Here’s what to expect.
Facing a local wildfire is stressful and emotional, and the thought of filing insurance claims and beginning the process of restoring your home can be overwhelming. If your home is affected by local wildfires, here are some tips to help you get on the path to recovery:
Follow the directions of your local authorities. Only return to your home when the fire department says it is safe to do so. Even if an evacuation is lifted, be watchful of any structural damage to your home that may make it unsafe to enter. If you need temporary shelter or supplies, contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org/).
Contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage, and be prepared with your policy number and the name of your agent (if possible). Write down the names and numbers of each person you speak to throughout the process, including what you discussed and the date. Let your insurance company know the best way to contact you and where they should mail your insurance paperwork.
Take the time to understand your insurance coverage so you can plan your expenses accordingly. Know your coverage levels for fire-related losses such as:
- Structural damage
- Personal property loss
- Additional living expenses (meals, hotels, etc.)
- Landscaping costs
- Extended coverage for specific valuables (usually an add-on to your insurance plan)
Stay organized. Keep track of all paperwork and correspondence, such as emails, letters, post office receipts, invoices, bills, credit card statements, permits, contracts for repairs, insurance forms, etc. Retain originals of everything and keep detailed notes from phone calls. This will help your claim stay on track and accountable.
Save your receipts for things such as food, lodging, or supplies which may be covered by your insurance. Be conservative in your spending and try to mitigate expenses to keep more money in your pocket.
File your insurance claim. Your insurance company will require you to submit a “proof of loss claim”, which is where you will list your damaged or lost items and their value. Try to prepare this as soon as possible so your insurance company can address your needs quickly, but be thorough. Don’t throw anything away, because it will be easier to prove your claim if your claim adjuster sees the damage.
You will need to provide information such as:
- Date of loss
- Type of loss/damage
- Location of damage
- Any related injuries
- Others involved
- The condition of your home
- Description of damaged contents and valuables
- Any necessary temporary repairs
- A police report
Your insurance broker will walk you through the process, explain your coverage and limits, and provide you with payment when appropriate. Depending on your insurance policy, you may have to meet a deductible and/or coordinate an inspection to determine the cost of repairs before the insurance provides you with payment. Unless your home is a total loss, your insurance company will require you to secure your property to mitigate damage and theft.
Hire a restoration contractor to restore your home. Fire damage can present significant health and safety hazards, such as unsafe structural damage, gas leaks, exposed electrical wires, chemical fumes, water damage from fire-fighting efforts, embers, soot, and more. Hiring a professional restoration contractor will help keep you and your family out of harm’s way. It is important to select a reputable contractor you can trust to get the job done right and can work efficiently with your insurance company to agree on the scope of work to be completed.
American Technologies, Inc. (ATI) is here to help for all your restoration needs. ATI has helped restore our customers’ homes for almost 30 years. We have existing relationships with major insurance carriers, which helps us handle repairs more quickly. As soon as an area impacted by wildfires is under control, our teams are on-site ready to help.
Our expert staff understands coping with loss is a stressful and emotional time. Whether you need cleaning or full restoration, our home restoration experts are available 24/7 to help you every step of the way. Call us at 1-800-400-9353 to begin the recovery process, or visit our website at http://ati.youngcompany.dev/.
Following are some examples of how we can help you deal with fire damage:
- Emergency services
- Stabilization and damage mitigation
- Board-ups and temporary repairs
- Structural repairs
- Debris removal
- Wet cleaning and dry soot removal
- HVAC decontamination
- On-location cleaning
- Thorough pack-out, pack-in including digital inventory
- Complete contents recovery
- Building restoration
- Electronics and document restoration
- Related restoration services, such as water damage remediation from fire-fighting efforts (which can cause mold, mildew, and corrosion)
We offer a full suite of restoration, remediation and reconstruction services, which is why ATI is your one-stop-shop to rebuild. After receiving your call, we will assign a project director and project manager to oversee the project and serve as your main points of contact. You can rest assured that our teams will handle the process from start to finish, and your project manager is simply a phone call away to answer any questions.
As the nation’s largest family-owned restoration contractor, our teams are deeply committed to our local communities and helping them through the restoration process. You can trust us to bring your home back to normal with as little hassle as possible.