This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Home Sweet (temporary) Home





If your house is wrecked by a disaster covered by home insurance, you don't have to couch-surf until the repairs are finished.

Standard home insurance includes coverage for additional living expenses, or loss of use, which pays for extra costs to live while your house is uninhabitable. Those expenses can include rent, hotel stays, restaurant meals, storage fees and more.

The coverage is a lifesaver, but it can be tricky, and the rules are often misunderstood.

This is especially true in the case of flooding. Standard home insurance doesn't cover flood damage and would not provide additional living expenses coverage if your home were uninhabitable just because of a flood. For that matter, flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program don't include additional living expenses either, although there are some privately sold flood policies that do. FEMA can help impacted homeowners and renters with alternative living expenses if the president issues a major disaster declaration and homes are uninhabitable. (See: " 5 ways flood insurance may soak you.")

However, after a major disaster like Superstorm Sandy, your home might be uninhabitable because of other damage besides flooding, such as wind. Say, for instance, a tree blew over and crushed the roof. If your policy covered wind damage, then home insurance additional living expenses coverage would come into play.

What if you can't live in your home because of a mandatory evacuation? Then additional living expenses would kick in only if the cause of the evacuation were covered under your policy, says Diane Swerling, a principal at Boston-based Swerling Milton Winnick Public Insurance Adjusters Inc, which helps consumers through the home insurance claim process. (See: "After Sandy: Public insurance adjusters work with homeowners to streamline claims.")

Because of the many nuances and differences between policies, it's important to understand the coverage you have. (See: " Hurricanes and insurance: 5 must-know facts.")

"Sometimes I do more work on the additional living expenses claims than the personal belongings and building claims," Swerling says.

Here are five tips for understanding how additional living expense coverage works:

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,814.94 -2.96 -0.02%
S&P 500 2,067.03 -2.38 -0.12%
NASDAQ 4,758.2520 +3.36 0.07%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs