Whether flood, fire or another cause, when your home is damaged and you can't stay at home, you're left wondering what to do and where to stay. Some people stay with friends or family while their home is being repaired, but for many that may not be an option.

That's when the question arises, "Does my homeowner's insurance cover temporary housing costs or other additional living expenses?"

Flat Lay Lifestyle 2017-14

Does my HFA homeowner's insurance cover additional living expenses?

Most of our insurance policies do include additional living expenses or loss of home use. At HomeFirst, this might be classified as a "heightened cost."

Most of our homeowner's insurance policies have a maximum amount that varies by policy, but the maximum for additional living expenses is commonly between 10-20% of your dwelling coverage.

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So, how do I receive payment for "heightened costs"?

If you have this included in your HomeFirst insurance policy, you can receive the amount that the policy covers for additional living expenses if your home becomes not livable due to a covered loss.

This varies by policy, but you may receive either:

We will mail you a check once we have worked with you to determine your total heightened costs based on your home not being livable.

If the policy you have purchased does not include coverage for additional living expenses, you will not be able to receive payment for heightened living costs.

When do I receive payments?

The amount of additional living payments and the timeline for payment varies according to the policy, so you should review the specific conditions of your policy. Some policies provide additional living expense payments for a week after the claim is paid, while others pay until the home is repaired. A HomeFirst representative is able to discuss the details of your specific policy with you!

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How do I know what counts as additional living expenses?

HomeFirst representative will work with you to figure out your typical daily expenses. Additional living expenses will be costs going above your typical daily cost of living that were incurred due to not having a livable home.

Could this be the expense of staying in a hotel or temporary housing instead? Possibly. Could the expense of having to eat out be covered? Again, possibly.

What your homeowner's insurance policy covers as we help you get back in your home will vary by your typical daily cost of living and the type of coverage you have chosen.

How to Make Receiving Your Heightened Cost Payments Easier

We ask that anyone claiming a hotel stay, food or any heightened cost provide a receipt or estimate for your cost. The temporary heightened cost should be comparable to your current cost of living and should be caused due to the fact that you're unable to stay in your home.

When major damage happens to your home investment, HomeFirst is here to help you as you wait to get back into your home. When you choose coverage that includes additional living expenses, HomeFirst helps you with the higher costs that could come with temporary housing while you get your home back to normal.