Does Your Home Insurance Include Additional Living Expenses?

You may need additional living expenses coverage in your home insurance policy.

If a natural disaster were to destroy your home structure, you may be forced to move out of your home until it’s repaired. When you cannot live in your home because of a loss covered by your home insurance policy, such as a hurricane or tornado, your insurer is able to reimburse you for certain expenses that you occur while you’re living away from home. This is called additional living expenses coverage.

What does this coverage include?
The additional living expenses coverage in your home insurance is designed to cover the costs associated with loss of use of your home, including those of a hotel room, restaurant meals, and transportation.

How am I reimbursed?
You must file a claim with your home insurance company as soon as possible. Generally, this coverage will pay for the gap between pre- and post- disaster housing and food. For example, if you usually spend $500 a month for food, but you now spend $750 because you have lost use of your kitchen and must eat out, your insurer will may pay for the $250 difference.

What is not included?
Items that are not considered additional living expenses are belongings such as toiletries, clothing, temporary repairs to your home, entertainment expenses (unfortunately, going to the movies because you’ve lost use of your TV doesn’t count!), and your normal mortgage bills.

Can I obtain coverage if my home was damaged by a flood?
The damages caused by floods are not covered at all in home insurance policies, and most separate flood insurance policies do not provide additional living expenses coverage. Talk to a trusted insurance agent for advice on obtaining coverage.

So that your additional living expenses are covered by your California home insurance in the event of a disaster, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency.

Preparing Your California Home For The Fall Season

The California homeowners guide to getting their home ready for the coming cold.

Can you believe September’s almost already over? If the end of this month snuck up on you the way it did us, you might find yourself scrambling to get your house ready for the coming colder seasons.

We can help! To make maintaining and preparing your home for winter easy this fall, use these handy tips.

  • Clear Your Water Heater: What’s better than a hot shower after being out in the cold air? To make sure you can enjoy that feeling this winter, drain your water heater and clear out any debris that’s collected.
  • Seal It Up: Check your doors and windows for any cracks that will let hot air out, increasing your heating bill and your home’s chill. When you find them, seal them up.
  • Clean Your Gutters: With the winter comes an increase in precipitation. Make sure your home can handle it by cleaning out your gutters and drainpipes. Double-check that all of your downspouts are still pouring down a grade away from your foundation.
  • Get Your Chimney Inspected: Don’t try to clean your chimney yourself; have a professional come out and handle the job for you. While you have him or her there, make sure the damper gets checked so you can seal out cold winter drafts.

Another crucial aspect of preparing your home for the coming season is reviewing your homeowners insurance coverage. Do you have the right policy to protect your home? To make sure you do, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. Our committed California team can help you get the right coverage to fully safeguard your home this fall and throughout the rest of the year.

Can I Insure My Vacant Property While I Wait To Sell?

Selling a home is a notoriously stressful and overwhelming process. The experience becomes even more trying if the home does not move quickly. You have landed a job near your new primary residence, therefore, you have no choice but to leave the home vacant until it sells. However, there are a variety of insurance implications that change when you leave a home vacant for a period of time, factors that leave you at risk. Compiled is a list of what you must know when it comes to leaving a home vacant:

  • There are a variety of factors that classify a home as vacant. Whenever the utilities have been shut off, the home is classified as vacant. Additionally, when there is not enough furniture for a reasonable person to reside in the home, the home is categorized as vacant.
  • Depending on your specific insurance provider, you may be denied of claims for a vacant property. Some insurance companies will even drop your policy altogether.
  • Since there are more opportunities for vandalism, theft, and fire when the home is vacant, insurance companies view this vacant property as a high risk.
  • In the event that your vacant property is vandalized, your insurance company may require you to pay out of pocket for the repairs.
  • Since requirements and details vary across insurance carriers, you must contact your agent to determine your next course of action when it comes to handling your vacant home. You will want to know exactly what coverage is included and what is excluded. Some companies will provide you with coverage at an escalated premium.
  • Your best course of action may be to purchase an endorsement for your homeowners’ insurance policy, extending coverage to your vacant property.

Often, selling a home does not follow the quick timeline you were planning for. If you may be forced to leave your home vacant for a period of time, contact the insurance experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency to find out how we can best protect you, and your property.