Policyholder Question on Fire Loss Payment for Essentials

Q. How much does the insurance company pay for my groceries in case of fire loss? An amount of $500 regardless or I can make an inventory with photos, prices and quantities?

A. If you are asking about the value of the food items you had in the house that were lost, the short answer would be the dollar amount it would take to replace them.  But as food may be partially used or in some cases out-of-date but still on the shelves or in the refrigerator, it may be difficult to come up with an exact amount that is owed. It sounds to me like they have used $500 as a basic dollar amount to cover your loss.

There is no one size fits all homeowners’ settlement for grocery losses, so in this case you can negotiate with them. The $500 amount for a standard homeowner fire for food in the kitchen has been around for a long time.  You need to come up with your own figure as to the replacement cost of what you lost and then allow for a little depreciation for what was used before the fire. Estimating this type of loss is open for discussion and they should be willing to work with you on a fair settlement amount based on what you had in the kitchen.

You are on the right track.  Take your photos, make your inventory, and price out your loss. You need to be an advocate for all losses related to your claim or they be conveniently left out of your claim.

If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts.

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