In 2015, there were over 365,000 house fires, resulting in over 11,000 injuries and close to 3,000 deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Altogether, the damages cost $7 billion nationwide.
There are multiple costs associated with a house fire, including soot removal, smoke deodorization and water damage. Fortunately, homeowners insurance will cover the costs, but making a claim could drastically raise your premium rates. To best prepare for the unexpected, it’s worth comparing homeowners insurance quotes online now and learning more about what can happen to your rates should you need to file a claim.
Should your home suffer fire damage, here are some things to do to get it back to its original condition, and then some!
Contact Your Insurer ASAP
After the house fire has been extinguished by the fire brigade, you will need to contact your insurance agent. The U.S. Fire Administration says that as the homeowner, you will need to ask your insurer what steps need to be taken following the extinction of the fire. Do you need to photograph the damages made by the fire and firemen? Do you need to pump the excess water out the house to avoid water damage? Before taking these steps, you will need to get it cleared with the insurer. If items in the home are moved and further damage is caused to the structure of the home or you are injured as result, your insurance claim could be threatened. Most insurers will ask that you take photos of the damages and write down the items that were damaged or destroyed in the fire.
Contact Your Mortgage Lender
After speaking with your insurance agent, you will call your mortgage lender and alert them to the housing situation. When you bought your home, you may have had to take out a mortgage.
This means that you were most likely required to also take out a dwelling insurance policy, a policy that is part of the larger homeowners insurance package. Pete the Planner explains that when you took out your mortgage, your home would have been valued at a particular amount. The amount the home was originally valued at is the replacement value of your home. When the fire damaged or destroyed your home and you filed a claim through your insurance company, your mortgage lender will be paid out first, and you will get the difference. They will need to know this information to work with the insurance company to initiate the financial process.
Contact Housing Contractors for Quotes
You will want to repair the damages to your home as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean that you should go with the first contractor that comes along. Do some investigating and ask your insurance agent if they know or are in partnership with a reputable contractor. Compare quotes and client reviews, much the same way as you do when comparing homeowners insurance. When you’ve found the right contractor, hire them!
A house fire doesn’t mark the end of your world if you have good homeowners insurance. Visit CoverHound to get your free quote today.