Are You Prepared if the Worst Should Happen?
The recent house fire at the Buckinghamshire home of broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan highlights the risks we all face of an outbreak of fire in our home. Even when every precaution is made to avoid such a disaster, house fires can still be unavoidable. Will your insurance cover you if your home and possessions are destroyed by fire? Making a house fire insurance claim may not be as straightforward as you expected.
Sir Terry Wogan's house fire was caused by a faulty tumble dryer in a utility room. Fortunately there were smoke alarms throughout the building, alerting residents to the blaze very quickly. All internal doors in the house were closed which prevented the fire from spreading to any other rooms of the house. It still took two firefighters in breathing apparatus two hours to contain the fire. Sir Terry praised the firefighters on his radio show.
Claiming House Fire Insurance
While the damage to Sir Terry's home could have been a lot worse if the fire prevention measures had not been so good, it's certain there will still be claim to made on insurance. It's likely there was a great deal of smoke damage to some of the contents of the house, and of course the tumble dryer and possibly some of the other equipment in the utility room has been damaged.
If you were to fall victim to a house fire, would you be able to make an insurance claim? Fire does not just cause damage to replaceable property and possessions . A serious house fire could destroy personal belongings which cannot be replaced. What price can you put on these items? Whatever value you give them, your insurance company may not agree.
Getting the Right Settlement in Your House Fire Insurance Claim
Your insurance company are in the business of making a profit, and they don't do this by giving out vast sums of money to their claimants. Insurance companies employ experts, known as loss adjusters, to review the details of insurance claims and make sure the insurance company pay out as little as possible. An insurance loss assessor will visit the property, taking photographs and making notes on the damage the fire has caused, and will present a report to the insurance company suggesting the lowest possible settlement to cover the cost of fire damage.
You may find that this amount does not adequately cover the loss that you have suffered in a house fire. Unfortunately, most people making insurance claims are not experts and don't have the time, knowledge or experience to put forward a good case. But expert help is available to those making house fire insurance claims.
An insurance loss assessor works in much the same way as an insurance adjuster, compiling detailed evidence of the damage the fire has caused and assessing what the insurance settlement should be. The difference is that loss assessors work for the claimant, not the insurance company. A loss assessor will make a fair and honest appraisal of the damage and present the strongest case for you when making your insurance claim for a house fire. The cost of using such an insurance expert is more than covered by the final settlement they are able to get you.
How to Make a Successful House Fire Insurance Claim
The most important thing to do, as soon as the fire has been taken care of, is to contact an insurance loss assessor as quickly as possible. The sooner they can visit your home and assess the damage, the better the chance they have of getting you a fair and appropriate settlement from your insurance company.
Of course, before any of this happens, you should take every step to avoid the risk of a fire in your home. But if the worst does occur, make sure you use an insurance loss assessor to avoid a disappointing payout from your insurance company.
Truman Associates is a firm of insurance loss assessors in the UK. If you need to make a house fire insurance claim , they can get you a settlement that fairly reflects the loss and damage you've suffered.