When the unfortunate occurs, the damage could happen to your home and the items you have within, making your home unlivable. If this is due to an insured event such as a flood or fire, then you might be able to claim the cost of staying at a temporary accommodation such as a hotel or Airbnb for yourself, any family members, and pets, for the duration of your home reconstruction or repair work.
For most home insurances, a clause within the policy documents that are automatically included upon purchase will provide for temporary accommodation should your home become unlivable as a result of the insured event occurring such as a flood, fire, or other emergencies of a similar nature. However, the claims cannot just be made willy-nilly. Instead, a certified inspector will have to confirm and certify that your home has reached a point of no return either due to structural damage or other such damage that it cannot be lived in by a reasonable person.
Making Claims For Temporary Accommodation
The claim amount is not automatically approved or provided for once a disaster hits. Instead, you will have to make the claim against your insurer, and wait for them to agree to pay out the money.
When the claim is made, your insurer will be able to advise you on what types of temporary accommodation are covered by your insurance policy, or what the payout amount will be, conditional on the fact that your home is now not suitable for living in.
What Is The Period Of Coverage For Temporary Accommodation?
This varies from one insurer to another, but as a general rule of thumb, the amount you receive is based on how much your home’s rental value per week is on the open market. Some insurers also pay anywhere between one to 12% of your apartment’s sum insured. Do note however that this payout usually ends 12 months after the incident occurs.
What Kind Of Emergencies WIll Result In A Payout?
To prevent insurance fraud, your home must be certified uninhabitable after an incident occurs by an inspector from the insurer, or by order of local authorities. Some common incidents which will lead to a payout include fires (and bushfires), earthquakes resulting in structural damage or building collapse, explosions, rioting or looting which has turned violent, floods, impacts, or accidental damage such as if a neighbor is renovating and accidentally digs into the foundations of your home.
During bushfire season, it may be common for authorities to order an evacuation or bar you from heading home for a certain period. Do note that this may not be covered under most policies. Payouts will only be disbursed if your home is destroyed by the bushfire, but not for orders to evacuate due to bushfire threats.
You should double-check against your product disclosure statement to see if your policy covers you for evacuations ordered by the authorities or not.
What To Do If You Encounter An Emergency Situation
If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, or if there have been signs of violence and rioting in your area, then you must take steps to ensure the safety of your person and your home. To check if you live in a disaster-prone area such as for floods or earthquakes, your local authorities or the city hall will be best placed to advise you. Talking to the neighbors is also a good way to gather this information, and could help you to mitigate the damages from any such events occurring.
During times of relative safety and peace, you should be sure to pack an emergency to-go bag stored safely in your home with easy access to it should you need to grab it and run. This bag should be sturdy and waterproof and should be regularly updated to ensure its contents are not expired and are safe for use. The contents of this bag ought to include a basic first aid kit, medications that you and your family or pets regularly use, basic toiletries including feminine products, sufficient potable water for three days and some water purification tablets, copies of identification documents and insurance documents, warm clothing and bedding, tinned food and a can opener and waterproof sleeping bags.
You will also want to have a copy of the emergency numbers handy so you know who to call should you require assistance. This could be the local fire department, the local police, or hospitals. Children should be taught to memorize these numbers, as well as a safe meetup point to head towards should the family gets separated during the evacuation.
Be Sure To Pay Your Premiums On Time
This is very important, as it ensures that your home insurance policy is renewed and will cover you in the event of an unfortunate incident. Since most policies won’t cover you if you take them up within 72 hours of the event occurring, you will want to ensure that you’ve got a good track record of renewals such that your policy doesn’t lapse as a result of non-payment.
Be Prepared And Stay Alert
You should be sure to stay up to date with the news. Often, any severe weather events such as bushfires or storms will be announced via the local news, giving residents time to react or prepare for the impending inclement weather. If it is still safe to do so, you should park your car indoors in a sheltered garage, and secure all loose outdoor items such as sun chairs or gardening hoses. Try your best also to clear your home of potential hazards, and tape up your windows to reinforce them. You should also collect as much potable water as possible in containers, and charge your phone as best as you can so you have a means of calling for help. Switch off the stove at once if you are cooking, to prevent gas leaks.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to be prepared for the next inclement weather event and ensure the safety of your home and loved ones.