Tenant Insurance: Additional Living Expenses Explained

How to Use Additional Living Expense Coverage

Ever ponder the consequences of being unable to remain in your dwelling during or after a claim? Tenant insurance not solely protects possessions and liability; it also covers Additional Living Expenses.

If you had the chance to skim through your policy pages, you might have noticed this coverage pop up occasionally. Additional Living Expenses (ALE), commonly overlooked, may become a go-to if you understand its benefits. Simply, it compensates you for costs due to an insurable incident making your home uninhabitable, forcing you to move out temporarily.

What is Additional Living Expense Coverage?

Suppose your home becomes unlivable due to a loss covered by your policy (i.e. Fire). In that case, your insurance company will help you maintain your current standard of living by compensating you for any additional expenses you incur. Additional Living Expense coverage helps to keep you from crashing on your friend’s couch while your home is being repaired.

What is covered?

The key word here is additional. This coverage is not intended to send you on a mini vacation to the Moose Jaw Spa for a week while your home is being fixed. Your insurance policy is designed to help you maintain the same living standard you experienced before the loss occurred. For example, suppose you must rent an apartment across town after a loss and hire a moving company. In that case, your insurance policy will compensate you for those additional moving expenses. Other expenses that your insurance company might cover include additional rent, restaurant meals, kenneling for your pet, and storage fees.

Common ALE Expenses:

  • Rental home
  • Laundry
  • Furnishings
  • Mileage and utilities
  • Pet Boarding
  • Storage

What isn’t covered?

Additional Living Expense coverage won’t cover just anything like most insurance coverage. As mentioned previously, this coverage is here to help you maintain your standard of Living, not improve it. Let’s say a pipe bursts in your apartment, and now you need to find somewhere else to live. Still, instead of renting a one-bedroom apartment similar to yours, you end up moving into a three-bedroom unit on the top floor. your home insurance policy may not reimburse your extra rent expenses. It’s essential that if you have a claim, you get your costs approved by an adjustor, don’t just assume you’ll be covered.

Other Important Details

Your property insurance policy can only provide reimbursement if your insurer knows what amount they are reimbursing. So keep all your receipts while you’re temporarily displaced from your home.  Need to be compensated between the ordinary expense for food and the new cost of having to eat out at a restaurant because you’re at a hotel? That means you need to keep every restaurant receipt! Photos of these receipts are an excellent way to provide proof of expenses. 

Every insurance company is different, so review with your broker how much Additional Living Expense coverage your policy includes. No one wants to think about their home being taken away, but if the worst does happen, having a policy can provide financial support when you need it most. And remember, track all your expenses and keep your receipts!

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