What to expect from your insurance company after a wildfire
Understanding the complex insurance process after losing your home in a wildfire can be overwhelming. That’s where Homebound comes in.
We are here to help you navigate the rebuilding process, which includes maximizing your payout and helping you understand exactly what your policy covers. Check out the info below to learn more about what you should do after a wildfire, and contact us to setup a free consultation to talk in depth about your policy.
Insurance checklist - what to do after a wildfire
Immediately after the fire
Contact your insurance company to initiate a claim. Make sure to request a “certified” copy of your policy, including declarations. This will be important so you can begin to figure out what will be covered by your policy as you recover and rebuild your home.
Save all of your receipts from the things you are purchasing to live outside of your home. This includes meals, clothing, laundry, and the cost of temporary lodging. Typically these expenses are reimbursable by your insurance.
If applicable, continue making your mortgage payments.
In the first few months after the fire
Find a place to stay while you rebuild your home, such as a long term rental. Before you accept an offer from the insurance company, talk to an advocate who can help you optimize this benefit to work best for your family.
Make a list of the personal property you lost. If you are able, begin replacing the property, just make sure to keep your receipts for reimbursement. Try to replace any personal documents lost in the fire as well, including social security cards, passports, and birth, death, or marriage certificates.
Apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan with FEMA for recovery expenses not covered by insurance. You can find the application online at disasterassistance.gov.
Get the plans and permits that already exist for your home from the local assessor and building department. You will need these to create the plans for your new home.
Typically in the first 30-40 days, your insurance company will most likely evaluate your loss and pay you the actual cash value (“ACV”) of your home. This is a depreciated value of your home, so don’t be discouraged by it. It is usually a lot less than the replacement cost value (“RCV”) that you can get by rebuilding.