There are a lot of mistakes policyholders can make as they prepare and file a fire insurance claim in Los Angeles. Being a victim of a fire is a distressing experience. It often leaves someone feeling of being hopeless. It’s common for policyholders to make mistakes after a fire incident.
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Below are 10 of the most common mistakes you may make after a fire.
1. Making decisions too fast.
After a fire incident, you’ll be able to come up with hundreds of decisions, especially during the claim process. But before you decide, take your time to get settled in first. This amount of time will let you explore other options. It will also help and guide you do what is best for you.
2. Listening to people with no experience.
Listening to those who have never experienced a major loss will affect your fire insurance claim. Most people are off-balance and emotional after a loss. You’ll be influenced by the people you interact with. Be careful and only talk to experts who aren’t associated with your insurance firm.
3. Not knowing your rights.
How does this affect your fire insurance claim in Los Angeles? Most people think that the only option is an insurance company. Remember, you can choose a public adjuster or contractor. You can recover more insurance money if you choose your own experts who are protecting your interests.
4. Packing out home without a complete inventory.
How does this affect your fire insurance claim? An incomplete inventory can result in thousands of lost dollars. The items that are under $150 in your home may add up to a considerable sum. You should include them in your inventory.
5. Packing out without knowing the cost.
How does this affect your claim? If you have a fixed amount of coverage for your contents, the pack-out bill will be taken out of that allotted amount for contents. Unnecessary work will be done on the items which are not repairable. And you will be responsible for the cost of these.
But here’s an alternative method that can help you. Have the pack-out company test clean the items that can be cleaned together with a few of your electronic devices. Leave the bad items on the location. This can cut your pack-out bill in half. You can keep the money available in case you need to replace lost items.
6. Letting the insurance firm contractors start the repairs without knowing the exact cost and scope of the repairs.
This will affect your fire insurance claim in Los Angeles. How? Policyholders don’t realize that there are insurance companies that have preferred contractors. And these contractors work with them on a consistent basis.
Most of the time, the scope of their repairs will lack in tear-out and pricing based on the quality of materials. This means you’ll lose a huge amount of money, money that could have gone to your property. What you can do is look for a professional adjuster to help you make the comparisons.
7. Not knowing what your insurance policy covers.
It’s important to know what your insurance policy means and what it covers. All policies are based on a standard 165-line policy. Each line has its meaning. It will be a problem if you misinterpret any of the lines.
You can find the insurance coverage within your policy. If you don’t know what your insurance policy is then it will cost you thousands of dollars. It’s your responsibility to prove your loss.
8. Not knowing the complete process for personal property inventory.
Before filing the claim, you need to make sure that you have filled out all the details. If you’re still emotional after the incident, you might miss a thing or two while listing the details.
Moreover, your employer may not pay you for your lost hours if you take a day off from work to do the inventory of your losses. This may also affect you while listing the details. Missing a few things may cost you a large amount of money. Make sure that you take note of all the items for the inventory process. Seek help from a family member when doing this process if necessary.
9. Not understanding that the amount an adjuster gives comes from your final contents.
As a homeowner filing for an insurance claim, you need proper bookkeeping. If you get a cash advance from your claim, use this money immediately. You can use it for living expenses. Keep the receipts and then turn that amount in under the “Additional Living Expense” coverage to get a refund. This will help minimize confusion.
10. Not checking the references.
How does this affect your fire insurance claim? You might lose a lot of money if you don’t check the references. A lot of people don’t do it, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to, too. Take all the time you need to talk to the people about the company that you want to hire.
What questions can you ask the references?
- How much is the cost?
- Why did you hire them?
- Would you like to hire them again?
Make sure that you ask your insurance adjuster to provide you with a list of references. These should be people he or she has already worked with. Once you have the references, try to call them and see how the process went. Remember, you need to prove your loss, so go get the help you need.
Now that you have read the 10 common mistakes policyholders make after a loss, it’s necessary to understand these to avoid them in the future. If you have questions, feel free to check Excel Adjusters. They offer free consultations with their public adjusters. They will give you advice and advocacy during your hardship.
Consultations are free of charge for those affected by the California fires. It’s important that policyholders like you understand your rights after a disaster. Feel free to reach out to them and get the help you need.