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What homeowners in Florida should know about fire insurance

When a fire results in damages to your home, you may wonder where you should turn first. In this stressful scenario, you do not need the additional stress of a reluctant insurance company. It may surprise some people that insurance companies could be resistant when you submit a fire damage claim.

An insurance adjuster will meet with you, review the damage to your home and provide an estimate of your damages. The hard truth is that they may not prioritize your best interest because they work for the insurance company, not you.

Get the ball rolling

When making a claim for fire damage, it is important to do it promptly and to pressure your insurer to respond as soon as possible. If you contact your insurance immediately, it may allow you to get things started quickly. Submitting a sworn "proof of loss" is an important part of the initial process. This statement is made under oath and provides the relevant information the insurance company will need for the claim. This is not something you can ignore as Florida law requires policyholders to provide proof of loss upon the insurer's request.

Though some insurers may not request the proof of loss information, they may build it into the terms of your insurance policy. Simply put, if your insurance does not request the information or have it built into your policy, you do not have to provide it.

Information you should provide when submitting your claim

  • Type of damage or loss experienced
  • Date of fire
  • Any police reports
  • Injuries suffered
  • Description of possessions damaged in the fire
  • Location of damaged property
  • Remedial measures necessary to prevent further damage.

You may want to be aware that the adjuster's estimate could be significantly different than the contractors'. If you disagree with the estimate, there may be specific provisions you're entitled to in your insurance policy.

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