Texas is no stranger to fires and recently has seen its fair share. There was an apartment fire that displaced 28 people, a hundred year old house that went up in flames, and then there was the fire that shut down streets in Houston. The one thing they all have in common—fires cause damage and the aftermath is a hassle. But, you may not know or understand how insurance companies assess fire damage. There are many factors that go into determining the cost of damage. It’s more than just cost of property loss, it is about loss of productivity and worse, loss of life.
What happens after a fire
Once a fire takes place, your insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage. Whether you are calculating the cost for business or personal, the process is roughly the same.
First, the undamaged value of your property from your house, to the yard, to the trees around it, and all of the items inside the house are estimated. Smoke damage along with anything around the initial spot of the fire is also taken into account and added into the estimation. It is best if you have a list of all personal content and the estimated value before a fire occurs so that you are not in a position of scrambling around trying to assemble one during a crisis.
Once an assessment is made, the value of your contents is compared to the cost of everything that was damaged by the fire—whether by the actual flames or smoke. You must remember that an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. His goal is to make his company money, by saving them money on your claim. If a value of loss is within 20% of the total value of the property, it is often considered a total loss by the insurance company—under this amount is not.
Let a Public Adjuster do the dirty work for you
In addition to the obvious damage, a Public Adjuster will know what other things to look for and to consider. They can help you get the best settlement possible because they will negotiate with the insurance company for you. Sometimes settlements and negotiations can drag on for months. Since it is often a very emotional time for property owners, the added experience and expertise of a third-party negotiator often helps you focus on getting your life back in order and back in operation.
Remember, a Public Adjuster works for you! The next time you have fire damage claim give Timmons Consulting Group a call. I would love to help you, and it just might give you peace of mind knowing that someone is looking out for you and your best interest.