Chimney Fire Insurance Claims – 12 Useful Tips
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Chimney Fire Insurance Claims
Chimney fire insurance claims can be very difficult and stressful for a homeowner to have to deal with. A chimney fire can cause major disruption to your home and can lead to damage that is not always visible. If this damage is not addressed straight away then this can lead to further, more serious damage down the line.
This is why it is a good idea to engage the professional services of a public loss assessor to handle your claim for you. However, here are 12 useful tips to keep in mind if you decide to handle a chimney fire insurance claim yourself:
- Ensure safety: Before anything else, make sure everyone is safe, and there is no immediate danger. If the fire is still ongoing or there’s a risk of further damage, contact emergency services right away.
- Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance company about the chimney fire as soon as possible. Most insurers have a 24/7 claims hotline for emergencies. Have your policy number and details on hand when you call.
- Document the damage: Take photographs and videos of the damage caused by the chimney fire. This visual evidence will be valuable during the claims process.
- Prevent further damage: It’s essential to mitigate further damage if possible. For instance, if there are exposed areas due to the fire, try to cover them to prevent rain or additional issues.
- Keep records: Document any expenses related to the fire, such as temporary accommodation, repairs, or cleaning costs. Keep receipts and invoices as evidence for your claim.
- Cooperate with the adjuster: Your insurance company will likely assign an adjuster to assess the damage. Cooperate fully during their inspection and provide any information they request.
- Obtain repair estimates: Get repair estimates from qualified contractors for the chimney and any other damaged areas. Share these estimates with your adjuster to expedite the claim process.
- Review your policy: Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy to understand the coverage you have for chimney fires. Knowing the coverage limits and deductibles will help manage your expectations.
- File the claim: Once you have all the necessary information, file your insurance claim. The process might involve completing claim forms and providing supporting documents. Submit these promptly to avoid delays.
- Review the settlement: If your claim is accepted, the insurance company will provide a settlement offer. Review it carefully and ensure it covers all necessary repairs and replacements.
- Appeal if needed: If you believe the settlement offer is insufficient, you have the right to appeal the decision. Provide any additional evidence or information that supports your claim.
- Complete repairs: Once your claim is settled, proceed with the repairs using the approved funds. Keep the insurance company updated on the progress if required.
Remember, every insurance policy is different, and the claims process can vary depending on the insurer and the extent of the damage. Be patient, keep detailed records, and communicate clearly with your insurance company throughout the process.
Does House Insurance Cover Chimney Fire Damage?
Yes. For chimney fire insurance claims, your insurer states that if they are to accept liability for any claim, then there must be evidence of an insured peril having occurred. In the case of a chimney fire, the insured peril that is covered under your home insurance policy would be the peril of fire.
What Causes A Chimney Fire?
Main Chimney Fire Causes:
- A build-up of soot, grease, and tar can form after the burning of wet wood or unseasoned turf.
- Not putting out fires and letting them burn continuously overnight.
- Burning rubbish or the incorrect type of fuel.
- Infrequent sweeping and cleaning
Are Chimney Fires dangerous?
Yes, chimney fires can structurally weaken the flue liner and the blocks within the chimney which can cause cracks to form. This can then lead to sparks entering the house and causing fires in other parts of the home. Burning soot can also fall out of the chimney and onto carpets etc. setting them alight.
How to Prevent Chimney Fire Insurance Claims
There is a range of actions you can take to protect your home and loved ones from a chimney fire and C02 poisoning, including:
- Regular cleaning of chimneys.
- Using the right fuel for your fire.
- Avoiding burning rubbish in your fire.
- Installing a chimney capping to help prevent debris such as leaves and birds’ nests from falling into your chimney and fire.
- Installing smoke and C02 alarms to alert you in the event that smoke or C02 gas enters your home.
- Learning more about chimney fire safety.
How to know if you have had a chimney fire?
If you have had a chimney fire, there are some tell-tale signs that you can look for.
Common signs of a chimney fire:
Unfortunately, chimney fires can often go undetected. Many are slow-burning fires that are not immediately obvious and are only discovered upon closer inspection. Having your chimney inspected regularly will help prevent a fire in your home. However, it is also important to know what to do if you think that you have had a chimney fire. Here are some of the common signs of a chimney fire to look out for:
- Cracked chimney flue liner – A CCTV inspection would need to be carried out in order to establish whether your chimney liner is cracked. Your insurer will also require a CCTV inspection to be carried out before they will deal with any chimney fire claim.
- Broken chimney capping
- Structural damage such as cracks in your chimney stack
- Your chimney stack is leaking water
- Blockage of your chimney stack which causes smoke to enter your home.
Signs of a fast-burning chimney fire
If you have a fast-burning chimney fire in your home, it will be obvious. The most common signs of this type of chimney fire are:
- Flames or sparks. One of the most apparent signs of a chimney fire is visible flames, which are usually visible from the top of the chimney. It is also possible that you will notice pieces of flaming creosote coming out of the chimney, even if you cannot see the flames directly.
- A loud cracking, popping or roaring noise. If your chimney is on fire, you may hear a loud noise, similar to a bonfire burning. You may also notice a sudden roaring sound, similar to a large oncoming vehicle.
