What Do Insurance Companies Expect from You After a House Fire?

An Insurance Guide to House Fires

Series: An Insurance Guide to House Fires

For the most part, insurers are mostly interested in the following:

  • Assessing the amount of your claim
  • Getting a comprehensive list of damages and lost items
  • Closing your claim quickly

To ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, you should try to provide the insurance company with as much documentation and information as possible including:

  • Date and time of the fire
  • Location of the fire
  • Injuries and personal damage
  • Previous and current condition of the home
  • Repair costs
  • Cost of living expenses 
  • A police report

You should keep copies of everything in a centralized binder so that you can manage all of these documents neatly. Overall, the more disorganized you are, the more you have to rely on your insurer to assess the damage for you. Having proof of the damage to the value of the lost or damaged items helps work toward a more accurate claim amount.


Next: What Should You Expect From Your Insurance Company After a House Fire?

What You Should Do After a House Fire

An Insurance Guide to House Fires

Series: An Insurance Guide to House Fires

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, you will likely be shocked and stunned. However, the faster that you can start on the path towards recovery, the better it will be for both you and your home. Here are the steps you should take to ensure an efficient restitution plan. 

Find a Place to Stay

Chances are that your home will not be available for you after the fire, meaning that you have to either reach out to friends or family to provide a place to sleep and live in the interim. Only if there is extremely minor damage will you be able to remain in the home, but you have to wait for approval from the fire department. 

Call Your Agent

You want to get your agent out to the property as soon as possible to assess the damage and start working on your claim. You want to get things back to normal quickly, so the sooner you do this, the better off you’ll be. Not only can you get a settlement to repair the damage, but you may also be entitled to “loss of use” funds that can help cover immediate expenses, such as living arrangements. 

Work on Your Financial Situation

Recovery is the primary goal, but the fact is that banks and lenders won’t put a hold on your mortgage payments just because you had a fire. This is another reason to contact your agent immediately so that you can be sure that you can continue to make payments on time and in full so that you don’t have any financial problems afterward. 

Another thing to consider is if any financial documents were lost in the fire. If you lost items like credit cards, bank statements, or tax information it could create problems down the line. Contact these companies to ensure that you can avoid such issues. 

Take Inventory of Damaged Items

While the insurance company will run a comprehensive assessment of what was lost or damaged in the fire, you should make sure that all items are accounted for as well. If you have not done a policy renewal in the last few years, you could be sitting on more value than the insurance company may realize. (See Doing an Insurance Review: Why You Need It and What to Do.)

It’s imperative that you work with your insurer to get the funds necessary to replace everything, including those items that were totally destroyed. Overall, this process may take the longest, unless you have an itemized list of purchases and appraisals already. (See Why You Need a Home Inventory List and How to Make One.) Otherwise, you will have to determine the value after the fact so that it can go towards your claim settlement. 

Being Safe After a House Fire

No matter what, you should never go back into the house unless the fire department says it’s okay. The structural integrity of the property may not be intact, meaning that you could run into falling debris, further causing injury to yourself and others. 

When going back into the house, be sure to avoid sections that are waterlogged. Mold and bacteria will breed in these parts, which could create a health hazard.

As we mentioned, smoke damage can also include dangerous chemicals, so avoid touching items that have soot on them, as well as breathing heavily in sections of the house that have significant smoke stains. If necessary, wear a breathing mask. 


Next: What Do Insurance Companies Expect After a House Fire?

What to Expect After a House Fire

An Insurance Guide to House Fires

Series: An Insurance Guide to House Fires

For many homeowners, one of the worst things that can happen is a fire in the home. Whether it’s a small flame or a destructive blaze, the damage can be both catastrophic and emotionally scarring. 

However, if you do experience a house fire, it’s imperative that you understand what options you have for recovery. Homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect you against this kind of damage, but it requires input from you to ensure that the process moves smoothly. 

If you live in the Knoxville, TN area, then contact Bob Johnson Insurance today to find out how we cover house fires. We provide excellent policies that will keep you and your family protected, no matter what happens. 

