03 July 2019
If your home is damaged by an insured peril (such as fire or water) and is rendered uninhabitable your insurers will provide alternative accommodation for you, your family and pets for the duration of the time it takes to repair your home, subject to any policy conditions.
What is Alternative Accommodation?
Under some policies there is a time limit when payment will cease so it is important that you understand what this limit is if it exists and also to ensure the level of monies available to cover alternative accommodation are adequate as often a period of protracted un-occupancy is necessary and it may be that this applies not only to you but to many other leaseholders in a block of apartments.
Insurers definition of ‘uninhabitable’ is that you do not have a kitchen or bathroom or sleeping facilities. Being inconvenienced by mess or damage to walls or ceilings is not sufficient for insurers to consider a claim for alternative accommodation. If you believe you require alternative accommodation you must seek approval from the insurers prior to making arrangements or you may be liable for some or all of the expenses incurred.
If it is necessary for you to move out of your home it may be some or all of your contents will also need to be moved. On occasion, the buildings insurance will pick up the cost of moving and storing your contents but this will depend entirely on the circumstances of the loss. The buildings policy will certainly not cover any damage caused to your personal contents so it is important that you consider purchasing contents insurance in case of damage.
The alternative accommodation will be considered in line with the type of accommodation you are living in at the time of the incident. However, on occasion, it may only be necessary to move out for a day or two and under these circumstances, a hotel is often offered or policyholders will decide to stay with a family member to keep disruption to their lives to a minimum.
If the damage to your home is severe it may be necessary for you to vacate your home for a protracted period. If this is the case insurers will look to find you a property that you can rent for the appropriate length of time it takes to repair your home.
Generally speaking, a loss adjuster would deal with a large loss and would be instrumental in agreeing with you the level and type of alternative accommodation that is suitable for your needs. It may be that in the case of a block of apartments, many apartments are affected and the length of time it will take to carry out repairs will be many months.
The usual way of dealing with finding alternative accommodation for multiple flats is for the loss adjuster to appoint a specialist company to perform this task who has knowledge of properties for rent in your location and can quickly get the ball rolling.