Key West residents may be forced from their homes because of the threat of hurricanes, and incur costs related to securing their property while they are away from it, and other costs including food, gas, and housing during a storm. Some homeowner’s insurance policies cover these losses, but it is best to discuss the Florida weather issues at the time of a policy purchase. Hurricanes affect Key West Florida approximately every 2.74 years on average. A mandatory evacuation of residents is not issued unless a Category 3, or greater hurricane is expected. Experienced insurance claims lawyers can assist individuals with policy reviews to make sure they have appropriate loss of use coverages, and assist with claims that are submitted after a storm.
Loss of use coverages.
Most homeowners’ insurance policies include loss of use coverages that may address:
Additional living expenses coverage (ALE insurance): ALE insurance reimburses homeowners for additional living expenses resulting from having to live away from home after a covered loss.
Fair rental value: As a homeowner renting out a property, fair rental value, also known as loss of rent insurance, reimburses for lost rental income when renting a home and it becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
Prohibited use: Prohibited use is included under loss of use coverage. Prohibited use applies when a governmental authority prohibits residents from accessing their undamaged homes. Even when a home was not damaged, owners can file a loss of use claim for additional living expenses without damage, because they are restricted from going home. Coverage could also include meals and incidental expenses. This coverage is similar to, but slightly different from the coverage that kicks in when a home becomes uninhabitable. That coverage is called loss of use coverage, and details will vary depending on the policy and the company issuing it.
Homeowners should be familiar with the coverages in their policies, and an insurance attorney can outline specific requirements for loss of use claims in Key West Florida, resulting from enforced storm evacuations. In addition to keeping receipts for temporary housing and incidental expenses, individuals should make a list of claim-relevant information:
- The date and type of loss,
- The location and any injuries sustained,
- Other people besides residents involved,
- Condition of the home,
- Detailed description of damaged contents,
- Information regarding temporary repairs or complete replacement,
- Utility department records,
- Be aware of timeline to file a claim with insurance company,
- Keep a file of documents, records, pictures of items, receipts for costs of items and email transmissions of communication with the insurance company, as well as notations on phone calls or any other interaction having to do with the loss from water damage.
When individuals find themselves in insurance disputes arising out of claims for loss of use, or prohibited use of a home when a hurricane threatens Key West, the Shochet Law Group can help file, or dispute an insurance claim.
Shochet Law Group
1500 Gateway Blvd, Suite 220
Boynton Beach, FL 33426