What to Expect After a House Fire

If your home goes up in flames, a lot of things are going to happen. The more you know what to expect, the better you can react to ensure that you are both safe and informed. Here’s an overview of what can happen after a house fire. 

Wait for the Fire to be Fully Extinguished

The fire department will be the ones handling the blaze, and it’s up to them to decide when the area is safe and the fire is out. Until they give the all clear, you should avoid getting close to the fire at all. 

Injury Assessment

Hopefully, no one will be hurt in the blaze, but that’s not always the case. If you or a family member are injured either by the fire itself or other circumstances (i.e., smoke inhalation), the paramedics will probably rush you to the emergency room to figure out the extent of the injury. 

Going Back Inside

Depending on how big and how destructive the fire was, you may be able to go back into your house or you may not. Again, it’s up to the fire department to determine how safe the property is, so don’t try going back in unless you have been instructed to do so. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at unnecessary risk. 

Water and Smoke Damage

Just because part of your house was not engulfed in flames doesn’t mean that it wasn’t damaged. Water hoses and fire extinguishers are necessary for putting out the blaze which can leave lasting effects on parts of your property (as well as the stuff inside). In some case, you may have items that need replacing because they are waterlogged. 

Smoke can also require more extensive recovery. Because the ash can contain harmful chemicals, it will have to be cleaned to avoid inhalation. Again, even if the section was not touched by fire, you can still be facing a lot of damage from the smoke. 


Next: What You Should Do After a House Fire

An Insurance Guide to House Fires (series)

An Insurance Guide to House Fires

For many homeowners, one of the worst things that can happen is a fire in the home. Whether it’s a small flame or a destructive blaze, the damage can be both catastrophic and emotionally scarring. 

If you do experience a house fire, it’s imperative that you understand what options you have for recovery. Homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect you against this kind of damage, but it requires input from you to ensure that the process moves smoothly. 

Part 1: What to Expect After a House Fire

Part 2: What You Should Do After a House Fire

Part 3: What Do Insurance Companies Expect After a House Fire?

Part 4: What Should You Expect From Your Insurance Company After a House Fire?

Insurance Tips for Adults Just Starting Out

Insurance Tips for Adults Just Starting Out

You keep your car filled up with gas so you don’t get stranded on the side of the road. You ensure your phone is charged so your loved ones can reach you. But, what kind of safety measures do you have in place for more extreme scenarios?

What if you lost everything you owned in a fire at your house or your apartment? What if your car were stolen? These situations are scary, but your insurance can help you through them, and much more, so long as you have the right coverage in place.

So, what’s right for you? Whether you’re starting out on your own or starting a family, these tips can help you begin to understand the level of insurance you may need.

Consider What You Own – And What It’s All Worth

Could you imagine having to replace all of your personal belongings at once? What about having to do so from memory and on your own dime? It would be both a difficult and a costly task. There are a couple of things you can do to be prepared.

First, make an inventory of your belongings and their value so that you know what is lost if they are lost in a fire or other emergency.  (The free Safeco Home Inventory app can help.) Want to know more about how to do one?  Check out Why You Need a Home Inventory.

Second, be sure you have enough insurance coverage regardless of whether you rent or own a home. It’s known as “personal property coverage,” and you want enough of it to replace all of your belongings if it were to come to that.  Checking your coverage is easy by doing an insurance review.  Check out Doing an Insurance Review: Why You Need It and What to Do.

Take Your Lifestyle Into Account

Drive an expensive car? Repairs are likely costly, so be sure to carry full coverage. Own a home with a lot of custom features? Be sure your homeowners policy takes them into account. The way you live can help you save, too. For example, if you take public transportation to and from work even though you own a car, you may pay less for your insurance.

Talk to Your Independent Agent for Ease, Choice and Advice

At Bob Johnson Insurance, we care about you and helping you protect the ones you love as well as the things that you need.  As an independent agency, we are able to offer a choice of carriers and options, plus personalized advice to help make sense of it all. And, we make it easy by doing the research and the work for you.

Remember, we’re here to help. Contact us today at 865-922-3111 with your insurance questions and needs.

