A house fire can be a devastating experience. Even when no one is hurt, you’ve still lost your belongings and been forced from your home while you wait for restoration or repairs to happen. If there’s any solace to the situation, it’s that your insurance should help you replace your belongings and rebuild your beloved home.
When you’ve put so much time and effort into making your house feel like it’s your own, you want to be sure you can rebuild it to the way it was and replace your belongings without facing financial hardship. That’s where your insurance policy comes in – which is why it’s so important to understand what your fire insurance covers and how to make sure the insurance company provides you with the funds to recover.
Replacing Your Belongings
When you put a lot of effort into the appearance of your home, you want to be able to put things back together again after you rebuild. The amount of funds you receive is based on what type of Contents insurance you have and your policy limits.
Contents coverage is for just about everything inside your home that isn’t fixed to the structure. That includes furniture, art, appliances, and personal belongings like clothing, electronics, media, etc.
You will have to complete a Schedule of Loss to fully claim all of your belongings. A Schedule of Loss is a document that lists every item lost or damaged in the fire. It can be created by you or the insurer. Make sure that you review your Schedule of Loss to ensure that everything looks properly valued. You may need to provide proof of ownership, such as receipts or even photographs of the items.
Collectibles and Valuables
Depending on what kind of personal belongings you have, there may be special limits that apply to some of your contents. If you’ve invested a lot of money into art in your home, you may be disappointed by the limits on your insurance policy. Art, jewelry, furs, gold, and other collectibles or valuables may have special limits. This means that even if your Contents claim is under your general policy limit, the insurance company may not pay the full value of what you’ve lost.
Renovations and Improvements
You’ve put a lot of effort into your home, and you want to make sure that when you rebuild, it includes those improvements. Whether or not they are included will depend on how reliably you updated your insurance policy before the loss.
Unless you updated your insurance policy and informed the insurer about renovations and changes, your policy may not cover your new sunroom or your updated garage.
If you have increased the value of your home and therefore the replacement cost of rebuilding by upgrading or improving it, you will need to update your policy so that your new renovations are covered. Not informing the insurer could even void your policy under certain circumstances.
Filing an insurance claim should help you put your home back together again. Understanding what it covers and how the insurance company will pay out can help you budget your recovery process.