We recently had a request for a blog topic discussing additional living expenses (“ALE”) options following the loss of a home and subsequent evacuation. Under many insurance policies, not only is your real and personal property covered, but you may be entitled to additional living expenses, meaning food and housing costs, relocation, storage, meals when there’s no access to a kitchen, furniture rentals, and additional transportation expenses.

There are companies that specialize in servicing these needs following a loss and can assist policyholders in both finding temporary housing as soon as possible and in the long term working with the insurance company to get you back on your feet. Often, once you submit a claim with an insurance company, an agent may put you in touch with such a service to begin securing housing. But remember you have options. While an insurance company may recommend a particular service or company, it’s important to research all options before signing any contract. Check references before rushing into anything. This is also true with other remediation services an insurance company may recommend performing work on your claim.

Similarly, confirm prior to signing any agreements or contract that the insurance company will cover whatever expenses you will incur as a result of the loss. No policyholder wants to be stuck in the position where ALE coverage has run out and temporary housing is still necessary. This is also true where a policyholder signs contract with an ALE service and finds the insurance company refuses to cover the expenses. One way to avoid this is to request a cash advance from your insurance company for ALE. It’s also imperative to read your policy carefully so you know exactly what you are entitled to.