If damage to your home is covered by your insurance policy and you must leave your home while it is being repaired or rebuilt, where would you stay? Many people simply cannot bear the financial burden of renting a hotel or temporary apartment for any length of time. It may not be practical for you and your family to stay with other family members or friends—particularly when repairs or rebuilding will take a significant length of time. If loss of use coverage or additional living expenses is a part of your homeowner’s insurance policy, a huge burden may be lifted from your shoulders. You may wonder just what is covered under additional living expenses? While this varies significantly from one policy to the next, keep reading to find out what loss of use generally covers.
Homeowners insurance protects your home and personal property following a covered peril, and loss of use or additional living expenses covers you after a disaster hits your home. Imagine if a hurricane hit your home. You and your family will need a place to stay as your home is being repaired. You likely still have to go to work, and your children may need to get to daycare or school.
The costs of living away from your home can add up quickly. Let Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, help you get the payments you need for loss of use if additional living expenses are covered in your policy. If your insurance company is stalling, denying your claim, or significantly undervaluing your claim, we can help. We will fight for you, for your family, and for your future, helping you put your life back on track.
What is Loss of Use Coverage or Additional Living Expenses?
Just as your insurance may pay for a rental car when your car is being repaired after a covered accident, loss of use essentially does the same thing after your home is damaged from a covered peril. Following a hurricane, flood, or other natural disasters, your home may be uninhabitable or unsafe. As a result, you may be forced to live somewhere else while the repairs are being made. In some policies, loss of use is also called Coverage D. Whatever your policy calls it, having additional living expenses covered in your policy can be a true lifeline after a hurricane.
What Does Loss of Use Coverage or Additional Living Expenses Cover?
The expenses you may incur that will fall under loss of use can vary significantly, depending on the level of damage to your home as well as how quickly you can get a contractor to repair the damage. If rebuilding or repairing your home will take a considerable amount of time, you may choose to rent an apartment rather than a hotel. If it will only be a short amount of time, say less than two weeks, a hotel would be the better choice. In addition to a hotel or apartment, loss of use will also cover:
- Food—if you are displaced from your home, you may be forced to eat out at restaurants much more often than normal
- A storage unit to store any possessions that were not damaged
- Car rental plus additional fuel or mileage expenses
- Public transportation costs
- Parking costs
- Boarding your pet or pets
You will definitely have to justify the expenses you incur, to show the insurance company they are all reasonable and necessary. Your insurer may also have a specific dollar limit for those “necessary” expenses. What this means is that it is unlikely you will be able to stay at a luxury hotel, rather your claims representative will point you toward a moderately priced hotel or apartment.
How Does Loss of Use Coverage and Additional Living Expenses Apply to Rentals?
If you are a landlord, and one of your housing units is damaged or destroyed to the point your tenants cannot live there—at least temporarily—the loss of use part of your policy may cover lost rental income for up to 12 months after the covered loss occurred. The loss of use coverage in your insurance policy is usually about 20-30 percent of the insured value of your home.
There may also be a section in your loss of use coverage that will cover additional living expenses or fair rental value for a specific number of days if local authorities or a physical impediment prevents you or your tenants from being able to reach your property. If hurricane damage in your community caused you to be unable to reach your home—even if your home was undamaged—you could be entitled to loss of use and additional living expenses.
How an Attorney from Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, Can Help You with Your Loss of Use Claim
If your home has been damaged in a hurricane in the New Orleans area, you may be anxious, stressed, and frustrated when your insurance company seems to be delaying, undervaluing, or flat- out denying your claim. At Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, we help people just like you get the settlement you need and deserve for your loss. If loss of use is covered in your policy but your insurer is balking at paying the costs, we will work on your behalf to get you the money you need. Contact Gulf Coast Insurance Attorneys, to get the help you need, quickly and efficiently.