Imagine that a fire tears through your home one night. Your family is safe, but you are now facing the inability to live in your home. There's fire damage, but also damage from smoke and water. The fire department tells you the home is uninhabitable at this point. What do you do?
Your home insurance policy may offer some help in this situation. Depending on the policy details you have, you may be able to file a claim for hotel expenses. Follow these tips for when and how to get help.
Take All Recommended Steps
When you find yourself the victim of a fire, follow the directions of the fire marshal in terms of getting out of the home. Do not go back to the home until it is safe. Do your best to secure your home and property before leaving. Then, head to a hotel.
Loss Of Use Clause
Look at your home insurance policy. Even if the physical copy was damaged or destroyed in the fire, many insurers now provide full copies of your insurance policy in online portals. Otherwise, they can provide you a new copy of the documentation.
Look for a Loss Of Use clause in your policy. This clause can give you financial support for the living expenses you incur due to the fire. It may cover the costs of a competitively priced hotel in your area.
Remember, even if you cannot live in your home, you still have to pay your mortgage. You still have to stay up to date on your taxes and insurance coverage. The hotel is an extra cost to you. But Loss Of Use coverage can help cover that burden.
Keep in mind this policy usually applies to only "additional living expenses." That means it does not typically cover what you would normally pay.
Let's say you typically buy $200 worth of groceries to feed your family. If a fire forces you from your home, you may find yourself eating out a lot more. If, for example, you are spending $500 a week on restaurants, you might find that your policy can offer a certain amount — say, $300 — in coverage for your additional living expenses. This coverage can also apply to anything that you are paying more for because you cannot live at home.
If repairs fall under your coverage, let your Fulton Agency representative help you. Speak to your agent about changes in living arrangements as they happen, rather than weeks later. Be sure your agent knows your situation throughout the process.