Integrity. Fidelity. Backbone.

What should you do if you’re the victim of a wildfire?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Insurance Law

Wildfires have affected countless residents of California. If your home was impacted, you will want to file a claim. These are some tips you can use after suffering fire damage.

Get crucial information for your claim

The first step is to get a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy and the declarations page. You have up to 30 days to request this document with your insurer for free. You need to know how much coverage your policy offers and whether you can repair or rebuild your home and belongings. You may also be able to recover living expenses if your home can be repaired or rebuilt.

Your policy should include information about your Additional Living Expense limits during rebuilding. You have 24 months to collect this after suffering fire damage. If you have to move somewhere else during this period, make sure to track your expenses from that. Keep notes of all correspondence with your insurer and adjuster regarding your claim and limitations on your insurance policy.

Obtain an estimate for rebuilding from a licensed contractor. This can help you get the reimbursement you need in exchange for any out-of-pocket expenses you have to pay for rebuilding or repairs to your home.

Additional steps required

File a complaint with the Department of Insurance about your situation. You may want to rebuild in a new location but have to abide by the building code in the area. You can take your time when deciding on professionals to hire to perform the work necessary. Make sure you’re able to afford the rates of any contractor you consider. If your home insurance policy is limited, you will want to ask the Department of Insurance for assistance.

You might also need help with your claim. This depends on how much of the damages and costs of rebuilding your insurance policy is able to cover.