Damages to personal or business property caused by fire can be devastating to families and businesses.  There are many short-term decisions to be made, and due to stress and confusion, insured individuals often make several mistakes in the restoration process and in understanding what contracts to sign.  These mistakes can have serious repercussions on recovering properly from a fire insurance claim.  Our public adjusters have the knowledge and expertise to negotiate with the insurer and guide you through the tedious claims process, ensuring to maximize the claim payment in a fair and timely manner.  Therefore, hiring a public adjuster as early as possible is crucial in order to prevent mistakes in the reporting and processing of insurance claims.
Fire losses include damages caused by the fire itself or by smoke, soot, heat, or the water used to extinguish the fire.  In severe cases, the property or dwelling may become uninhabitable or unusable.  The first step in the process is evaluating the extent and nature of all losses and damages, and then analyzing how your insurance policy applies to your unique situation.
We must evaluate the severity of the damages to personal and/or business property in order to determine whether items or structures are repairable or a total loss.  If any property becomes a total loss, it would not make sense to spend financial resources on repairs only to replace the property afterwards.  Many policyholders make the costly mistake of signing “disaster restoration” forms, giving the insurer authorization to remove or attempt to repair items that are actually a total loss.  As a result, funds are unnecessarily wasted, which may be needed to pay for replacements afterwards.
It is also important to consult with our public adjusters before signing blank authorization forms and before determining the appropriate experts to use in the restoration process, such as engineers, technicians, or other restoration specialists.  Blank authorization forms may result in liens on the property if the carrier and policyholder have any disagreements on the claim in the long run.
Smoke and hydrochloric acid will always exist in the presence of a fire and can be extremely corrosive.  Heat also increases the pressure of the smoke, forcing it into surrounding areas and affecting contents that are seemingly distant from the fire.  As a result, the life of electrical and mechanical equipment can be shortened.  The extent and nature of the damages, value of the contents, and cost of restoration will determine whether or not your property will be fully restored to its condition prior to the loss.
After a comprehensive evaluation of your loss, our public adjusters can guide, assist, and advise you during every step in the processing of your claim with your insurance company.

 

Houston Fire Incidents