A house fire is one of the scariest things that can happen to your family. The recovery process can be a long one, and dealing with the insurance adjuster can feel like a second job, all while you’re living in a hotel or a temporary apartment. The displacement, stress, and loss that you’re experiencing can take their toll.
But you’re not alone. From friends and family to professional help and charitable organizations, there are many ways to get the support your family needs to get through the aftermath of a fire.
Red Cross & Other Charities
The minutes and hours immediately after a fire are some of the toughest. The Red Cross is a charitable organization that helps families impacted by natural disasters as well as individual house fires. They can provide:
- Emergency lodging or financial support to find temporary shelter;
- Emergency clothing and food;
- Reception and information;
- Family reunification during natural disasters such as wildfires.
In wildfire situations, the Red Cross is often the first point of contact and support for evacuees, but it can also help families who have just experienced a house fire.
Making a fire insurance claim can be a lengthy and complex process. You have to understand all the details of your home insurance fire coverage, deal with an insurance adjuster who may be motivated to reduce the size of your claim, keep up with and understand legal paperwork, and try to keep the process running without costly delays.
Dealing with an insurance adjuster is no easy task, and it can take months, if not longer, to settle your claim. It can be both time-consuming and emotionally draining. For major claims such as a total loss, hiring an insurance lawyer can be a great idea. Not only will they help you receive a bigger settlement by negotiating with the insurance company, but they also take on the paperwork and much of the stress that comes with filing a claim. That leaves you free to focus on your family’s emotional recovery.
Friends & Family
If there was ever a time to accept help from those closest to you, it’s now. If you are a friend or family member of someone who has experienced a house fire, there are several ways you can help.
- Put together emergency essentials like toiletries, clothes, chargers, etc. After a house fire, people need pretty much everything.
- Offer them a place to stay. While temporary accommodations are covered under the Additional Living Expenses part of homeowners insurance, there are policy limits, and hotel stays can be expensive while they find a temporary rental. It can also be a huge relief for them if you help them find a long-term rental.
- Help them recall all of their lost belongings. For example, go through any photos you have taken inside their home.
Support is essential after a house fire. From your immediate needs to help with a fire insurance claim, there are many ways that loved ones, organizations, and professionals can assist you.