Tag: Property Loss

Filing An Insurance Claim After A Fire Damage

Every year wildfires cause major fire damage in Southern California. When this happens, insurance companies help victims of wildfires rebuild their homes. Even if a fire victim does not have all the required paperwork or information, they should still file a claim with their insurance. It’s important they start the insurance claim process as soon as possible.

Fire Damage 2
Fire Damage 2

When a home burns down, will the homeowner’s insurance company pay the cost of rebuilding it? A standard homeowners insurance policy in California will cover damage to a home caused by wind, lightning, water and fire. When a homeowner’s residence is completely destroyed by fire or if parts of the residence is damaged by fire, the insurance company should pay the cost for rebuilding the home or repairing any part of the home as a result of the fire damage.

The insurance company should also pay for the damage and any loss of clothing, furniture, appliances, tools, decorations and more. A homeowner can also be paid for the loss of certain structures on their property such as a tool shed or garage. The amount paid to the homeowner for such items will be determined by the limits of their insurance policy.

Claim Information
There are some standard information required by an insurance company to process a claim. Insurance companies will need to know the date of loss as well as the type of damage or loss, area of damage and more. A homeowner will have to provide an estimate for the damages to the home, list for the damaged contents and documentation for additional living expenses. A police report should also be provided.

Fire Damage 2
Fire Damage 2

Damage to the Landscape
The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does cover damage to plants, trees, shrubs and lawn on a homeowner’s property. Most insurers will pay 5% or less of the policy liability limits.

Temporary Housing
It is likely for a homeowner’s insurance policy to cover temporary housing expenses. This type of coverage will pay for the use of housing similar to the home that was damaged or destroyed. It will cover the time a house is being repaired or rebuilt. It may also cover for permanent relocation. These payments are not designed to cover for the homeowner’s lost earnings or wages.

Repair Documentation
A homeowner should maintain an accurate record of any expenses for repairs done to the home, this can include an estimate prepared by the contractor hired by the homeowner. Before starting the repairs, the insurance adjuster should inspect the damaged home.

Determining the Extent of the Loss
After a fire, a homeowner needs to make a list of what was damaged or destroyed. There are two types of lists a homeowner must provide. First is the contents list. This includes all the contents of the homeowner that was damaged from the fire. Second is an estimate of the dwelling prepared by the homeowner’s contractor which lists all the repairs needed to bring the house in a condition it was in before the fire. The estimate should be divided into categories such as entertainment room, kitchen, bedroom living room and more.

Legal Help
After filing a claim for fire damage with the insurance company, the insurance company may not pay the amount a homeowner is entitled to based on their insurance policy. When this happens, it is recommended to get the help of a legal professional. At Grun & Associates we have the knowledge and experience to help you recover the maximum coverage from your policy.

What To Do After a Car Accident?

The collision of 2 automobiles is a scary event, regardless of how fast the vehicles were traveling or how little damage has occurred. Immediately following an car accident, you are likely to experience elevated blood pressure and an overall sense of panic. But once the chaos clears, injuries have been assessed, and everyone involved has been safely moved out of the way, it is time to think about what important tidbits your auto insurance company is going to need from you in order to file a claim.

If you are ever involved in an auto accident, remember these 4 steps to make the claims process run smoother.

Two Drivers Arguing After Car Accident
Two Drivers Arguing After Car Accident

Don’t Forget to Take Notes

While the other driver is distracted with their own insurance concerns and locating their registration or insurance card, take the time to jot down some quick notes while the memory of the accident is still fresh in your mind. Take a deep breath before you begin, and then write things down exactly as you remember.

It may also be helpful to draw a diagram or pictures that you can refer back to later, in case you forget any details or need to dispute someone else’s comment about the car accident. Writing down notes immediately following the collision will prevent you from doubting yourself later, or forgetting what happened. Other important information to write down includes the name of the street where the accident occurred, including a nearby street number and cross-street if there is one nearby. Also write down the direction each driver was traveling, and any information from other witnesses as you can.

Car accident just happened
Car Accident

Take Photos

Take photos of the involved vehicles and the area in which the accident occurred, using your cell phone if necessary. Include the damage to the vehicles, or lack-there-of. As long as it is reasonably safe to do so, try snapping photos of each car at an angle from the wheels, so that one side of the car and either the front or rear is fully visible in the photo. Include close-up photos of any damage, as well as photos of the license plates. All of this will be helpful to your auto insurance company.

Swap Information

Immediately following the accident, request the other driver’s personal information, including their name and address, phone number, the name of their insurance company, and more. Don’t trust their word on this matter; ask to see their driver’s license, insurance, and registration card, and copy the information down directly for yourself to avoid being swindled. Take the time to compare any possible discrepancies.

Report the Accident to Your Auto Insurance Company

No matter how little damage appears to have occurred, always report a car accident to your auto insurance company. Some damages appear minimal at first glance, only to be discovered much worse upon official examination. Even in cases of small damage, claims should be filed because repair costs for something as simple as bumper damage will often exceed a low deductible. Additionally, some minor exterior damages can actually mean more significant and expensive underlying issues since cars are designed to bend and flex during accidents in order to absorb the impact and maximally protect its occupants.