Kitchens are generally the most fire-prone areas of any home. After all, heat is the universal cooking method, and where there’s heat, there is a risk of fire.
No kitchen is immune to these fire risks, even if the owner does all they can to institute proper safety and maintenance practices. The good news, however, is that homeowners insurance can be there to help property owners should the disaster of a kitchen fire occur. It can help you recoup your losses by covering household repairs, possessions replacement and other costs. Let’s take a closer look at how the claims process might work following a kitchen fire.
Determining the Cause
At the time of a kitchen fire, your homeowners insurance will generally cover the damage. However, your insurance company will need to know what caused the fire in the first place. In some cases, it may be the result of an electrical fire. Or, perhaps it was a result of a mistake, like leaving a towel too close to the stove. Under the circumstances, your policy will help you cover the losses.
Still, home insurance is not all-encompassing, so you can’t assume that all fire damage is covered. For example, if a fire was caused due to clear negligence or an intentional act, then your plan is not going to cover you. After all, you might have been able to reasonably prevent this issue in the first place, and most home insurers do not cover preventable or avoidable household damage.
How a Claim Works
Of course, if you have a house fire, the first thing to do is call 911. The sooner you can get help and get everyone to safety, the lower your overall loss might be. Never put yourself in danger trying to extinguish a growing fire.
Once the fire is extinguished, call your insurer. They will help you evaluate the damage and determine how much they can pay you based on the terms of your policy. Several steps are usually involved:
• The insurance company hires someone to clean up the water damage and debris. Then, they bring in a contractor to determine how much the repairs are going to cost. You may be able to use your own contractor.
• Your policy will also help you replace personal items lost to the fire, though some limitations might apply.
• If you cannot live in your home while your repairs are ongoing, your policy may also cover additional living expenses. This includes costs related to renting a home during the repairs.
Work with your agent to get the work done properly, but always remember that a kitchen fire can be a high-risk scenario. Do what you can to minimize the risk of them occurring in the first place.