Fire and Natural Disaster
victims information center
“Loss of a home is the
next thing to death.”
We hope you take a moment to thank the Firefighters,
EMS, Police, Red Cross, Hospital and others who make it
their life’s passion to help others and responded to your
What to do now?
Most people never experience this once so it is only after the facts you
look back to see what you could have done differently.
The first trip to the hospital my 85 year old mother was far worst then the last one at 94 because I knew
what to do and expect. I understood this was personal to me while the hospital was dealing with
hundreds which wasn’t person to them. It was their job.
So understand this is yours personal assets, you family or business and
you paid insurance premium just in case this happens.
You need to look at this sort of like a general contractor, president,
military leader and direct the operation.
Right now do whatever you can to reduce further damages and then get
directs from the adjuster
Time Frame to complete?
I met a fireman who just moved back in his 1,400 sq ft
home 11.5 months after it burned.
We were involved in a 110 boats marina fire where some
companies settled immediately while others were in court 3
years later. (same cause of loss)
The time frame depends on the insurance company,
adjuster, contractor managing funds, workers, equipment,
and materials around different job sites, the weather and
how many other such losses are in the area,
You need to know this to get your family or business settled
down in temporary quarters as soon as possible.
Memories We know this may have
been your home for 30
years and all the
memories that went with
Hopefully only property
was lost which can be
replaced over time.
Purpose of Insurance
Insurance was designed as a social safety net not a
profit center. Example: If a factory burns down
it may cost double to rebuild to reduce the
impact on the community from unemployed
It is neither a profit or loose center for the insured.
Claims are resolved easier with both parties
respect the others position.
The Insurance Industry
Thousands of companies sell property insurance
around the world. They also buy re-insurance to
make certain they can pay large claims.
The industry is regulated by the States
Corporation Commission in your state under the
Bureau of Insurance.
You can contact them anytime concerning this
claims and procedures.
If it was lost in the fire get a copy (of the entire policy) immediately and
put it in a file market CLAIM so you can refer to it as needed
It has a cover page listing your name, insurance company name, policy
#, date of protection and amount of insurance in each category
You will have a different policy depending on if you are the
homeowner, tenant or property owner renting property.
It will show a deductable (amount you must pay)
It will have endorsement listed which show items like jewelry, guns,
antiques which were added
The premium must be shown as paid.
You may want to go over these items with your agent so you can agree
together from the start
The Insurance Adjuster
While you just experience the emergency response team some
adjusters don’t appear to fully appreciate you are without a home,
cloths and food and depending on them to get your life back as soon as
This is their normal job where they have families, soccer games along
with 50 or more claims all over the place to justify and settle.
Some are company employees and other independent contractors with
various years of experience.
In large hurricane and similar losses teams are assigned to other states
So write down their instructions but don’t be afraid to question their
experience in your type of loss and location.
If you feel things are not right call the insurance company
Between the news and the adjusters you will
be contacted by several.
They will have many different ideas which
will be helpful.
Do not let them move anything until it is
cleared with the adjuster.
Get everything in writing
DO NOT PROVIDE CASH, CHECKS OR
SIGN ANY BINDING CONTRACTS
They must be licensed by the Board of
Contractors in you state and you can call and
The Damages Building
HUD (is the building code) for mobile and some
Many older building (were built before building
codes existed) and insulation, fire blocking,
electrical fires were understood.
A HUD roof collapse 15 minutes after the smoke
alarm went off on a client. Fireman report
similar concerns in older building
Today the International Building Code (IBC)
oversees safety, energy and green building.
But due to the nature of your damages it may
NOT be required to bring your entire home up
to IBC standards.
Consult your local building inspectors office.
The policy will list the amount of insurance on
This is different because some
items are visible while others
are totally destroyed.
Some companies require every
tooth brush to be listed.
Gather pictures and videos
from your family and friends
Additional Living Expenses
If your policy list additional living
expenses it is for clothes, food and
lodging expenses created by this loss.
If Red Cross, church or other
organizations paid for that make sure
you include it with your bills and
PAY THEM BACK.
Many not only responded to your loss
but work fun raisers to pay for gas for
Many volunteers were in your
situation so once this is behind you
they need help from those with true
You will hear actual Cash Value and
You bought a 32” TV 8 years ago and paid $800
You see it listed today for $300 because Plasmas
has replaced them.
You see on craigslist the same TV for $100.
Actual Cash value means you get $100
Replacement value means you must replace the TV
and will get $300 toward your new TV.
Now the home to be rebuilt. There are many issues
attached to older property before the loss such as:
High maintenance cost.
High Heating bills.
Safety issues of electrical systems
$5,000+ per month for care facilities
for seniors due to design
Crime as many become vacant
Under built to today’s changing
Outdated to IBC building standards
What issues were you faced with
before the loss?
Will the money to be spent address
any of these issues?
Now how has the fire, flood or wind
further impacted your home?
Now fires, smoke, water, heat and exposure to the weather,
freezing, etc. has added to an already outdated structure
according to IBC standards.
Concerns of Repairing
Review the issues of cost of energy, maintenance, design
and values before the loss.
Now add the concerns of smoke smell, mold, mildew,
Will your insurance company provide protection against
Will the contractor?
Will the house sell knowing it was practically rebuilt?
Will your insurance company cancel you after this loss?
Will another company insure you and at what cost?
What does our government want to
see happen in housing?
Only in the past several years
have we seen such a push on
energy savings and Green
FEMA along with the
Council are working together on
building to meet the changing
So what is the insurance industries roll?
Insurance calculates the risk to determine cost.
So what does FEMA project in your area?
If you had an electrical fire in one part of the home but
the other part wasn’t required to be brought up to code
can your family sleep?
Now tens of thousand of dollars will be spent shouldn’t
these issues be addressed properly?
You are the property owner who didn’t expect
this much money to be spent on your place.
What would you like to see happen now?
Do you want to up date to IBC inspection and the
government green and energy standards?
Do you want to redesign to stay home longer and not
waste $5,000+ a month in care facility cost.
As you receive estimates you can decides these issues.
So let’s review what the adjuster
knows and now the owner knows.
Normal fires can take a year to move back home whether
you rebuild or replace
Homes contractors must follow the International Building
Rebuilding can mean a portion of the home will be left
outdated to IBC standards
Rebuilding causes concerns of smoke smell, mold mildew,
wood rot and future property value issues.
Replacing eliminates most concerns but the time frame is
still a year.
the time frame could be cut to 2 months on an avg. 2,000 sq ft home?
A new home meets AND EXCEED IBC inspection requirements?
The cause was totally eliminate so the family sleeps better at night?
It meet 195 mph winds, snow loads of the north east, etc?
the owners can have a first floor master, Viking appliances, Anderson
energy and green standards were met?
Smokes smell, mold, mildew and wood rot worries were replaced with a
2 year all risk and a 10 year structural warranty?
This can been done by incorporating the additional living expenses,
demolition, rebuilding and claims cost with funds the owner may have
been considering to spend on updates anyway?
We have gotten ahead of ourselves!
We hope this provides a helpful overview for people caught up is a
We hope the adjusters will realize their roll is an extension of the
emergency responders now.
We hope this help he police, fire fighters, RED CROSS and others to get
the reorganization they deserve and people with volunteer their time
and money where we know it works.
Most of us agree we do not like to see money wasted so if you have
questions you feel we can help with let us know.
Building Management Services