Your home has flooded, and you can’t stay there. You’re going to need to stay in a hotel until the place is cleaned up. Or your home has been badly damaged in a fire. Even though it’s repairable, the smoke is thick and the acrid smell is intolerable.
One of your first questions in these situations is how you’re going to afford to stay in a hotel until you can go back home. Hopefully, your Salt Lake City home insurance policy covers these additional costs. You had better find out ahead of time about your coverage so you have it when you need it.
Loss of Use
When your insurance policy pays for additional expenses, it’s known as loss of use coverage. It means you have lost use of your home until repairs are made. If will pay for a temporary dwelling, some food costs, transportation and other costs. However, not all insurance policies automatically include this type of coverage, and not all coverage is the same.
For instance, one policy may state that it will pay up to a certain dollar amount per day that you are displaced for living expenses. Anything over that amount will be your responsibility. Other policies may pay for your hotel as long as you stay in one chosen by the provider.
You need to find out if your current home insurance policy includes loss of use coverage. If so, find out what exclusions and restrictions are in place. Know the limits and find out if you can change the policy or add to the coverage.
Realize that most insurance policies won’t cover expensive hotels or fancy meals if something else is available. Know your budget before you begin spending after a claim.
Ask about the claims procedure. You may need to keep receipts of your expenses to get reimbursed. For instance, the policy may pay for the hotel, but it may reimburse you for the meals you must eat out until your home is repaired.
Some policies limit you to a certain number of days. For example, you may have a policy that will pay for temporary living for up to two weeks following a covered incident. If your home isn’t livable after that timeframe, you may be paying out of pocket. Of course, if delays are caused which are beyond your control, your policy may be extended.
You also won’t receive any help if the catastrophe isn’t a covered event. For instance, if you don’t have flood insurance, your home insurance policy won’t pay for you to stay in a hotel because your home is flooded.
It’s best to sit down with your insurance agent and discuss your coverage. Find out what is covered and for how much. Add to your policy if you feel you don’t have adequate coverage. You don’t want to wait until a major disaster strikes and you have nowhere to live to find out you don’t have the policy you need. Get coverage before you need it.