Covering Temporary Living Expenses after a Hurricane
When a hurricane or tropical storm is bearing down on Florida, prudent people will get out of town. This often means moving into temporary shelter, such as a hotel or motel, until the storm passes. However, when many people return they discover that their home has been damaged. Getting an insurer to pay for repairs seems like a daunting enough challenge.
But what about your temporary living expenses? Unless you have friends or family nearby who will take you in, you might need to head back to the hotel and stay there for possibly months on end. Temporary living expenses can really add up and might soon begin to rival the cost of fixing your roof or structural damage. Below, we answer some common questions people have about getting reimbursed for their temporary living expenses.
Can I Get My Hotel Room Covered if I Evacuated?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, you generally can get your insurer to cover staying in a hotel or motel during the storm only if you suffered property damage. If your home was lucky enough to be spared, then you likely cannot make a claim. You should read your insurance policy to check.
My Home is Uninhabitable; Can I Get Temporary Living Expenses?
Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover temporary living expenses. These are expenses above your customary living expenses. You can usually include things like shelter costs, as well as storage and restaurant meals, among other expenses.
Read your insurance policy and look for terms like “loss of use,” “additional living expenses,” and “fair rental value.” If you have a question, talk to your insurance agent.
However, your flood insurance policy is unlikely to cover temporary housing expense, especially if you purchased it through the National Flood Insurance Program. So if flooding has forced you out of your home, then you might have to cover your shelter costs out of pocket.
How Much Can I Get Covered?
You should read your insurance policy. Many policies will pay up to 20% of your policy coverage for temporary living expenses. Some insurers will pay more. So if you have a maximum of $300,000 in coverage, up to $60,000 could cover temporary living expenses if your home is not habitable.
What if I Don’t Have Insurance?
The federal government typically provides sheltering assistance immediately after a hurricane. You should check with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to see about the nearest shelter.
After Hurricane Irma, FEMA provided temporary emergency shelter for certain survivors by paying directly for their hotel rooms. More than 27,000 people were sheltered this way, and some stayed for months afterwards. FEMA should also have information about other resources available, but you can also talk to your local government.
Having Trouble Making an Insurance Claim?
Bundza & Rodriguez, PA is here to help. Our team has assisted many hurricane survivors make claims and negotiate settlements after a hurricane. If you have a question, please call our Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claims lawyers today at 386-252-5170. We offer a free consultation where we can talk more about your difficulties with your insurer.