Protecting Your Beloved Possessions

An Overview Of ALE Coverage For Homeowner's Insurance

If you are shopping for homeowner's insurance, then you will invariably hear about additional living expenses coverage (ALE). The following questions and answers should provide you with a good overview of ALE coverage.

What Is It?

Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage compensates you for the extra expenses you may incur if you have to stay out of your home after a disaster. For example, if a fire outbreak razes your house, you will need a place to stay until your house is reconstructed. That would mean spending more money than you would have spent while living in your house. In such a case, ALE coverage compensates you the difference between what you would have spent at home and what you have spent in your alternative dwelling for the repair duration.

What Does It Cover?

An ALE claim doesn't cover every imaginable expense you might have while living out of your home. The coverage only applies to reasonable living expenses that you have to incur by virtue of having to stay outside your usual primary residence. Below are some examples of specific expenses for which ALE might pay for:

  • Restaurant meals (since they are usually more expensive than home-cooked meals)
  • Increased commute costs if you have to live further from your place of work
  • Rental costs since you wouldn't have paid those in your home
  • Moving costs if you have to move some things out of your home

In short, ALE may pay for any extra expense if it has been necessitated by you not being able to live in your home. You can't take a month-long vacation outside the state and expect ALE to pay for it because that is not a necessary expense. Also, your temporary living quarters should be comparable to your home; ALE won't pay for expensive or luxurious accommodation above your normal dwelling.

How Do You Maximize an ALE Claim?

Everyone who makes an insurance claim wants to get the maximum possible compensation. When it comes to ALE, below are some of the things you should do so you can get your full compensation:

  • Know your insurance policy limits and sub-limits on ALE so you don't exceed the limits.
  • Document everything and preserve the receipts so you can prove the expenses if you need to.
  • Let your insurance company help you find accommodation so they don't accuse you of choosing an unreasonably expensive place.
  • Provide proof of your normal expenses to avoid accusations of living beyond your means.

It may be prudent to get pre-authorization for some expenses when in doubt. The closer you work with your insurance company, the more likely it is that all your expenses will be compensated.

For more information on your homeowners' insurance options, contact an insurance company.