Welcome to a series of posts regarding questions relevant to loss of use claims. We hope these questions prompt discussions within your team. Perhaps they will assist in creating “best practices” when handling your loss of use claims. Of course, we suggest comparing our answers to your specific Additional Living Expense (a.l.e.) policies.
As a general rule, when a policyholder is requesting payment for Additional Living Expenses, not all requests are covered, and they must meet certain criteria before being paid.
Sarah Fecht, a veteran ALE Housing Solutions National Account Manager, addresses two common scenarios regarding the insured utilizing their policy’s Additional Living Expense over opting to receive a Fair Rental Value (FRV) payout.
Fair Rental Value, Pets & Special Needs
Q. A landlord charges a $500 one-time fee to allow a pet on the lease. Is that fee reimbursable?
A. Anyone that has pets knows they are special “family” members. Particularly after a traumatic loss like a fire, tornado or hurricane, it is important to the family to keep their pets close and secure. Insurance companies and temporary housing companies do their best to keep your family together when setting up temporary housing. At ALE Solutions, we make every effort to place the family in a pet-friendly environment. In most cases, if a family has a pet prior to the home loss, the pet fee would be covered out of the a.l.e. coverage since it is an additional cost not normally incurred if you were still in your home. If there is a non-refundable pet fee involved, the temporary housing company will invoice this as a separate line item one-time fee.
Q. The insured’s home had a wheelchair ramp. Would a temporary ramp built at an otherwise ideal rental home in the neighborhood have coverage?
A. The insurance company’s goal for temporary housing is to place the family in not only a home that is like-kind in quality, but also equip the family to live as they did before being displaced. This ideal housing does not necessarily apply to putting up a basketball hoop in the driveway at the temporary house. However, in the situation of a wheelchair ramp, it is not a preference but a necessity for the convenience for day to day activity. With the landlord’s permission, a wheelchair ramp would be covered by the insurance company, and in many cases can be built by the same contractor used for repairing the family’s damaged residence.
Stay tuned for more questions and answers regarding ALE and FRV…
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/KenWiedemann