Smoke Damage & Fire Insurance Claim Adjuster Los Angeles

When a fire has devastated your life, calling a public adjuster about filing a fire insurance claim can help you put the pieces back together


A fire can have such extremely destructive effects that it can seem nearly impossible to move forward from the damage. You may have an endless array of questions. Does your policy cover the extent or the loss? What kind of settlement could be expected? How long is the process of filing and settling a claim? What does that process entail exactly?

Having the right team of public adjusters to support you in this difficult time can make all the difference so you can move forward and start on the road to complete recovery. No matter if you’ve suffered a complete loss of your home or business or you’re dealing with smoke, water, or ash damage, having a public adjuster in your corner when the times comes to negotiate with your insurance provider will not only save valuable time, but also help you receive the maximum payout on a fire insurance claim settlement.

If you have incurred any kind of loss due to fire, we are ready to advocate on your behalf as a trusted adviser and resource to ensure that you are able to move forward with the recovery process.

Defining the Role of a Public Adjuster


Licensed adjusters are allowed by law to work with insurance companies on behalf of their clients to deal with complexities of claims for loss due to fire. A public adjuster will act as an advocate on behalf of the insured in order to help guide them through the claims process. Insurance providers are not always willing to offer a sufficient reimbursement for the losses incurred by a policyholder. The role of the public adjuster is to protect your rights to be compensated fairly for any and all loss or damages.

In fulfilling this role, a public adjuster will provide a variety of services. These include the full documentation of all visible damage that has occurred, an assessment of any unseen damage that exists, offering a complete audit of the loss incurred, and acting as a negotiator with your insurer on your behalf in order to get you all of the reimbursement that is owed.

The public adjuster will be the main communication point throughout the claims process, so you are left to worry about nothing and you are able to focus on getting your life or your business back in working order.

A Word of Warning about False Public Adjusters


Homeowners must be very careful about working with contractors or false and unlicensed property adjusters. In many instances, these individuals are not working on your behalf but for the benefit of the insurance companies. Making the mistake of dealing with someone who has been employed by an insurer could end up costing you a substantial amount of money in a lower settlement payout.

Before you engage the services of any public adjuster, be sure they are working with a valid license. This information may be obtained by looking them up with the Department of Insurance in your state.

Deconstructing Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

The first, and most important, thing to fully understand before attempting to file any claim for loss is the extent of your coverage. Every homeowners insurance policy is different, some have higher limits than others when it comes to being reimbursed for expenses due to loss.

Before you can file a claim you need to know what is covered under you policy and what is not. This will make it easier to get the settlement you deserve and ensure that you receive every penny to which you are entitled after a fire.

Coverage A

Main Home or Dwelling

This portion of your policy covers any and all damage that has occurred to your home. That damage also includes any loss incurred beneath the main floor of the dwelling. The amount listed in the policy is the maximum monetary amount you are entitled to receive should your home be burned down entirely. This extent of damage would constitute a complete and total loss of the home.

Coverage B

Additional Structures

This describes the coverage of other structures that are located in the surrounding areas of the main home or dwelling. Example of such would be buildings in the direct vicinity, fencing, landscaping, concrete driveways, pool, pool decks, and assorted walkways, among others.

Coverage C

Personal Belongings

This part of the policy deals with any damage or loss of your personal belongings. These include any and all contents located within the home at the time of the fire, all of which are owned or used by you and your family residing in the home.

Coverage D

Living Costs

This coverage reimburses any living expenses incurred due to an inability to live within the property as a result of damage or loss. The policy will cover any and all living costs up to the policy limits so the insured may continue to live comfortably and as they are normally accustomed.

Hiring a Hygienist to Assist Your Fire Claim

Before you are able to initiate a claim with your insurer, you will need to bring in an hygienist to help determine the extent of the damages you’ve incurred. Doing so will make the claims process much more effective for getting you the maximum reimbursement you deserve.

A Certified Industrial Hygienist will test your dwelling for levels of smoke, ash, soot, and various additional contaminants that exist within. The job of the hygienist is to fill out a report of all resulting damages as part of your fire claim.

This is done by way of sampling. A hygienist will perform three important types of sampling in order to determine how much damage has been incurred.

The first is tape sampling which focuses on testing for evidence of contaminants that exist on any interior surfaces of the home. The second is called vacuum sampling and this focuses on finding evidence of any particulate or contaminants that have permeated furniture, window coverings, floor coverings, and other soft materials located within the home. Lastly, the hygienist will conduct air sampling to detect the level of any breathable toxins that are in the air.

All of these samples are tested for toxicity in a laboratory. Once the results are received by the hygienist, a full report is completed and recommendations made as to whether the items that have been detected may be cleaned out entirely or if the materials that have been contaminated will need to be replaced.

Do NOT rely on a hygienist that has been recommended by your insurance provider. You may be saddled with a hygienist who will not be working for your benefit but for that of their employer, the insurance company. As a result, their determinations may lean heavily in the favor of the insurance company. That can often leave the policyholder
holding the bag when it comes to paying for the full extent of their damages.

Free Resources from Excel Adjusters for Fire Victims


Home Inventory Form

DOWNLOAD FORM HERE
When filing an insurance claim, it is necessary to inventory each item in your home. Policyholders should document what articles were in their home, what those items were worth, how old they were, and what was lost or damaged. Excel Adjusters offers a free and easy-to-use online form to streamline your inventory process. By creating a digital spreadsheet of your belongings, you can automatically calculate the value and damage of your items.

California Department of Insurance

Top 10 Tips for Fire Claimants

Free Consultations

Our public adjusters are here to provide you with advice and advocacy during your time of hardship. We are happy to offer personal consultations to those affected by the California Fires free of charge. It is vital that policyholders understand their rights after a disaster. Feel free to reach out to our team for a no-cost discussion about your Woolsey Fire insurance claim.

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