It is expensive to relocate your family while you're rebuilding your damaged home. You’ll incur hotel expenses, meals out and more. Fortunately, your Homeowners policy covers those extra expenses under "Coverage D - Loss of Use - Additional Living Expenses.” Your property insurance adjuster should explain this coverage, but he’s not likely to go into detail about some of the benefits to which you are entitled.
The comforts of home
If you’re displaced by a covered peril, your policy's ALE Additional Living Expenses provision pays the extra costs of living away from home. Reimbursable expenses are based on your "standard of living." Your expenses are personal to you and your circumstances.
Ask for a cash advance
The idea of offering a cash advance for ALE costs isn't found in your policy, but some insurance companies issue advances to minimize policyholder inconvenience. Your adjuster might correctly assume that you have the resources to pay ALE items out of your own pocket, but you shouldn't have to. If your adjuster doesn’t have the authority to give you a cash advance, ask for the name and phone number of someone who does.
You don't have to stay in a hotel
Whatever your choice for temporary accommodations, you're entitled to reimbursement if you incur additional expenses. If you prefer to pay your relative a reasonable daily rate for opening up her home to your family, the insurance company should be willing to pay it. It’s a sensible alternative to a hotel that will reduce the total cost of your claim.
Calculating ALE reimbursements for dining out can get a little tricky. Restaurant meals are reimbursable, but only for the extra costs of meals you would usually eat at home. Some adjusters resolve the meal issue by relocating you to a hotel with an in-room kitchen. You can handle meals the way you usually do, by buying your own groceries and preparing your own food. This virtually eliminates the extra expense of meals out.
If you must cancel or relocate a scheduled meeting, event or ceremony scheduled in your home, your insurance company should pay the additional expenses of an alternate location.
Policy exclusions apply to ALE Additional Living Expenses claims. Not every extra expense you incur is covered by insurance, but many are. You might never know unless you ask.