What Is Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage and How Do I Get the Most From It?

While researching homeowner’s insurance policies, you’ve probably come across Additional Living Expenses, or ALE, coverage. Perhaps your policy already includes ALE coverage or you’re wondering if you should add it to your next update.

With storms being a constant threat to Florida homeowners, it’s important to consider ALE coverage. You also need to understand how to get the most out of this coverage in the event you need to use it. Klotzman Property Damage Law takes a look.

The Basics of Additional Living Expenses Coverage

Available under your homeowner’s insurance policy, ALE coverage kicks in if your home becomes uninhabitable. “Uninhabitable” requires a covered loss under your policy due to a storm, fire, or otherwise. ALE coverage pays for certain expenses you incur because you cannot live in your home.

Some possible examples of covered expenses are:

  • Temporary rent
  • Pet boarding
  • Storage fees
  • Laundry
  • Mileage

The exact terms of your policy will dictate what is covered. Generally, these and other expenses are directly related to your displacement due to the covered loss you suffered. Check your policy for details, because Additional Living Expenses coverage can vary drastically from one policy to another.

If you would like know more information about if you can challenge your home insurance settlement, view this page.

How to Get the Most From Your ALE Coverage

If your homeowner’s insurance policy contains ALE coverage, you will want to maximize it in the event you must use it. To begin with, you’ll have to notify your insurer of your intent to use the coverage. Your policy should contain information on how to initiate this process.

These are some tips for making the most of your Additional Living Expenses coverage.

Keep Detailed Records

Your goal is to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses that are covered by the ALE terms. To ensure you are reimbursed, it is imperative that you keep detailed records of what you pay for.

Save receipts and also consider taking pictures of them or storing them in an online file. Make notes of phone calls you’ve had with your insurance company. Include the date, time, name of the person you spoke with, and topics discussed. Document everything you can related to what you pay for.

Find Similar Living Arrangements

As you search for temporary housing, bear in mind it must be similar to your present home. If you reside in a two-bedroom house, it is reasonable to find a similarly sized two-bedroom house. Your temporary housing should also be of similar quality to your permanent home.

Additional Living Expenses coverage won’t pay for a much larger or nicer home than the one from which you were displaced. Check with your insurer to see if you’ve selected a similar enough home as your temporary residence.

Don’t Incur Unnecessary Costs

ALE exists to cover necessary expenses due to your displacement from your home. In other words, it pays for things you would not have had to without the covered loss occurring. Buying luxury items or paying for goods and services that aren’t necessary during your displacement period probably won’t be covered. Keep to a budget and keep your costs down.

Be Ready to Show What Your Previous Living Expenses Were

It’s a good idea to be able to document what your living expenses were before the covered loss. That way, if the insurer questions what you paid for, you can demonstrate they were normal expenses.

You should still err on the side of limiting your expenses to only those items that are truly necessary due to your displacement. But if you can adequately document your previous living expenses, it will be easier to claim reimbursement for ALE.

Talk to an Experienced Property Damage Attorney

This is where our firm comes in. If you have questions about your ALE coverage or your insurer is refusing to reimburse you, talk to us. Our dedicated property damage team can review your policy and hold your insurance company to its obligations under the policy.

If you were recently affected by a Florida storm, Klotzman Property Damage Law is a legal advocate you can count on. Give us a call today to learn more.