Fire and Smoke Damage Insurance Claims

What To Do If Your House Burns Down

Imagine you are fast asleep on a Sunday night, when suddenly a piercing sound echoes through your house.  After a split second, you realize what is going on: your smoke alarm is going off and smoke is coming in through the door. 

Without much hesitation, you rush into action and fortunately get your family to safety, 

As the fire department extinguishes the fire, you slowly realize that for a long time, your life is not going to be the same. You must adjust to a new reality, the challenge of putting your house and life back together.

Because you were never taught what to do AFTER a fire, you have no idea where to start.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to maximize your chances of getting your life and house back to normal as quickly as possible.  There are a couple of ways to go about it, and you can use the help of a public insurance adjuster like us to guide you through the process or go through this challenging process alone.

Regardless of what option you choose, here are some important items to know:

Assuming you have your phone with you, your first step should be contacting your insurance company.  (It might be a good idea to store important information like your policy number in a place outside of your house).

It is important to get them on board as soon as possible to start assessing the damages, which can come not just from the fire, but from actions taken to extinguish the fire.  Don’t stress, this damage is normal.  

At this point, we recommend contacting a public insurance adjuster to help you with your claim. Public insurance adjusters like us will help prepare an accurate and detailed claim.  Your public insurance adjuster will arrange for a meeting with your insurance company’s adjuster to assess the damage.  We will be working alongside you during this often-painful process of working directly with the insurance company regarding the details of your claim.  Your public insurance adjuster will negotiate a reasonable settlement for your damage.

Your public insurance adjuster will then work with you to engage with a licenced general contractor to commence the rebuild process. We will work alongside you during this phase. 

While the first step can happen with a phone call, the process will take some time. In the meantime, you need to worry about things like, where to stay until you can return to your home because a fire can often cause dangerous chemicals to be released, making your home toxic until it is cleaned properly.

Many people find friends or relatives they can stay with, allowing them to have the comfort of a friendly face during this hard time.  If that isn’t available, you can talk with your adjuster about any support they can provide based on your policy.  Red Cross shelters are often available too, as a last resort.

If you have pets and they can’t stay with you, you will need to arrange for a place for them to stay.  They are as shocked as you, so try to find a place where they can be cared for properly.

Assuming your house wasn’t completely destroyed, you need to secure your home properly.  Your restoration company, insurance company, and your public insurance adjuster will be able to help you take the necessary steps.  Some things to do are:

  • Board up windows and doors
  • Place tarp over any areas that can be damaged by rain or snow.
  • Contact the police
  • Make sure any excess water is pumped out 

Remember, don’t enter the home alone because there may be hidden dangers, like exposed wires.

Although this is an extremely emotional and difficult time, we are here to help. At Rubin & Rosen Adjusters, we have helped clients who have suffered from smoke and fire damages in their home. We put our clients’ needs first and ensure the best possible outcomes for them. 

We are your helping hand in these terrible situations. You are never alone when you work with us. So, if you don’t want to go through the process alone, please contact us and we will be at your side to help you.