As a homeowner who carries property insurance, you probably think about the various issues that your policy will cover, with most of them being out of your control. These include natural disasters, wind or water damage, and vandalism. While these issues account for a large portion of the claims filed with Florida insurance companies, it’s important to keep in mind that some damage to your home may be caused by you or your family. A good example of this is a kitchen fire.
Most people believe that a kitchen fire is unlikely to happen to them, as long as they follow basic safety precautions. However, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that more than 164,500 kitchen fires occur in homes across the country each year. The culprit? In most cases, it’s unattended cooking.
The most common days of the year for kitchen fires — Thanksgiving and Christmas — have already passed, but there are a number of dangers associated with many people’s daily cooking routines. Now is a good time to make sure your home is safe for you and your loved ones, and you should make sure that all of your smoke detectors are in working order. Every person in your home should also know where your fire extinguisher is and how to use it. If you don’t have one, consider buying one from a hardware store.
Another crucial step to take is to create detailed records of the valuable items in your home, including furniture, appliances, jewelry and family heirlooms. A kitchen fire can quickly spread, causing significant damage to your entire home and destroying your property. Be sure to collect a record of photos, listed inventory and, if possible, receipts and dates of purchase for your most valuable items. Keep multiple copies in different, easy-to-access places, such as your attorney’s office or a bank deposit box.
Dealing with insurers
Should a kitchen fire impact your Palm Beach County home, you will need to file a Florida homeowners’ insurance claim as quickly as possible. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be necessary to secure temporary housing as you get the damage fixed or find a new place to live for you and your loved ones. In many cases, your insurance policy should cover these costs, as well.
As many consumers know, insurance companies are not always cooperative or timely when it comes to processing claims. This is particularly evident in the formal complaints filed against them, as with the 48 complaints sustained by Gulfstream Property & Casualty in 2012, for example. However, fire damage should be dealt with quickly and efficiently so that you can move on with your life. This is where a Florida public adjuster can help you, the policy holder, obtain benefits.
To make sure you get what you need from your homeowners’ insurance following a kitchen fire in your house, consult a south Florida public adjuster right away. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry, and unlike claims adjusters, they work for you and you alone.
Advocate Claims Public Adjusters serve home and business owners throughout Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Hollywood, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and the surrounding areas. To get started, call 1-954-369-0573 or contact us online.