citrusculture

 

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First Steps

I have been asked many times, "What should I do right after the fire"?

three-firemen

Each claim is different, when a home is on fire the damage depends on many factors.

• How long did it burn?
• Where did it start?
• What did it affect in your home?
• How old was your home?
• What types of materials were used to build your home?
• What caused the fire?
• How much water was used to extinguish the fire?
• If the fire department did its job, where did all the water go?
• Is it a total loss?
• Is it a restoration?

After everyone leaves and it finally settles down you have a responsibility written within the policy. This is your duty after the loss. You must file a claim. It is you're duty after a loss to protect the structure and contents from further damage. This simply means placing a tarp over any areas that would prevent water damage from pending thunder storms. The structure may need the windows boarded up to prevent theft. This is all you need to do.

Please do not confuse this with signing a contract with the first fire restoration company that shows up. It is OK if they are simply providing a service to board up the windows or place a tarp over exposed areas. My advice, read everything and get a copy of what you have signed. Many times we have had fire victims tell us they only signed a contract to have their home boarded up or a tarp placed over the damaged area when in fact they actually signed a contract allowing the fire restoration company to do the complete repairs.

You need to know, if you hire a fire restoration company you just ruined your settlement. I don't know how much more clear I can make it. We have nothing against hiring anyone, but lets settle the claim first and then you can bids from several different contractors once you know your budget.

The next step is simple, stop. Leave everything where it is. You will have the desire to start removing your contents, don't. As a fire victim your desire to hurry is almost uncontrollable. The damage is done and we have to realize settling a claim is not a fast process. You didn't buy everything in one day; you're certainly not going to replace everything in one day.

The last step is going to be the hardest for some reason. I would like for you to simply talk to us. The most common reason people don't talk to us very simple. You were told many times you have nothing to worry about. You bought the best policy and in that policy you have "replacement coverage". This statement alone will make you feel as though you cannot lose. At that moment in time the decision is yours.