SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides the fire and water damage restoration services needed to recover from a fire damage disaster involving smoke, soot, and ash. The experience of going through a house fire is traumatic, whether the incident is limited to a malfunctioning appliance with more smoke than fire or a large-scale blaze that engulfs the home in smoke and flames.
Regarding insurance coverage for the event, most standard property insurance policies cover fire and water damage. A smoke damage claim can be complicated, and a smoke damage payout can present some stiff challenges. Listed below are three important tips involving smoke damage insurance claims.
#1. Provide detailed documentation of the fire, smoke, and water damage, including images and video
A standard homeowners insurance policy will undoubtedly cover losses caused by the fire. Once the flames are extinguished, and the smoke is cleared, the first order of business is to extensively and accurately document damages and losses. The smoke damage insurance claim needs to include the following information about the property.
- What was the date of the fire and smoke damage event?
- Describe the type of loss or damage. (fire, smoke, water, chemical damage from fire extinguishers, damage from the fire department seeking to access and extinguish flames, an explosion from a gas leak or propane tank, etc.)
- Detail the extent of damage, such as rooms involved, garage, attic, attached buildings, or sheds.
- Were there any personal injuries? If so, describe the type and severity of personal injuries and medical expenses if emergency services were required.
- Who else was directly impacted by the property damage disaster? (guests, friends, neighbors assisting evacuation, or “good Samaritan” strangers)
- In detail, describe the condition of the home, going room by room.
- As much as possible, make an exhaustive list of contents damaged by the fire, smoke, and water from the event.
- Delineate which items are destroyed and will need replacement and which objects appear salvageable. Avoid throwing anything away. The insurance company has the final say regarding what is damaged beyond repair and what can be restored. Take pictures of everything. This task may require multiple cell phones or cloud storage capabilities if internet access is available.
- Secure copies of the police report and the fire department reports.
Other action steps are a vital part of the process. The homeowner is likely required to contact the insurance company as soon as possible, usually within a specified amount of time after a loss event. The insurance company will also require the policyholder to handle related matters. The exchange of emails and documents will be significant. Make personal copies of all documents. Archive emails. Create a digital folder on the cloud to ensure safe yet efficient access. For quick non-digital access, store important documents in a folder or binder.
#2. Know the extent and limits of the policy in force
The standard homeowner’s policy covers flame, smoke, ash, or soot damage. A home destroyed by a fire would be covered up to the policy limit for a new home. Contents damaged by the byproducts of the fire will be cleaned and restored. Items beyond repair will be replaced. Smoke and soot can infiltrate deep into electronics, furniture, fabric, and tiny crevices. Evidence of the contamination may not be visible, but the damage is real. Even items that show little or no signs of damage should be professionally cleaned or removed from the home and discarded.
#3. Hire only trained, certified, and experienced professionals for the cleanup and restoration
Once the damages have been documented, and the insurance company has been notified, cleanup and restoration can begin. Most policies cover cleanup and restoration after a fire, smoke, and water damage disaster. The headaches and health hazards of a DIY fire, smoke, soot, and ash restoration project are not worth the risks.
The experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto are IICRC-certified with years of experience in water and fire damage cleanup and restoration. Powerful equipment, cutting-edge technology, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved disinfecting, sanitizing, and deodorizing products enable technicians to clean up and restore the damage quickly. Team members follow stringent safety procedures and use PPG to ensure safety. The quick cleanup reduces the likelihood of advanced secondary damage such as mold and wood rot.
For more information about fire and water damage restoration services in Linda Vista Park Linda Vista Dr Cupertino, CA 95014, and the surrounding area, email SERVPRO of Palo Alto at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (650) 800-3448.