If you’ve had a house fire, getting your home restored to its previous beauty and function is your foremost concern. How does homeowner’s insurance work after a fire? This guide will help you navigate your policy to receive coverage for the necessary repairs quickly.

Make Immediate Contact

Call your homeowner’s insurance company immediately to report fire damage. If damage is extensive, hire professionals to seal open areas to prevent further damage before repairs take place. Do not begin repairs or throw away damaged items until the property has been assessed. If you had to flee the home without your belongings, you may be able to get an advance on your insurance settlement to cover new clothes and other essentials. If you aren’t staying at the home, visit frequently to monitor its condition.

Document Everything

Although your insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage to your property and make a repair estimate, you should document the damage to the home yourself as long as it is safe to do so. You should also keep written notes of all correspondence with your insurance company and the adjuster they assign to your claim. Provide an inventory of damaged personal property. This should include everything in your home that was lost and the estimated replacement cost value of each item.

Understand the Scope of Loss

This document is provided by your insurance company and details all the damage to your property and the items within. It also includes the estimated labor and materials costs to repair your home to its previous condition. If you do not agree with the Scope of Loss, you should not begin repairs to the property.

Do Your Research

You don’t need to hire the contractor recommended by your insurance company. Instead, shop around and get recommendations from trusted loved ones and colleagues in your area. You should have several estimates to compare before making a final decision and signing with a contractor.

Consider Hiring a Public Adjuster

What does a public adjuster do? This independent professional performs an assessment of the fire damage and furnishes a repair estimate based on this information. If damage to your home is extensive, you may want to get a second opinion from a public adjuster—especially if the estimate your insurance company provided seems too low. If you feel you are receiving unfair treatment from your homeowner’s insurance provider, a public adjuster can advocate on your behalf.

Before accepting a settlement from your insurance company to pay for house fire damage, consult a public adjuster in Miami. He or she will ensure that you receive the necessary insurance funds to cover the repairs.