How to File Smoke Damage Insurance Claims

ServiceMaster Restore

The immediate aftermath of a fire is an overwhelming time and it’s hard to know where to begin. These tips can help you navigate those early days with a minimum of frustration and confusion.

Fire damage1. Call your insurance company or agent immediately following a fire. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to settle the claim.

2. Check your insurance policy for things like coverage, deductibles, exclusions and filing deadlines. If the policy was lost in the fire, ask for another copy from your agent.

3. If possible, take photos or video of the damage. Do not to disturb the affected area, especially if criminal activity is suspected.

4. Begin gathering all the necessary information needed to file the claim, including:

  • ♦ Date of the loss
  • ♦ Type of damage – was it caused by fire, smoke, water or all three?
  • ♦ Location of the damage – interior, exterior, or both
  • ♦ Contact information for the owner of the property, if you’re not the owner
  • ♦ Your personal contact information if you’re not the owner
  • ♦ A copy of the police report
  • ♦ Repair estimates
  • ♦ Receipts for all repairs, restoration and other related costs
  • ♦ Receipts for any hotels or meals if you were forced from the building
  • ♦ Complete list of all damaged items/building materials
  • ♦ A list of all important phone numbers, like insurance adjustors, investigators, and anyone who gives you a repair estimate.

An expandable file folder or three ring binder is excellent for organizing and storing all this information. Be sure to keep track of all receipts and estimates until the restoration is complete; and check with your adjustor to see how long you need to retain them afterwards.

If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage in Alexandria, VA or Washington, DC, call the experts at ServiceMaster NCR. With 30 years of experience, we clean and restore homes and contents using only the most advanced tools and techniques in the industry and we’ll update you weekly on the progress.

The cost to repair fire and smoke damage vary, depending on the extent of the damage.