What to Ask During a Fire Damage Appraisal

After a fire, there will need to be an assessment, and or appraisal, done of your property. This will determine just what’s wrong and what will be involved in getting your home looking like new again. These appraisals are usually performed by two people or one of the two:

  1. An insurance adjuster or appraiser
  2. A fire damage restoration specialist

The insurance company will often send their own estimator out to your property. They will inspect the damage, check the fire report, and collect information to determine what happened, how much damage there is, and what that translates to in dollars and cents for the purposes of insurance. Here are some important questions you’ll want to ask both of these people as they’re assessing the state of your home during a fire damage appraisal.

Questions to Ask

When it comes to the fire damage appraisal, know what questions to ask. This will help you know what to expect and that the right people are on the job.

  • What is the first thing that you do as a part of your assessment?
  • How do you determine the level of damage and restoration required?
  • Who decides if the home is a total loss?
  • When and how long will it take to determine the amount and value of the damage?
  • Can you work with my insurance company or will I have to find another provider?
  • How much experience do you have with fire damage restoration?
  • What is your recommendation for content restoration and saving versus replacing items?
  • What will insurance cover?

Questions like this can help you get a better idea of what you’re facing and how to proceed. It will also allow you to gauge the experience of the restoration team and ensure that you have the right people on the job.

It’s About Being Prepared

Fires are scary and unsettling, to say the least. From a small fire to a total loss, any damage to your home can feel like an invasion and a total loss of privacy and security. Fortunately, if you take a little time to prepare and create a plan, you’ll have a much less stressful experience. The restoration team and insurance adjuster know what you’re going through. They do this daily. They’ll be understanding of your stress and your concerns, so never feel bad about asking questions.

Fire damage cleanup is a messy business because fire is a devastating event. However, it doesn’t have to be something that you’re unsure about if you are willing to speak up and ask questions. Most reputable restoration professionals are going to be more than willing to communicate and help you understand what they do. and how they will best be able to help you get your home back in good condition.

Smoke damage and soot, ash, and leftover chemicals from the extinguishing of the blaze can all damage the various furnishings and finishes in your home. It is a lot to take on by yourself and it isn’t something you should do alone, so take advantage of the help that is out there.