Filing an insurance claim is unique to the type of damage that occurred. After you experience a fire, the smoke damage may be worse than the actual fire damage. Smoke can easily travel through an entire building even if the fire was contained to one room. One of the most important steps to take after you experience a disaster of any kind is to file an insurance claim. Every type of damage has different insurance claim needs. Because smoke damage can be so widespread, it’s important to learn about smoke damage insurance claims.
What is Smoke Damage
Smoke damage is comprised of either oily or powdery residue and lingering odor. The type of residue depends on the material that burned. Each type of residue has different cleaning needs. Cleaning smoke residue improperly can cause even more damage than what originally occurred. Odor can last even after the smoke residue is gone.
Include the Following in Your Insurance Claim
- Date of loss
- Type of damage
- Property owner contact information
- Personal contact information
- Others involved
- A police report
- Related injuries
- Remediation estimates
- Description of damaged items
- Receipts for restoration and related costs
- Complete list of damaged items
- Any temporary repairs
- Condition of home
Call Insurance Provider
Contact your insurance provider right away to ensure your damage restoration process goes as smoothly as possible. Being on the same page from the start is a great way to avoid some of the bumps along the way.
Review Your Insurance Policy
If you lost your insurance policy paperwork in the fire, your agent should be able to send you another copy. From there, review the details of your plan including deductibles, deadlines, exemptions and coverage limits. Familiarize yourself with your insurance coverage.
Record the Damage
Before you move anything, take photos and videos of the damage. Make sure you record damaged contents and valuables as well as structural damage. This type of proof may help streamline the insurance process.
Keep Track of Expenses
If your living expenses increase during the damage restoration process, your insurance may be able to reimburse you. Staying in a hotel or buying new toiletries can all add up. Keep a detailed record of these expenses including an itemized list and receipts.
Your insurance provider may require that you prevent further damage from occurring with temporary solutions. These include boarding/tarping up a broken window or hole in your roof.
ServiceMaster of Germantown is your local fire and water damage restoration expert. We hope these tips help you enjoy a damage-free summer. If you do experience smoke damage, contact us at 901-853-3748. Rely on our team of experts to walk you through the entire process, even communicating directly with your insurance provider. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration services. Our team also provides extreme cleaning, floor care and more. The sooner you call, the more damage we can prevent.
Photo by: istockphoto.com/Pattanaphong Khuankaew