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The natural reaction from someone whose home has just suffered fire damage is to clean up, tidy up, dispose and use all the help from neighbours & friends you can get.

This can be a big mistake. We are finding more and more that the process of dealing with liability investigation is slower and slower. Insurers may take 4-6 weeks even in the most straightforward of circumstances to complete investigation.

The process involves:

  • Loss Adjusters visit & interview
  • A Forensic Investigation & testing
  • A claims history & disclosure investigation
  • An interview by Insurers or their solicitors
  • Alarm system activation logs and other reports
All before liability is accepted.
Our advice in all cases is to do nothing until insurers accept liability. If you clear the site, your insurers may well claim you have prejudiced the investigation and delay or go negative on a decision. You may then have a defence that you cannot contest the decision if the scene is cleared or bring your own forensic investigation. The time it takes for insurers to decide will not be wasted. you can start planning & preparing for reinstatement:

  • Get your drawings and specifications lined up
  • Get prices from the builders
  • Talk to suppliers
  • Decide how the process of reinstatement can happen

During this period claim documents will be prepared for all losses insured:
  • Building
  • Contents

Supporting documents like invoices and quotations will be required in each section of claim. You may also need engineering reports or structural surveys. Once insurers are on board and claim is submitted, there is a negotiation process which again could take 4-8 weeks more.

Works may start in the meantime but you are still exposed if your costs are not in line with insurers’ proposals or worse, parts of the loss are underinsured or not at all. You then have a balancing act to manage.

We all have difficulties with banks in Ireland today. You may not be in a position to borrow funds to support the reinstatement costs to fix and repair the damage, let alone make improvements. This means you may be fully dependent on your Insurers and insurance policy to pay for the damage.

Even when agreement is reached, the process is not complete. Your insurers will pay part of this settlement, the balance being payable when the company re-check your repairs and the cost of repairs to ensure that the terms and conditions of the policy and the settlement are met.

This final stage is just as important as the start of the process.

Clearys Loss Assessors have dealt with all types of fire damages claims. We can help you compile, submit and negotiate your claim to a satisfactory settlement. Our aim is to minimise your stress, time lines and maximise your entitlement under your policy.


In the event of House Fire:

  • Get your family to safety, arrange for safe, clean alternative accommodation.
  • Seek medical advice. A fire is a major shock especially for young and old
  • Preserve the scene, do not touch anything.
  • Do not re-enter structurally damaged buildings until advised that it safe to do so.
  • Photograph any evidence carefully.
  • Do not carry out any repairs without instruction, you may prejudice the scene.
  • Get help from family and friends.
  • Contact Clearys Loss Assessors to get professional advice before you claim.

Contact us for help.

Case Study:

A house fire is a frightening experience for home occupants. In a short period of time a small flame can develop into a major fire that ravages a home and causes a threat to the lives of the people inside. The above property was damaged by a fire which started in the kitchen area of the house.

Despite the Fire brigade arriving on site within 10 minutes part of the house was extensively damaged and part of the roof collapsed. Clearys handled the claim from initial contact to settlement of the claim. This included reporting the claim to Insurers, helping the occupants to source alternative accommodation, meeting with the Insurers appointed Loss Adjuster to inspect the damage, liaising with Insurers to arrange an interim payment. The claim along with all specialist reports was presented to the Loss Adjuster and negotiation commenced.