Additional Living Expenses Explained for Hurricane Michael Storm Damage Policyholders
If your Florida home was severely damaged by Hurricane Michael to the extent that it is uninhabitable to live in, most insurance policies provide a coverage called “Additional Living Expense” or “A.L.E.” if it is a covered loss. Under the Additional Living Expense coverage, you and your family may be entitled to rent another home of the same size, like kind and quality as well as be reimbursed for any extra expenses you incur such as food and temporary lodging.
Please keep in mind however that this coverage is based on what you “incur,” meaning you have to spend the money first before your insurance company will reimburse you. As a result, it is very, very important to keep detailed records of receipts for all related transactions. One tip we give our clients is to use one credit card so they can easily print a statement out to document their ALE expenses when they submit their insurance claim to the insurance company.
Some insurance companies will put their clients into a temporary housing program, which is usually an apartment setting. It could be half the size of your damaged home. Please keep in mind that you are entitled to maintain the same standard of living you had prior to your loss and it is something we tend to argue on behalf of our clients. Do not be afraid to challenge your insurance carrier on this issue.
With the flooding and wind damage caused by Hurricane Michael, the claims settlement and restoration process is going to take longer than you may think, so be sure you are adequately covered and comfortable in your temporary residence.
As always, the public insurance adjusters at Tutwiler & Associates are here to help with any property insurance related questions you may have. Call our public adjuster office in Panama City, 850-888-8052 or contact a public adjuster to submit a question to one of our insurance claim experts.