removing any personal contents/heirlooms from the home