Tying the Knot? Tie up Loose Ends With Wedding Insurance

Tying the Knot? Tie up Loose Ends With Wedding Insurance

Getting married is a big step that you’re no doubt commemorating with a big celebration. And, that often comes with a (fairly) big price tag. So, have you considered insuring the whole to-do?

As with other sizable investments, you can insure big events, such as your wedding. But, that’s not the only way insurance can play a role in your big day and the events that follow. Here are four tips for insuring your wedding, rings and more:

Big day, big investment – protect it

Of course you want your big day to go off without a hitch. But, you also want to prepare for those pesky “what ifs.” What if the caterer backs out? What if the bride’s dress gets lost in her checked baggage? What if your venue goes out of business?

Event insurance typically covers unexpected issues with the site, weather, vendors and illness or injury, so you aren’t stuck with the tab. For example, if you need to find a new caterer the day before the wedding, your policy may help with the costs. 

Say ‘I do’ to covering your rings.

Regardless of the monetary value of your engagement and wedding rings, it’s important to protect your investment — preferably right after you purchase them. We can help. Call us from the jewelry store if you like, and we’ll schedule your new bling on your renters insurance, condo insurance or homeowners insurance. 

Cover your bases by covering your gifts.

While you’re dancing the night away, you don’t want someone walking away with your gifts. But, unfortunately, it happens. You may want to consider a policy to protect your gifts. And, of course, you’ll want to include them as part of your home inventory (see Why You Need a Home Inventory) and personal property coverage. Some items, such as collectibles and china, may need scheduled coverage, just like your rings. 

Start your honeymoon right. 

If your honeymoon costs as much as a car, it may make sense to get travel insurance. Policies can include coverage for trip cancellation or delay, and even medical insurance. Frommers.com says it should cost no more than 8 percent of your trip price. 

Whether your wedding is a small family affair or the biggest event of the year, you deserve to have a stress-free day. Click here and let us help you select the insurance coverage you want for your wedding and everything that goes along with it. So, when the big day arrives, all you have to worry about is having a great time!

Save Money by Slowing Down

Save Money by Slowing Down

One issue that plagues most drivers is speed. Although we have speed limits everywhere you go, the vast majority of drivers exceed these limits, sometimes significantly. However, just because many people do it doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do. 

Today we want to cover some of the primary benefits of slowing down and how it can help keep you and your car safe. 

Speeding Statistics

Although cars are always becoming safer, they’re still massive machines of metal and glass that can kill a person with enough force. Unfortunately, there has been a recent uptick in traffic fatalities,(1) and according to the National Transportation Safety Board, speeding is a prevalent cause.(2) 

In fact, about 31% of all fatalities were caused by speeding, a figure that’s pretty close to drunk driving. This problem is so prevalent that about one in every six drivers on the road is pulled over for going too fast. Overall, about 41 million speeding tickets are issued every year in the US. 

Save Money by Slowing Down

Obviously, the dangers present in speeding are widespread, but most people believe that they can react in time to avoid a collision. However, if you think about the financial costs of speeding, you may feel differently next time you’re behind the wheel. Here’s how putting the pedal to the metal can cost you. 

Speeding Tickets

Depending on where you live, a ticket can be several hundred dollars. Remember, you have a one in six chance of being pulled over, so is it worth the risk? Just a couple of tickets in a year can set you back substantially. 

Insurance Rates

Insurance companies want to minimize their risk of paying a claim. While they can’t always monitor your driving habits, they can look at things like moving violations and speeding tickets. The more of these you have, the higher your rates will be. 

One thing that companies consider as well is how much you were going over the speed limit. For example, getting pulled over for going 40 in a 35 is not as bad as going 65 in the same zone. Higher speeds can mean bigger tickets, as well as more substantial penalties. 

Overall, going fast is not worth the risk. Not only are you putting yourself in danger, but you could be hurting your wallet too. Slow down, and you’ll avoid many of these risks. 


  1. 2015–2016 US Transportation Fatalities & 2016–2017 US Transportation Fatalities
  2. NTSB Aims to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes