Post-fire dos and don'ts - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Post-fire dos and don'ts

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - I don't claim to be an expert, but here are some tips for a faster recovery.

Don't feel pressure to settle with insurance immediately. Often an adjustor will come out to your property, recorder in hand, trying to get a sworn statement from you while you are still in an extremely emotional state. Adjusters are out to settle quickly and save the company money, and if they give you a check, that's not a gift. that sum will be deducted from the final settlement.

If you live in a remote area, your biggest challenges may come from changes in the fire code that you may not even be aware of. You may even be asked to jump through hoops that are ridiculous. Let me give you an example. The fire marshal made me put a generator next to my house that would allow firefighters to pump water out of my pool, and when the electricity went out, they could flip over the generator. However, this generator runs on propane, which is the first thing I would turn off when threatened by fire, rendering that $40,000 out of pocket project worthless.

When looking for a rental property during your rebuild find something comparable to the house you lost. Living in the RV in Aunt Edna's driveway may sound like a money saver, but you are going to be there for two years. If you have kids, you want them to have a room to call their own and some place to play. Remember, the post-fire adjustment will be hardest on them.

If you live in San Diego, you are probably underinsured. Even if property values go down, replacement values always go up.

And in every disaster, the scam artists come out of the woodwork. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it is. If someone offers to do it for far less, it will end up costing you a lot more.

Finally, find strength in family and friends. They will help rebuild your spirit. May god bless you and know there are better days ahead.

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