Having to deal with an insurance adjuster after a traumatic event like a house fire can be stressful. This article will provide tips on navigating the claims process and getting the best possible settlement in Ireland.
Table of Contents
Total Loss Fire Claims vs Partial Loss Fire Claims
After a house fire, the insurance company will send out a loss adjuster to inspect the damage and determine if it is a total loss or partial loss.
A total loss means the damage is so extensive that the structure is deemed unrepairable. In this case, the insurance company will pay out the full insured value of the home.
A partial loss means that repairs are feasible. The insurance company will pay to have the home restored to its pre-loss condition. The payout will depend on the scope of repairs outlined by the adjuster.
It’s important to understand the difference, as a total loss claim settlement will be significantly higher.
House Fire Claims Process
Here are the typical steps in the house fire claims process involving insurance adjusters:
- Report the loss to your insurance company. Provide details of what happened and the extent of damage.
- The insurance company will send out a loss adjuster to inspect the property, usually within 1-2 days of reporting the claim.
- The loss adjuster will determine the cause of the fire, take measurements, and photograph/document all damage. This is called a “Value At Risk Survey”.
- The loss adjuster will present a scope of repairs and estimated costs to the insurance company. This will form the basis of the claim settlement.
- You will receive a claim settlement offer from the insurance company. Review this closely and consult a public adjuster if you disagree with any aspect.
- Once agreed, repair/rebuilding work can begin and funds will be released in stages as works are completed.
What Does an Insurance Loss Adjuster Do?
The loss adjuster has an important role in the claims process. Here’s what they will do:
- Act as a representative for the insurance company’s interests, not yours. Their job is to settle claims as economically as possible for the insurer.
- Inspect the property damage and determine the likely cause of the fire. Look for any pre-existing issues that may impact the claim.
- Take measurements and photographs. Document the damage room-by-room for the insurer’s records.
- Conduct a “Value At Risk Survey” to calculate the total rebuild cost and determine if the home is underinsured.
- Provide detailed recommendations to the insurer on the scope of repairs and estimated costs.
- Look for ways to reduce the claim payout where possible e.g. depreciation, policy limits or exclusions.
Liaising With Insurers to Get the Best Settlement
As the loss adjuster works for the insurance company, it’s wise to have your representative in the form of a public adjuster or loss assessor. They can ensure you receive the maximum settlement entitlement.
Key ways a loss assessor can assist:
- Review your policy and identify all applicable coverages and extensions. Point out any ambiguous clauses in your favour.
- Challenge the loss adjuster on any unrealistic repair scopes or cost estimates that are too low.
- Negotiate on your behalf if the insurer tries to underpay based on depreciation, exclusions or uncovered damage.
- Ensure you are fully compensated for any alternative accommodation costs covered under your policy.
- Handle all communications and paperwork to take the burden off you during this stressful time.
Professional Fire Claim Advice
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire and the insurance claims process can be confusing and complex for homeowners.
Getting advice from an expert loss assessor or public adjuster is highly recommended so you can focus on recovery and urgent priorities.
Loss Assessor Ireland provides professional fire insurance claim services on a no-win, no-fee basis. They offer:
- Free initial consultation to review your policy coverages and assess the damage/loss.
- Experienced representative to act on your behalf and negotiate the optimal claim settlement.
- Assistance with emergency repairs, alternative accommodation, inventory of damaged property and replacement valuations.
- End-to-end claims management from initial filing to final payout.
Don’t navigate a fire insurance claim alone. Contact Loss Assessor Ireland today at 0863 571 713 for a free consultation and see how they can help maximise your settlement.