Insurance Claims Handling

What is the true cost After a Fire in My home?

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A fire at home is not something anyone wants to think about and much less stop to consider the true cost After a Fire in My home. We all hope that it never happens but if it does knowing what to do after a fire and properly assessing any damage are crucial. The truth is that an accidental fire in the home is a common occurrence and one every house owner should be prepared for.

Kitchen fires account for a large percentage of accidental fires in the home. An average stove fire restoration work can start at around three thousand pounds but depending on the damage caused by the blaze and water, proper restoration can sometimes run up to tens of thousands of pounds. With that much to lose it may be worth to know what the most common causes are and how to prevent them and what to do after a fire.

What are the most common causes of fire at home?

The most common causes of fires in the home are accidents while cooking, smoking and improper use of portable heaters and candles. It may seem common sense not to leave anything on the stove unattended, but this is still the number one cause of all fires in the home and more common than either smoking or using portable heaters. We all have busy lives and as you are happily preparing dinner and the phone rings it only takes a moment to become distracted.


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Overloaded Cables & Electricity

Overloaded extension cables also account for a significant percentage of fires in the home .There is an overwhelming number of electrical devices in each household today and being mindful with how to charge them all is important.




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Heating Systems & Chimney Maintenance

As does failure due to lack of maintenance on heating systems and chimneys which is probably not on top of anyone’s task list but should be scheduled on a regular basis.


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Gas Leaks

Gas leaks account for a portion of fires at home and are particularly dangerous because they spread very quickly. Careful use and maintenance of any gas appliance is essential to prevent fire in the home.  Faulty electrical wiring can also sometimes be the culprit because as wires get old and frayed, they may cause sparks.


What is the cost after a fire in my home?

The cost after a fire varies greatly depending on the size of the burned area and materials which burned. Synthetic materials cause a lot more damage than organic when burned and produce more harmful soot and smoke. The actual cost can be anywhere between a few hundred pounds and as much as £ 30,000 if remodeling the kitchen or a bedroom is necessary.

There are two types of damage after a fire: damage from the fire itself and damage from putting the fire out. The second type is from smoke and water and any other substances which were used to contain the blaze. Most structural damage to a home is caused by this secondary type as soot and smoke get into the structure and become corrosive when cooled.

If you are insured, an insurance adjuster works for the company, not for you. What they assess as damage might not include all long-term damage to your home and may not include damage to your furniture or personal items. Oakleafe is 100% on your side and works to both maximize your claim and make it easy for you to deal with the entire process, which is already hard enough.


What are the types of fire damage?

Some fire damage is obvious such as anything that burned like a stove, cabinets or furniture and any structural damage to the home itself such as burned walls and ceilings. Other types of damage after a fire in your home may not be so easily noticeable but harmful to health if not properly removed. Soot and smoke can settle on anything and sometimes you may not be able to see it.

 Smoke damage is harmful to health as smoke can easily become toxic, settles on all contents of a home and stains walls. The odor of smoke after a fire can linger and usually requires professional restoration to remove. If water was used to put out fire, there may be water damage which in turn may cause mold to form.

Careful assessment of all damage and gathering detailed evidence for your claim is very important.  This is where Oakleafe can make a difference as they look out for you and not the insurance company’s best interests. What you need after a fire are qualified professionals who know the different types of damage and how to assess it.

How can I prevent fire in my home?

The most obvious way to prevent a fire in the home is to never leave anything on the stove unattended even for a moment and make sure you have a working fire alarm. It is also important to maintain your alarm by testing it and checking the battery on a regular basis.

There are other things you can do: purchase fire extinguishers for your home and make sure you know how to work one. Keep all flammable products such as household cleaning products away from heat. Make sure children do not handle kitchen appliances and do not have access to anything flammable. Inspection of heating systems and checking conditions of electrical cords regularly can also prevent many accidental fires.

Finally, keep your insurance documents in a safe place and have a clear plan to evacuate quickly in case of fire. Make sure everyone who lives in the household knows and follows it.

Conclusion

Accidents sometimes happen even if you are careful, so the next best thing is knowing how to deal with a fire in your home if it does happen. Always call the fire department first and evacuate quickly. After a fire contact an insurance assessor such as Oakleafe to properly assess all damage and guide you through the insurance claim.

A fire in your home can be a devastating experience but knowing what to do and knowing you have qualified people on your side throughout the ordeal can help a lot. A dedicated claims technician who will advise you on your insurance policy and whose priority is to get you the best settlement possible will make taking care of all the details much easier on you.

