There are nearly 500,000 structure fires each year, causing almost 3,000 deaths, 14,000 injuries, and $9.5 billion in property damage. Our Miami property damage lawyers know how a fire in the home can be traumatic for any homeowner, inflicting devastating physical, emotional, and financial loss. If your home or other property has been damaged in a fire, you will need to take immediate action in order to receive the compensation you need to restore your home and belongings. Here is a look at some important steps you should take if your home has been damaged by a fire:
- Contact your homeowners’ insurance company: The first step you should take if your home has been damaged by a fire is to contact your homeowners’ insurance company and review your insurance policy. Insurance companies have been known to deny claims due to the insured’s failure to timely notify them of the fire. However, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to take their time in responding to claims. Document your contact and be sure to call shortly after the fire. You will need to press for a full examination of the property and your lost belongings so that your claim can move forward.
- Photograph the damage: Fires can wreck serious havoc on your home. If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the fire damage once the fire has been extinguished. Collect any photographs you may have prior to the fire to provide if needed as a comparison. Safety is your number one priority, so ensure your home is structurally sound before entering to take pictures. If you cannot enter, take photographs of the exterior.
- Create a list of items that were lost or damaged: Your insurance company will need a list of items that were lost or damaged in the fire, along with their approximate value. As you enter your home and sort through the damage, start to create a list of items that are destroyed or that cannot be located.
- Consult with a Florida homeowners’ insurance attorney: An attorney will be able to help with your fire damage claim as he or she has experience handling fire damage claims and may be able to connect you with inspection professionals who will complete a full investigation on the property. As a result of the inspection, you and your attorney will understand the full extent of the damage and will be better able to pursue your claim. If you are unsure of what your policy covers or experience difficulty filing your claim, you will need the assistance of a skilled homeowners’ insurance attorney.
- Begin obtaining quotes for repairs: Your attorney will guide you through the process of obtaining quotes for repairs to your home. You will likely wish to include the cost of repairs in your fire damage claim so it is important to consult with a professional to determine accurate rehabilitation costs.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Exceptional Miami Homeowners’ Insurance Attorneys
Experiencing a fire in your home is terrifying and often costly. Anyone who has experienced an in-home fire will require the assistance of an experienced attorney who will aggressively pursue their legal rights. The Miami Homeowners’ Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have assisted homeowners across the state in all matter of homeowners’ insurance related issues. For over 130 collective years, our dedicated attorneys have assisted clients across South Florida, earning us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Allow us to put our experience to work for you. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.