What are Additional Living Expenses? (ALE)
A majority of homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for additional living expenses (ALE) incurred as the result of a covered peril. Additional Living Expenses (ALE) serve the purpose of reimbursing the policyholder for expenses that are above normal household living expenses in order to maintain your normal standard of living. While some homeowner insurance policies have no limit for ALE coverage, others may limit the ALE coverage to a certain percentage of the dwelling coverage. The insurance company will pay for the shortest time required to repair or replace the damage, or if you choose to permanently relocate, the shortest time required for your household to settle elsewhere.
When a claim occurs, Seltser and Goldstein Public Adjusters is responsible for reviewing your homeowners policy to understand the policy language in order to maximize your settlement. Additional Living Expenses (ALS) benefits are not mentioned at all on the declarations page, but coverage is provided. Other policies mention the benefits on the declarations page, but the time limitation in another area. Each policy is unique and it is our job to understand your policy in its entirety. The following are examples of household expenditures that are generally reimbursable as an additional living expense or loss of use benefit:
Housing Costs while your home is being repaired, cleaned, or renovated. If this process takes more than a few days, it is worth your while to look for affordable housing and utilize the ALE benefits to your advantage.
Food Expense that are above your regular costs of dining. For example, if you have to stay in a hotel and eat out for any meal, the extra costs that you pay for food will be fully recoverable.
Additional Transportation Costs that result from the loss of your home. For example, if you relocate to a new area which is further away from your child’s school, work, or puts you out of your daily routine your increased costs of gas and transportation is covered under your Additional Living Expenses (ALE).
Kennel Costs while you are in temporary housing. If your pets need additional storage while your home is undergoing cleaning or renovations, you are allowed to submit the cost for proper reimbursement.
An important factor in order to be properly reimbursed for the expenses incurred as a result of the use of loss of your home is proper documentation. You MUST save all your receipts and track all purchases that qualify for ALE benefits. If placement in temporary housing stretches for some time, it may be in your best interest to set up a separate bank account that you can use for this sole purpose. If your claim is not properly documented, the insurance company has the right to deny payment and you may be responsible for paying out of pocked expenses that could have been easily avoided.
If you have any additional questions regarding Additional Living Expenses benefits, please contact Seltser and Goldstein Public Adjusters. We have assisted thousands of homeowners just like you recover financially from catastrophic losses to get the most benefit from the Additional Living expense portion of your claim that you are entitled to under your homeowner’s policy.