My home was destroyed by a hurricane. Will my insurance company pay for expenses while the home is rebuilt?

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2013

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UPDATED: Jan 21, 2013Fact Checked

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Asked January 21, 2013

1 Answer

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers several distinct aspects of losses and costs. Just as the damage to the house is a loss, so are losses related to injuries or damages caused to other people, as well as the costs associated with maintaining your accustomed means of living while you rebuild. However, there are limits to the value of claims related to loss of use, generally spelled out clearly in your insurance policy.

You are able to claim the cost of a room or apartment for a limited amount of time, based on the cost of the room. You are also entitled to reimbursement for meals and other expenses related to the loss of use of your home. However, the total amount you will be reimbursed for is based on the value of the policy, and once you reach those limits, the insurance company is not responsible for any additional costs.

Typically, a completely destroyed home will be settled as quickly as possible. When a check has been cut for the value of the home and related losses, you are then responsible for any additional costs. So if you are still living in a rented room or apartment after the policy is settled, you will have to pay for your living arrangements out of pocket. The idea is that you are reimbursed for the costs of living expenses until you are able to pick up the pieces on your own again, and settling the claims against the policy satisfies the obligation of your insurer.

Realistically, it could take several months to rebuild a completely destroyed home. The loss of use clause of your policy is only designed to ease the financial strain for a short period, by which time you are expected to have put together a plan to get you through the rest of the wait, such as using a portion of the claim settlement to rent a home until the replacement for your old home is completed.

Answered January 21, 2013 by Anonymous

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