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October 10, 2017

If you home is uninhabitable, be sure your insurance company provides a nice place to stay.

Wildfire Resources

When it comes to the insurance company's coverage of your temporary living quarters, you have options.

Many insurance policies cover hotel costs when your home becomes uninhabitable. They may give you the location of a preferred hotel. But what if you’re not comfortable with their choice? Maybe it’s too far from the kids’ school.  Or maybe it’s in an unsafe neighborhood. You don’t have to accept it. Go back to the company with your objections and insist on a different hotel.

Most likely the hotel bill will be covered. But for how long will depend on your policy. There’s probably a cap to your ALE (Assisted Living Expenses). So don’t run up your bill unnecessarily. If you think you need 3 hotel rooms, maybe think again. Once your ALE is used up, it’s gone for good.

Don’t settle for less.

Your insurance company will probably move you into a rental house as soon as possible. And they will allow for furniture rental.  This living situation should be comparable to your original home. You don’t have to settle for less. If your were in a 5 bedroom house, you don’t have to downsize to 3.  

You will probably have to pay something towards your rental home (but not the hotel). You’ll have to negotiate this with your adjustor, but it probably shouldn’t be more than the amount you were previously paying for your home, minus any cancelled services such as cable and security monitoring.  

Every scrap of paper.

Keep receipts for everything and find out from the adjustor the best way to submit them for reimbursement. When you receive a check, it will be made out to the person or persons whose name is on the deed and no one else.

When negotiating with your insurance, keep records of all conversations—time, place, date, person, topic and resolution. You need to be organized and firm, but remember insurance workers are people too, so there’s never any excuse for rudeness—no matter how frustrating the process seems. Keep your cool. And pat yourself on the back for your restraint. It’s not easy, but

If you home is uninhabitable, be sure your insurance company provides a nice place to stay.


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