A house fire can be devastating. While usually, thanks to devices such as smoke and heat alarms, everyone gets out safely, possessions and valuables can be destroyed. This is why it’s so important to have home insurance, as the cost of these items will be covered. While you can’t get the items themselves back, you’ll be covered for any financial loss, and this could be a big relief.
So what can you do after a house fire, and will you see an increase in the cost of your insurance?
After a fire in your home, it’s likely that you’ll be feeling all kinds of mixed emotions, including shock. However, there are quite a few steps that must be taken to get the insurance claim started and to ensure your home is safe.
Even if you aren’t living there after the incident, any further damage is your legal responsibility. For this reason, it may be worth speaking to the fire brigade before they leave the site to check whether you need to bring in a chartered surveyor (if the property’s structure has been compromised) or an electrician (if the electrical safety has been compromised).
Once you have as much information as you need from the fire service, it’s time to call your insurance provider. This may not be the first thing that crosses your mind, however your cover provider may need to come out to assess the property. Remember that if your contents and buildings insurance policies are with separate providers, you will need to call both of them. If your home is uninhabitable, your insurance may cover you for alternative accommodation, where you can stay until it is safe to move back home.
You may also wish to consider whether you want to use a loss assessor. They will handle the claim for you and can work out what exactly you’ve lost. You don’t have to use one, but they could help to make the task a little bit easier.
Now that you’ve dealt with the official calls, you should inform friends and family of the incident and try to find temporary accommodation. In some instances, this accommodation may be covered by your insurance and so you could stay in a hotel until the repair work on the house has been completed. However, always confirm details like this with your home insurer, otherwise you’ll have to cover the cost if you’re not insured for this. Alternatively, you may prefer to stay with people closest to you after the accident. The choice is yours.
In the coming days and weeks after the fire, you or your loss adjuster (if you have one) will need to collect a list of any damaged items and their value. You should make this list as detailed as you possibly can, even including items such as books, clothes and bedding. Once your claim has been approved, work can begin on the house to restore it.
A house fire can be scary, even if it was a small one, and it’s likely that you will feel a range of emotions following the accident, including sadness and shock. The best way to recover is to try and regain some kind of normalcy. It’s likely that, if you’re put in temporary accommodation, the insurer will try to place you in a similar location and in a similar-sized property. If you have children, they should continue to go to school and you should try to go back to work. You should also try to rebuild some of what you lost. For example, you could try to recreate lost photo albums by printing digital photos.
It’s also important to talk to the people closest to you if you’re feeling upset or depressed about what has happened.
What your insurance policy covers after a fire will depend on the provider or the level of cover you have.
If you have a buildings insurance policy, the following will be covered under Age Co’s insurance:
If you have a contents insurance policy, the following will be covered under Age Co’s insurance:
When you claim on insurance, whether this is home, car or business insurance, your premiums will generally increase. This is because insurance is calculated based on how risky you are to insure. If you’ve made a claim in the last two years, you’re deemed riskier to cover, resulting in increased premiums.
There’s lots to think about when buying a home, but buildings insurance is really important if you don’t want a house sale to fall through.
It can be upsetting when a sentimental item has been lost or some of your belongings have been damaged, and this is why contents insurance is important - it covers the objects that mean so much to you.
Buildings insurance will cover the building itself, including fixtures and fittings, garden walls, fences and driveways. Contents insurance includes any household goods and valuables, including money, business equipment and electrical gadgets. It’s important that you have both to ensure that everything in your home is protected.