Loss of use for renters insurance - post Ike

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 10/02/2008 - 22:03

My apartment got gutted during Hurricane Ike. Luckily, I had renters insurance :)
My apartment management was able to find another apartment for me after 2 weeks. For the 2 week duration, I stayed at a friends place since most hotels in Houston were completely sold out following the Hurricane.

My question is - will the loss of use coverage in my insurance pay my friend for the time that I was at his place?
Can I get a receipt from my friend showing that I stayed at his place and a charge of say $30 per day?
I would like to pay my friend if my insurance will reimburse me.

Posted: 02 Oct 2008 10:26 Post Subject:

I don't have a renters policy in front of me but I don't see why not. The bill needs to be reasonable (I think $30/day is). I agree, just have him write out a bill, sign it, and turn it in. I think your friend should be paid as well. If I were the adjuster and the policy allowed for that payment, I'd not think twice about sending out a check.

Posted: 02 Oct 2008 11:37 Post Subject:

I agree. Your policy allows for alternate living. I can only see a problem if your friend tried to charge $250.00 per night - but $30.00?

Shouldn't be a problem at all.

Posted: 03 Oct 2008 01:57 Post Subject:

It really is reasonable since you can not even get a hotel room for that price. It is also fair because it probaly wasn't real convinient to have another person stay with him. There is also teh fact that you could have been homeless since everything was booked had he not opened his door to you.

Posted: 04 Oct 2008 05:46 Post Subject: Loss of use and evacuation expenses

If you have loss of use coverage, you should be reimbursed for room and board as well as any food you had to puchase while away. If you had a mandatory evacuation as many did for Hurricane Ike, you can also request reimbursement for gas or mileage.

Posted: 04 Oct 2008 11:39 Post Subject:

I don't see why not either if your policy has additional living expenses, and I think most renters policys I've seen do...certainly contact your adjuster and ask

Posted: 04 Oct 2008 09:57 Post Subject:

Wow Lori..do you work in all parts of the insurance field or is that just how an adjusters job works? Do you cover all claims like this one and vehicle? Seems like a job that would take lots of education and remembering. My sometimers would not do me well in your field. I swear I am only mid 30 and have the mind of an 80 year old. Probaly too much stuff in the old head and its getting a little crowded...ever know the feeling?

Posted: 05 Oct 2008 09:54 Post Subject:

Wow Lori..do you work in all parts of the insurance field or is that just how an adjusters job works? Do you cover all claims like this one and vehicle?

I only work auto's now but was a multiline adjuster for ten years...some stuff just doesn't change...

I am only mid 30 and have the mind of an 80 year old. Probaly too much stuff in the old head and its getting a little crowded...ever know the feeling?

I've got about 15 yrs or so on you and boy do I ever know the feeling! :roll: I just had a brain fart on one of your questions I think that tcope caught me on ... :lol: it happens...

Posted: 05 Oct 2008 11:32 Post Subject:

Yep know all about those brain farts....like putting the sugar in the frig or throwing the t towel in the trash. Which did you enjoy more the multi or the auto?

Posted: 06 Oct 2008 09:40 Post Subject:

Well probably just sticking with auto's...less to remember :roll: when you only have one policy to deal with...I didn't like having to work say garage keepers liability or the odd policy that popped up...also too old to climb roofs now.. :lol: that got to be a drag too...so yep no question it's easier to work (basically) with one policy rather than ten or more... :wink:

Posted: 06 Oct 2008 04:07 Post Subject:

I bet there is really alot to remember. Funny I was thinking that when I read some of the answers to the posts.
What the heck is garage keepers liability? Is it when a garage has a few different cars in for repairs and it catches fire or what not? Or is it someone taking out personal insurance to cover their garage and contents?
I use to love heights..the older I get the more I stay firmly planted on the ground.

Posted: 13 Oct 2008 03:00 Post Subject: Loss of use for renters insurance - post Ike

Thanks for the help everyone.

I requested my Nationwide adjuster to reimburse my friend for 14 days stay but my adjuster did not pay for my stay at my friends place. He called his boss to clarify the policy and told me that in Texas, he cannot reimburse me for staying at someone's place.

It has to be a hotel bill :(

Athough, I told him that it was far cheaper and convenient for me to stay at friends place.

Posted: 14 Oct 2008 06:59 Post Subject:

Hey mm_ike, what I could gather from internet regarding loss of use payment in Texas, it seems that in Texas you can collect upto 20% of the coverage amount as living expenses if you're forced to evacuate the house. Unfortunately it hasn't mentioned anything regarding staying in hotels can only qualify for the compensations.

I'd suggest you to read the policy document carefully in order to understand the clause of loss of use. The standard homeowners policy offers coverage for staying away from home regardless its being the hotel, rented apartment or relative's and friend's home. However, if you have non-standardized Texas policy you may not receive all the standard coverage offered by the homeowners' plans.


Posted: 31 Oct 2008 02:45 Post Subject: thanks

Thank you all for your useful replies and expert opinions. I talked to my insurance adjuster and after talking to his boss, he gladly reimbursed my friend for staying at their place after Hurricane Ike in Houston.

I am so happy that I had renters insurance. I've been telling all of my friends to get renters insurance as a safety for those unfortunate times in life.

Posted: 31 Oct 2008 02:50 Post Subject:

Excellent news! I knew if you just talked to them, they would see the logic and take care of things.

It's all about communication. Talk to your agent, ask questions.

Knowledge is power.

Posted: 01 Nov 2008 01:31 Post Subject:

That really is good news mm ike. It sometimes takes something bad to happen for us to relize just how import having insurance really is. Thankfully you already had this covered by having renters insurance. I think it is great that you are passing the word around to your friends about the importance of insurance. They will probaly thank you for this someday.

Posted: 01 Mar 2009 08:26 Post Subject:

Hi. I'm new here and I have a question. If this isn't the proper venue for asking, please excuse me.

My mother lives in Houston. She is medically compromised in that she is required to be on oxygen 24 hours a day for severe COPD. When Ike hit, she lost power like everyone else. Thankfully, she had very minimal damage to her property - fence blew down, tree limbs downed, etc. But no damage to her house. But because her oxygen machine is electric, she could not stay there until her power was restored. She has loss of use in her homeowners policy, but the adjuster said it would only cover her living expenses if her house was damaged to the point of being unlivable. I understand that rationale but in her case, the lack of electricity made her home unlivable for 2 weeks because she requires oxygen. Is this something she can dispute?

Thanks for your time.

Posted: 02 Mar 2009 08:04 Post Subject:

Man if I was the adjuster on this one, I would have fought for ALE coverage for this one. Would I be wrong, sure.... but I would have still fought for it.

Posted: 02 Mar 2009 09:43 Post Subject:

I think the best way to know your options is by reading the policy document. You need to read the definition of ‘loss of use’ along with the exclusions. Have you received the denial in written? If its not in their letter head, the claim is still open for negotiation.

Posted: 02 Mar 2009 09:48 Post Subject:

Das, I too think on the humanitarian ground the insurance company should acknowledge the additional living expenses claim on this. What would you suggest to the poster in this regard? Does she have any chance? If so, how would she proceed?

Posted: 03 Mar 2009 01:10 Post Subject:

I know that in most policies that I have read, there has to be sudden and accidental direct physical loss to the dwelling for ALE to kick in, or damage to neighboring property that is a covered peril. Both would have to make the home uninhabitable. The key word that companies stick to is “direct physical damage”. In this case there seems to be no direct physical damage, but it can’t hurt to push the issue.

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