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What Documents are Needed to File a Fire Insurance Claim?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 11/04/2024
  • 2 min read

Uncertainties and disasters can knock at the doors at any time. Hence, it is best to stay well-prepared to face them. Fire breakout is one such disaster that can occur despite all the precautions that one takes, causing significant loss of property and finances.

Therefore, it is recommended that businesses have a fire insurance policy to safeguard their businesses and assets from loss due to fire. In the event of a fire breakout, the insurance provider undertakes to compensate the policyholder for the losses as per the terms and conditions.

However, registering fire claims can be daunting if you are not aware of the process, documents, and other requirements. It is best to be aware of the various aspects and requirements of fire insurance to carry out the claim process whenever the need arises.

What is Fire Insurance?

Fire insurance is a type of property or business insurance that compensates for the losses that the business or property may suffer due to a fire outbreak. Individuals, entities, and businesses can use it to protect homes, office buildings, or other places.

It is a contract between the policyholder and the insurance company, where the company promises to compensate for the damage caused to the insured’s property.

Inclusions and Exclusions of Fire Insurance Policy

Inclusions of Fire Insurance

  • Damage caused to property by fire due to natural heating, spontaneous combustion, heating, or drying process, etc.

  • Loss due to external violent means like riots and strikes.

  • All losses and destruction caused by the occurrence of floods, cyclones, typhoons, etc.

  • Losses caused by impact by rail, road, or animal. However, they must not belong to the insured.

  • Loss occurring due to missile testing operations

  • The destruction caused by bushfires and so on.

Exclusions of Fire Insurance

  • Loss caused by war, terrorism, civil commotion, etc.

  • Destruction caused by ionising radiations, contamination by radioactivity, etc.

  • Loss to machinery caused due to overuse, excessive pressure, short circuit, etc.

  • Expenses incurred on architecture, surveyors, and engineer fees.

  • Earthquakes, unless it is specified as an add-on cover

Documents Required for Fire Insurance Claim

If an unfortunate incident has occurred at your premises and you need to claim with your insurance provider, here is the list of fire insurance claim documents that you must submit to register the claim. The documents and written claim must be provided within 15 days of the occurrence of the event.

  • Claim Form- The insured must submit a fire insurance claim form that must be filled out accurately and must be signed. The form contains all the basic details of the event, like the date and time of the fire, the cause of the incident, details of the loss, approximate cost of damage, and so on.

  • Report from Fire Department- Submitting a report from the fire department is necessary as it entails evidence of fire, its cause, and the extent of damage that has occurred.

  • Insurance Policy- The policy documents contain intricate details about the policy, its extent of coverage, terms and conditions, etc. A copy of the policy must be provided for claim registration.

  • Police Investigation Report- If criminal activities caused the fire, the policyholder must attach a police report proving the occurrence and providing evidence of crime.

  • Ownership Proof- One must submit documents to prove the ownership of the business, including receipts, invoices, photographs of the property, etc. These documents are required to establish ownership and estimate the value of items.

  • Estimates for Repair- The Policyholder must obtain the estimated cost of repairs from contractors and submit the same to the insurance company.

  • Financial Records- If one wants to claim loss of business, income, and interruption of business activities, they must submit financial records like income tax returns, income statements, bank records, etc.

One may also submit additional documents, such as newspaper reports about the fire outbreak, previous claim history, forensic lab reports, etc.

Accuracy of the Documents Required Claim in Fire Insurance

Documents play a vital role when you file a fire insurance claim. They help the insurance company assess the damage caused and the reasons for the fire outbreak. It also assists in determining the compensation that must be paid to the policyholder.

Policyholders must ensure that they submit highly accurate documents, as this can make the claim successful or rejected. Submitting insufficient or incorrect documents can delay the claim settlement process or even lead to the rejection of the claim.

For instance, if the value of goods or property damaged cannot be ascertained due to inaccurate documentation, the insurance company may provide less compensation. Therefore, to avoid such issues, it is crucial to have all the documents in a safe place. Besides, one must also ensure that all the photographs and videos of the damaged property are taken correctly, as they serve as substantial evidence.

Understanding the Procedure for Fire Damage Insurance Claim

Though the process of filing a fire insurance claim is complicated, it is necessary to receive adequate compensation for the loss incurred. The following points will help you to follow the claim process smoothly.

  • Intimate the Insurance Company— The first step in registering a claim is to inform your insurance provider about the fire. You must provide them with all the details, such as the policy number, details of the insured, the date and time of the incident, and so on.

  • Record the Damage- Before cleaning up the wreckage, it is necessary to record the damage scenes at the insured premises. You must click photographs and record videos of the damaged property as they serve as proof of the damage and support your claim.

  • Get an Estimate- Get in touch with a contractor and get an estimate to repair the property and replace the irrepairable. Having an estimate will allow the insurance company to decide the compensation amount.

  • File a Claim- Once you have followed the steps mentioned above, you can register the claim by submitting the necessary documents to the insurance company.

  • Estimation by the Surveyor— After receiving the claim, the insurance company appoints a surveyor to estimate the loss's value. Based on the surveyor's report and estimation, the insurer will decide the compensation amount.

  • Compensation Receipt— If the insurance company accepts the claim, it will release the compensation amount for the damages. The compensation will be based on the policy's terms and conditions, the extent of the damage, and the estimated repair cost.

Tips To Register a Claim Successfully for Fire Insurance Policy

Registering a fire damage insurance claim is a complicated procedure. However, with a few valuable tips, you can navigate through the process and successfully register your claim.

  • Act Spontaneously- The most important thing to do after a fire outbreak is to act spontaneously. As soon as the situation gets under control, inform the insurance company about the incident. The sooner you inform the insurance company, the quicker the claim process will begin.

  • Record the Damage— Before the clean-up process begins, you must record and document all the damage caused to the property. Make a list of all the damages to submit to the insurer for a claim.

  • Save the Details— You must save the details of your interactions with the company, including phone calls, emails, and conversations. You must also record the date and time of the interaction, the details of the person, etc.

  • Do not Miss Out on Any Documentation- For a successful claim, ensure you have all the documents preserved. Whether it is a police report, income statement, or police FIR, keep them all saved for submitting for the claim.

  • Stay in Touch with the Insurance Company— You must stay in close contact with the insurance company and follow up on developments. It is crucial to stay responsive and provide them with all the additional information needed for the insurance claim.

  • Take Time Before Closing the Claim— Many times, insurance companies want to close the claim faster. However, you must take sufficient time and analyse things appropriately. You may find details that were earlier missed and need to be included in the claim. Therefore, you must take your time and not hurry to close the file.

Mistakes to Avoid While Filing a Claim for Fire Insurance

  • Not Informing the Insurer- In many cases, the business owners are so shocked about the incident that they forget to inform the insurer. If you fail to inform the insurance company within the stipulated time, there are chances your claim may be rejected.

  • Providing Insufficient Documents- Failing to provide the necessary documents can hinder claim acceptance. Therefore, one must ensure that as much documentation as possible is gathered to register the claim.

  • Failing to Mitigate Further Loss—If you fail to take appropriate steps to prevent further loss at the premises, the compensation amount can be reduced. After the fire has passed, you must cover the damaged areas, windows, etc., to prevent further damage.

Conclusion

A fire insurance claim procedure can be overwhelming for policyholders. However, if you follow the steps correctly and provide all the necessary documents, the process becomes more straightforward. To file a claim successfully, you must provide all the minute details and comply with the insurer's documentation needs.

Businesses can suffer significant losses in the absence of fire insurance. Therefore, it is essential to buy insurance to safeguard the business and its premises and deal with the aftermath. However, while choosing an insurer, it is essential to pay attention to their reputation, trustworthiness, and the benefits of policies they offer.

With Tata AIG, you can opt for fire and burglary insurance to receive protection against damage due to reasons such as fire outbreaks, theft, etc.

Such bundled insurance policies provide a host of benefits to the policyholder and assist them with compensation to cover losses. It is highly recommended to buy a business insurance policy that offers comprehensive coverage, various plan options, swift processes, excellent customer services, and benefits designed to meet unique business requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

- What are the types of fire insurance?

  • The different types of fire insurance are:

  • Comprehensive policy

  • Valued policy

  • Floating policy

  • Average policy

  • Replacement policy

  • Specific policy

- What information is required in the claim process form?

The following information must be provided in the fire insurance claim form:

  • Date of fire explosion

  • Location of the property

  • Condition of the property

  • Type of damage

  • Related injuries

  • Details of the damaged items

  • Police FIR (in case of criminal activity)

  • Other involved

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Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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