After a fire minimizing and assessing the damage becomes priority and knowing how to properly address this can make a big difference in restoring your home. Oakleafe will properly assess your damage and expedite your claim so you can go back to what’s most important in your life quickly.

Fire Hazard! Failing Appliances On The Rise

Fire Hazard! Failing Appliances On The Rise

White goods appliances - mainly washing machines and tumble dryers - account for as many as 60 house fires a week in the UK alone according to Which? The number of fires has increased each year for five years. Which? wants the authorities to tackle the issue of fire damaged properties due to appliance failure

Insurance Claims, What should I do? FAQ

Insurance Claims, What should I do? FAQ

I just had a Fire or a Flood and I need to Claim, What should I do? The very first thing you need to do is to engage a Loss Assessor. It is your responsibility to mitigate any damage and prevent it from spreading. Insurance Loss Assessors have vast experience in Insurance Claims Management 

Insurance claims – 1 in 5 Claims Repudiated

Insurance claims – 1 in 5 Claims Repudiated

New statistics claim that one in five home insurance claims is repudiated (not paid) by Insurance companies. The Association of British Insurers published figures to promote transparency and understanding with consumers and the general public.

Top Reasons An Insurance Claim Is Rejected

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If you have had an insurance claim that has been rejected (also known as repudiation) by your Insurance company, it may often feel like all hope is lost. Here we try to address some of the problems which can cause an insurance claim to be rejected and what you can do to avoid this.

Rejected Building Insurance Claims

Having the correct insurance policy

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Most rejected insurance claims and policies we see are under insured. The value of reinstating your property is not what the market value is. Remember that about 30% of the rebuild is in the ground. Add to that legal, professional and local authority fees and you can see that the sum you have covered in the policy gradually eroding.

Make sure your home is not undervalued as this is the most an insurer will pay out. In some cases an insurer may even return your premium and cancel the policy as you have grossly misrepresented their risk. Remember it’s your responsibility not the insurance company to obtain accurate values for reinstatement.

Rejected because Lack of Maintenance

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Another reason insurers reject property insurance claims is if the loss or damage was the result of “gradual deterioration” or a lack of “maintenance”, you will not be covered. Things such as failed damp proof course and some rot are examples of this.

Poor design and faulty workmanship. In this instance you will not be covered. If you believe the cause to be as a result of negligence by a contractor then you may be wise to seek legal advice regarding a claim against the supplier or installer. Your building insurer is likely to reject (repudiate) any claim in this regard.

EXCESSIVE Holidays

Beware of taking long holidays. If you leave a property Unoccupied  for 30 consecutive days or more without advising your insurer, they could have grounds to repudiate a claim. This is especially true for fire claim damage and water damage.

Material value changes

Material change in the risk – insurers must be informed of any “material increase” in the value of the risk they are covering. For instance, with home prices and building costs escalating so quickly, the replacement value of homes has increased. Any alterations to your property will likely increase the value and there could be risk of damage during construction. If this happens, seek the advice of an insurance claims management company.

Rejected Contents Insurance Claim

Non-compliance with security requirements – make sure you are familiar with policy conditions and endorsements. Should you fail to comply with your policy conditions on minimum security, your claim could be rejected.

You must have what’s known as an “insurable interest” in the property, in other words a financial interest in insuring the asset. If you only part own it or not at all then you will find insurers will reduce proportionally or even refuse to pay at all.

Disclosing all details

Check that you have provided all details in the policy form as correct and accurately as possible to your best k knowledge. Insurance companies will try to reject claims on the basis inaccurate provided information.

How Oakleafe Claims Can help

Loss Assessors Oakleafe Claims offer a mid term survey to identify material changes and problem areas in a policy that needs the policyholders attention. Key to this are the warranties and conditions that are the spine of any cover.

Rejected Insurance Claims (Repudiation):

The term repudiation in Insurance claims management refers to the rejection by Insurers to pay a claim. They will relate this rejection to a specific reason such as non-adherence to a warranty or condition in your contract of insurance.

It is always advisable to seek the help of a claims management company in this instance. Sometimes it can be easily turned around with the production of information in the right manner which has been misinterpreted by the Loss adjuster.

Dealing With Water Damage Insurance Claim

Dealing With Water Damage Insurance Claim

An EOW or escape of water - a leak, to you and I - has been deemed the most common cause of home insurance claims. And the number one cause of water damage in the home is burst and frozen pipes. Even a small leak can do serious damage.