Fire and smoke can cause a lot of damage, as can the water that firefighters use when putting out fires.

Coverage under your policy

Fire and smoke damage is covered under home insurance policies.

Steps to follow

1. Contact your insurer

You should call your insurer as soon as possible to have a claims adjuster handle your claim.

2. Check the insurance contract and the coverage included

At this step, the claims adjuster will verify the validity of your policy and the coverage limits.

Did you know that the costs of cleaning or storing items, or for clearing your residence, are paid out of the insurance settlement?


3. Undertake emergency repairs

After a fire, some work should be done quickly to prevent further damage, such as:

  • Removing water and any damaged or contaminated materials and belongings
  • Cleaning and drying out the area
  • Sealing up any gaps or openings
  • Protecting undamaged items

If the damage is significant and is covered, your insurer will arrange to have a post-loss cleaning company empty out and clean the damaged area.

If you’ve already done some work, keep the invoices and receipts since they may be eligible for reimbursement.

4. Inquire about additional living expenses

You may need to evacuate the premises, depending on the type of damage suffered.Talk to your insurer about this, as your policy may cover the additional costs you incur for food and accommodation while your home is being repaired.

5. Assess and document the damage

At this step, you’ll establish the cost of the damage and how the damaged property will be repaired or replaced. You’ll have to:

  • Make a list of the items that were damaged or stolen and, if possible, gather all relevant documents, such as proof of purchase, warranties and instruction manuals
  • Take photos or videos of the damage
  • Refrain from disposing of damaged possessions right away, unless they’re a health hazard

If your home has been damaged, the cost to repair or replace the damaged areas will be assessed.

6. Repair or replace damaged items

Your home insurer is required to return your belongings and your home to the state they were in prior to the loss, according to the terms and conditions and coverage amounts of your policy.

Your insurer also has to indemnify you for the loss within 60 days of receiving your claim or any information or supporting documents it may request.

Your insurer will have the damaged property cleaned and repaired if possible. If not, your belongings will be replaced according to the terms and conditions of your contract.

Depending on the agreement, your insurer may pay you the indemnity or pay the service providers or contractors directly.

Don’t forget your deductible: your insurer will deduct the amount of your policy deductible from the compensation amount.

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