A Brief Guide of what to do next.
We know this can be a very stressful and chaotic time, we just want to help you navigate your way through the next several parts of the process that is about to occur as a byproduct of what has already happened. We know you likely have never gone through something like this before, so we would like to offer our professional experience to make this smoother for you.
Your family is the most important. Secure shelter for the time being. Often times the Red Cross will offer 3 days of hotel stay to help you get situated. While this is kind, if you have insurance they will make things even more comfortable for you.
Contact your insurance company. If you do not have the information handy, our Outreach Program Manager can assist you in getting this information. Notify them of the fact you have had a loss at your home. Let them know the home is unlivable, and they will help you get into temporary accommodations. This will also get many of the next steps happening automatically.
Protect your property. This really doesn’t require you to do much physically, as there are contractors who can assist you with this at no direct cost to you. It just requires you to authorize them to do so. These well trained contractors can assist in securing your home and personal property until the next steps occur. If you don’t already have someone, ask our Outreach Program Manager for referrals. You should always use a restoration contractor for this task, as they understand the insurance world better than an average contractor and won’t cause any unneeded or uncovered damages.
Get some rest, this day was stressful enough, and the next several days are going to be rather tiresome as well. You may want to consider contacting your employer, employees, etc.. and take a few days off. There will need to be a few appointments you will need to attend to ensure all goes as YOU expect. Eat a good Breakfast if you can tomorrow, you likely will need the energy.
Meet with contractors and possibly adjuster. The adjuster meeting is a key role in all of this, but often times it is best to have specific contractors in mind before they arrive. Suggest aligning yourself with reputable restoration contractors. It is often times best to choose contractors who you feel will have your best interests in mind. Our Outreach Manager can help you figure out what companies may be able to assist you the best.
We do offer services such as: Personal Property Pack Out, Storage, Cleaning, Move Back, Finishes Demolition and Structural Cleaning, Textile (Clothing, bedding, etc..) Cleaning
Services we do not offer or provide, but will gladly help align you with the best in the industry to suit your needs: Structural Repairs (Putting the house back together) Electronics Restoration Furniture Refinishing- Stain and paint Grade Furniture that needs more than a thorough cleaning and deodorizing
We suggest you meet with the restoration contractors and get their professional opinions on what should happen in your home. This way when you meet with your adjuster you are well educated on what should be happening. In most cases you will be relieved to see your adjuster and restoration contractor are on the same page. A way to ensure this is to invite the restoration contractor to the meeting with the adjuster. They will often times help the adjuster see things they may possibly miss, we are all human. This will ensure YOUR needs are met.
Adjuster Meeting Day: Ensure you have shared all of your concerns with your contractors prior to this meeting day, to ensure they can facilitate making sure your concerns are addressed.
On this day we suggest you have your contractors (Personal Property, Finishes Demolition, and Structural Repair) on site to meet with your adjusters. This makes the process goes much smoother for all parties. Everyone can be on the same page as to what is being done, and they can all offer their professional advice to ensure all of your needs are being met, quite often there are needs you didn’t even know you had at this point that they will address for you. Things such as hidden smoke cavities, cost effectiveness of salvaging items, various county code requirements after a loss, etc..
Upon completion of these meetings, we suggest you request timelines in which each aspect is going to be completed. This will help you settle into the bigger picture of the process. Often times we see those TV shows that show houses being redone in a week or less and think it will be a quick process. There is a lot of behind the scenes that go into those, and unfortunately it isn’t as easy after a fire loss to pull those kinds of strings. Often times there will be many months before you are settled back into your home. It is best to find this out sooner rather than later.
These are also good times to get the rest of the picture in what all steps will be going into the process, and where you are needed to be involved the most.
KEEP ALL RECEIPTS!!!!
They will come in handy later, consider them all as if they were like cash. You will need them to prove what all you have purchased/replaced.