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What if an insurance company denies additional living expenses?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Property Damage Insurance Claims |

When storm damage affects the condition of a home, its owner may not be able to stay there. When a storm blows off a roof or otherwise compromises the integrity of a structure, it may not be safe or even legal to remain at the property before repairs are complete.

It can take weeks or longer to arrange for repairs to a property damaged by inclement weather. Issues with the insurance company may drag out that process. A standard homeowners insurance policy provides several different types of protection. In addition to coverage for property damage costs, the policy should also provide coverage for additional living expenses or loss of use of the dwelling unit.

What qualifies as an additional living expense?

Additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use expenses are costs related to a home becoming uninhabitable. Obviously, those costs may include the price of a hotel room or short-term apartment. They may also include costs to replace certain items that homeowners need to live safely in a temporary housing arrangement. ALE can even include animal boarding expenses and meals at restaurants because people don’t have access to a full kitchen. Those costs can add up to hundreds of dollars per week depending on a variety of factors such as the size of the family.

Underpaid costs put a burden on policyholders

Most homeowners insurance policies include a certain amount of ALE coverage. Unfortunately, insurance professionals may try to limit how much people actually receive.

When an insurance company denies claims for ALE or offers only a portion of someone’s available coverage and their total costs, they pass the expenses back to the policyholder. That is an example of bad faith insurance practices.

Even though someone has likely made payments for years on a policy that provides coverage for this exact scenario, the insurance company attempts to sidestep its obligations by reducing their coverage or denying their claim. It can be very difficult to deal with low settlement offers and unfair insurance denials while simultaneously trying to manage the home repair process.

Learning more about bad faith insurance practices related to a sizable homeowners insurance claim can help people get the coverage they deserve. Policyholders should be able to count on ALE coverage to cover their living expenses when their home is unsafe to inhabit.