Losing everything you own in a fire is a traumatic experience. Thankfully, most homeowners and renters in California have insurance policies to protect them in such catastrophic events
When you file your claim with the insurance company, you’ll likely need immediate access to at least some of what your policy limits entitle you to in order to find a temporary place to stay and purchase items like clothing and toiletries that were destroyed in the fire.
To do this, be sure to ask for an advance from the insurer so you can continue to maintain your standard of living while you pick up the pieces of your life and wait for the settlement on your lost home. For help in this often difficult process, get in touch with a lawyer at our firm.
Taking an Inventory
After the fire has been put out and the home surveyed for safety, you should begin making a list of all of your belongings that were destroyed in the fire. The items will still be in the ruined home, and a public adjuster will be able to account for them so the insurer has evidence that you did, in fact, own the property you’ve listed.
If you are able to provide bank statements that can support the items’ value, you’ll be one step ahead of the insurance company, which is likely to try to minimize the amount it’ll be required to settle for.
When the insurance company withholds a portion of your settlement until you are able to prove the repair or re-purchase of the property you’ve listed in your claim, this is known as recoverable depreciation. Having the insurance company question your inventory list can lead to a delay in the release of your funds, which is unacceptable when you’ve suffered a total loss.
To avoid this, call an attorney who can help you organize an inventory list that will include information that can help the insurance adjuster place an appropriate value on your claim.
In addition, you’ll want to maximize the amount of your compensation without exaggerating by making sure to include every lost item in your home—from shampoo and clothing to sofas and electronics. This will ensure that you reach the personal property limit of your policy.
Talk to a Los Angeles Insurance Lawyer
No one is prepared to lose everything in a house fire. When it happens to you, you don’t need the added pressure of dealing with the insurance company. Working with a qualified Los Angeles insurance lawyer at Haffner Law can make this difficult time a lot easier.
We can help you complete your inventory and handle the insurance company so you gain access to your benefits as soon as possible. Contact us to schedule your free claim evaluation today by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this page or giving us a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637).