- A lot of smoke. Like most fires, a chimney fire creates a lot of dense smoke. This may be seen from the top of the chimney or from the fireplace within your home.
- A strong smell. If there is a strong burning smell in your home, it may mean you have a chimney fire.
Signs of a slow-burning chimney fire
If you have had a slow-burning chimney fire on your property, you may not even know that it happened until your chimney is inspected. This type of chimney fire generally occurs when flammable substances on the sides of your chimney flue don’t have enough oxygen or fuel to create a noticeable fire but can still create damage over the long term. The most common signs of this type of chimney fire include:
- Changes in colour to the chimney stack. If the creosote becomes grey or the metal components become discoloured, this can be a sign of a slow-burning chimney fire.
- Cracks and damage to the chimney stack. A slow-burning fire can cause damage to various parts of the chimney structure, including the flue tiles and the exterior masonry, or damage to surrounding roof structures such as vents or television antennas.
- Creosote pieces outside the chimney stack. If you notice chunks of creosote on the ground or the roof, this can be a sign of excessive heat caused by a slow-burning chimney fire.
What to do if you notice signs of a chimney fire?
If you notice any signs of a fast-burning chimney fire in your home, you must leave the property immediately and call 999. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your home insurance policy digitally or somewhere safe outside the property so you have access to it in the case of a fire.
If you notice any of the common signs of a slow-burning chimney fire, You should get your chimney cleaned as soon as possible. Well-maintained chimneys are very unlikely to catch fire, so keeping your chimney clean and well-looked after is the best way to prevent a chimney fire in your home.
What do I do after a chimney fire?
You will need to get a builders report from a reputable chimney company to confirm what has happened to the chimney itself and to identify other potential issues which could cause further damage. This would usually be in the form of a chimney CCTV inspection. The chimney company may also offer full repair services and could potentially carry out a permanent repair for you.
Does house insurance cover fire brigade charges for chimney fire insurance claims?
Yes. Your insurance company will include fire brigade cover in their policy. However, the maximum pay-out will vary from one insurer to another.
Your insurance broker will be able to inform you how much you’re covered for in terms of fire brigade callout charges.
Chimney Fire Insurance Claims – How to make a claim
Your first step will be to contact your insurer. You will need to provide them with as much information as possible, including:
- The date of the occurrence
- The cause of the fire
- The extent of any damage
- The date that the damage was discovered
Your insurer will then arrange for a loss adjuster to visit you to inspect the damage and assess the repairs needed. They will then provide you with a quotation for the repairs. Your next step will be to check with your insurer that your policy covers the cost of a builder’s report. If it does not, You may be able to add this to your policy.
Chimney Fire Insurance Claims – What to expect from your insurers
Your insurer will send out an assessor to inspect your property and assess the damage caused. They will then provide you with an estimate for the repairs. Your insurer will then arrange to have the repairs carried out (if necessary) and will provide you with a quotation for the repairs. Your next step will be to check with your insurer that your policy covers the cost of a builder’s report. If it does not, You may be able to add this to your policy.
For Chimney Fire insurance claims, phone N.J. Carroll & Associates loss assessors for claims advice first.
We are property damage loss assessors who deal with all types of building insurance claims. We have been dealing with chimney fire insurance claims for over 30 years. The insurance company’s position will always be to try and minimize the claim payout, so we work to ensure that you receive the best possible settlement from your insurance company when you lodge a chimney fire claim.
Our main priority is to get you the maximum claim settlement payout under your insurance policy without excess delay so that you can return your home to the condition it was in prior to the loss.
We act as your representative and take the worry out of managing and negotiating chimney fire insurance claims with your insurer’s loss adjuster. We compile a comprehensive claim submission on your behalf and hence, you won’t have to deal with all the hassle and stress yourself. You have enough to deal with at this stressful time and the last thing you need is to spend hours dealing with your chimney fire insurance claim.
Throughout the whole claims process, we are there for you and aim to completely take the stress and worry off your hands.
We will also keep you updated at all times. You won’t have to call up your insurance company and be placed on hold for long periods of time or have to fill out any of their complex claim forms.
Many people may be turned off submitting chimney fire insurance claims because they can be very time-consuming and at times stressful, but by putting your trust in us here at N.J. Carroll Loss Assessors, we will handle all negotiations with your insurer’s loss adjuster.
Following property damage at your home, N.J. Carroll & Associates loss assessors are dedicated to helping people get back on their feet and have over 30 years of experience. Dealing with the damage caused by a chimney fire can be quite stressful, from managing the clean-up, finding quotations and getting your repair works carried out. It can also be difficult to gather the necessary information to try and support an insurance claim.
N.J. Carroll & Associates helps in removing this burden by preparing all the paperwork associated with your claim. We lodge the claim with your insurer on your behalf and then go about negotiating with your insurer and their loss adjuster to achieve the best possible settlement under your policy.
Importantly, our expert loss assessors will carefully assess the total damage caused by the fire, including smoke and water damage that might not be spotted early on but cause long-term structural damage to your home.
To find out more about how N.J. Carroll & Associates can help you with your chimney fire claim, please call us today on 01-4979432.
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