A simple guide

Home Insurance and Fire Damage

We all want peace of mind that if an unforeseen event such as a fire should ever happen we would have the support in place to help us through the difficult time.  Not only will good insurance cover help you replace items, but it will enable you to get your life back to normal again as soon as possible.

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Am I covered?

You’ll need two sorts of policy to be comprehensively covered in the event that there’s a fire in your home. A home buildings insurance policy will cover the damage to the structure of your home; the walls, the roof, ceilings, and windows. It will also cover any fixtures and fittings, for example your kitchen and bathroom.

Building insurance sum insurance is calculated on the cost of rebuilding your property. If your house is a basic brick and tile roofed structure, this is a relatively simple process and some insurers will do it for you based on the age and size of your house.

Your possessions need to be covered by a home contents insurance policy. This would cover fire damage to your carpets, furniture, clothing, electrical items and other goods lost.

With your contents insurance ensure that both the overall contents limit is sufficient and that any you notify your insurer of any high value items.

Remember – you can buy your buildings insurance and contents insurance together. It can sometimes be cheaper, it’s best to start a quote to see what suits your need best.

smoke detector
Fire damage

What should I do if there’s been a fire?

From an insurance perspective, you should let your insurer know what has happened as soon as possible. The insurer will then immediately begin the insurance claim process by assigning an insurance loss adjuster to your case. They will then:

  • Visit your home and assess the damage
  • Record details of the loss and take photographs
  • Ensure that the site is secure after the fire by having doors and windows boarded up. This is vital to prevent any further losses occurring which might increase the claim still further
  • Recommend local repairers
  • Advise the you and the insurance company on the most suitable way to carry out repairs by issuing a full report

Importantly you need to remember that the loss adjuster works for the insurance company. It is in their interests to minimise the level of the claim.

More useful points to know if theres been a fire

This period is likely to be stressful so a fight with an insurance company will not be something you want to be facing. If the fire is large or the claim complex or disputed, it is possible to appoint your own expert to work on your behalf.

Known as loss assessors, they work for you, not the insurance company and their role is to:

- Meet with insurance company representatives or their appointed loss adjusters on your behalf
- Help you prepare your claim
- Negotiate the best possible settlement of the claim
- Deal with situations where a claim has initially been declined by the insurance company or where problems or delays have occurred in agreeing a settlement

Doing sensible things like having working smoke detectors throughout the house can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of a fire. Having a fire extinguisher available would also allow you to tackle a small fire if it occurs.

Making sure you have comprehensive home building and content insurance in place will give you valuable piece of mind.

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