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Navigating Your Way Through Fire Insurance Claims: A Handy Guide for Home and Business Owners

In the wake of a house fire, dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming. From assessing the damage to your home to navigating the often complex insurance claim process, every step can seem daunting. However, understanding the fire insurance claim procedure and how to effectively deal with it can make a significant difference. This guide is designed to assist homeowners, business owners, and those looking to make an insurance claim navigate this challenging terrain.

house fire insurance claim tips

Understanding Fire Insurance Claims

A fire insurance claim is a request made to an insurance company for compensation following a fire-related incident. Insurance companies consider several factors when evaluating the claim, including the extent of the damage, the cause of the fire, and whether the policyholder has been diligently paying their insurance premiums.

Woman on phone, speaking to insurance company
Contacting your insurer early and letting them know what you need, will help your fire insurance claim go more smoothly.

Dealing With A Fire Insurance Claim: Step-By-Step

When you first notice damage to your home due to fire, it's crucial to contact your insurance company immediately. This will initiate the insurance claim process. Providing proof of loss, including photographs or video footage of the damaged properties, and the extent of the damage can bolster your claim.

Remember, the structure of your home is not the only area that may be affected. Smoke damage can often lead to hidden damage that isn't immediately apparent. Engaging a public adjuster can help uncover these hidden damages and ensure that your claim covers all losses.

During the process, take steps to prevent further damage to your property, like covering holes in your roof or walls. Your insurance company will likely view this as mitigating damage, which is generally an expected policyholder responsibility.

Will Insurance Pay Out For A House Fire?

In most cases, insurance companies will compensate for a house fire, provided you've been consistently paying your insurance premiums. However, the payout's size and scope can depend on many factors, including the cause of the fire and the specifics of your policy. Notably, if a house fire is classed as accidental damage, it will likely be covered.

However, insurance companies sometimes distinguish between 'accidental' and 'deliberate' fires. The former is typically covered, while the latter may not be, especially if the policyholder is implicated in starting the fire.

Person writing a list
Make a list of items damaged during the fire

Making A Successful Home Insurance Claim

To make a successful home insurance claim, thorough documentation is key. This means recording the damage, keeping receipts for any living expenses incurred if you have to temporarily move out, and communicating effectively with loss adjusters.

Engaging a public adjuster can be particularly beneficial. Unlike the loss adjusters who work for insurance companies, public adjusters work for you. They can provide a more impartial assessment of the damage and help negotiate your claim.

Remember to review your policy's details to understand what is covered and ensure you're getting what you're entitled to. This can range from the costs to rebuild your home to compensation for damaged items inside your property.

insurance claim tip - take photos of belongings
Photograph or video your belongings - having visuals of your property and its contents will prove valuable should a fire destroy them

Insurance Claim Tips

Knowing how to navigate the insurance claim process effectively can help maximise your claim. Here are some tips:

  1. Document everything: Maintain a record of all conversations, receipts, and interactions related to your claim. If the cause is arson insurance companies will require police reports.
  2. Prevent further damage: It's your responsibility to mitigate further harm to your property after the incident.
  3. Keep a list of damaged items: It's not just about the structure of your home, but also the items within it.
  4. Be patient: The claim process can take time, especially for extensive damage.

Returning Home After A Fire

In the aftermath of a fire, returning your home to its former state can be an emotional journey. Remember to take it one step at a time, and rely on your insurance company and professional help to navigate the rebuilding process. Your insurance coverage should assist with living expenses while you're unable to inhabit your home and help you to eventually return to a restored home.


While dealing with a house fire insurance claim can be challenging, it's not insurmountable. By understanding the Insurance claim process in the UK process, knowing what to look out for, and making use of available resources like public adjusters, you can navigate your fire insurance claim effectively and ensure you get the compensation you need to rebuild and restore your life. Remember, insurance companies are there to help you through the aftermath, so don't hesitate to ask questions and get the support you need.

Protect yourself by taking responsibility for your part in securing the best outcome; mitigate damage, get second opinions and continue necessary payments. Don't cut corners, instead remain meticulous about the details; evidence is key to a successful claim. Last but not least, get to know your rights. Whether you go it alone or seek professional support, you must position yourself well by fully understanding all matters relating to your claim, from the small print of your policy documents to the obligations of your insurer. Regardless, if you are unsure on what to do, Oakleafe Claims are on hand with fire insurance claim advice combined with years of experience dealing with the matter.

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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 within three months. Of course the appliance manufacturers have questioned some of the data that Which? used. There is a growing fanbase of people and organisations that want an overhaul of the UK’s product safety system. This follows the series of well publicised fires such as the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which was started by a faulty fridge freezer. Fire Insurance claims rate into the millions so Insurance Claims Management Companies are being resilient to any claims and it is always advisable to get a Insurance Loss Assessor to check your policy in such an event.

One example of a defect affecting millions of  tumble dryers under the Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit brands has apparently led to hundreds of fires since 2004. The Commons Business Committee made public that more than one million potentially dangerous dryers were still being used in people’s homes.

In fact a freedom of information request to fire authorities and the Home Office shows the scale of faulty appliance fires in Britain. faulty kitchen appliances have accounted for over 16,000 fires across the UK over the last 5 years.

Branded washing machines and tumble dryers accounted for one third of fires, followed by cookers and ovens, dishwashers and fridge freezers.

A series of adverts are due to be aired. This is just the first step. According to a claims management company It is essential that consumers have access to this information to let them know there is a risk of smoke and fire damage to their property. They advised the government to create a database of recalled products so people can buy based on fact when it comes to safety.

Rachel Reeves, who chairs the Business Committee, said: “While we welcomed the decision to establish an Office for Product Safety and Standards, we agree the government must make sure it has real teeth and ensure it leads to more people registering their products, a better recall regime and ultimately a reduction in the number of fires that place so many homes and lives at risk. In any case if you did suffer a fire seek the help of a Loss Assessor who will prepare and present the claim for you.

The Dangers of Fire & Smoke Damage

The damage caused by fires are more devastating then most people thing. Even small fires that have been contained still pose a big risk. The Smoke Particulates from Smoke Damage can still cause substantial problems to both the property and the occupants inside of it.

Click here to read more Fire Insurance Claims Tips

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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.



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.




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.



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.


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.

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You may be a good negotiator but are you an expert in insurance? 


If you have been declined whilst trying to claim on your domestic or commercial insurance, we can help. We can also help with professional services, for example, Brokers, VAR Valuations and Managing Agents.