A simples guide

Alternative accommodation insurance

Nobody wants to be left out in the cold – so do you know if your current home insurance policy includes alternative accommodation insurance? 


What is alternative accommodation insurance?

It means that if your house suddenly becomes uninhabitable because of an event that you’re insured for (such as a flood or fire), then your policy provider will stump up the cost of you staying somewhere else. Most home insurance policies will include alternative accommodation cover but it’s worth checking just to be sure.

fire damage

More on alternative accommodation insurance

In most cases the alternative accommodation cover should provide you with like for like, so if you normally live in a four bed detached house then your insurance provider should put you up in the same. The aim is to provide you with accommodation that will let you carry on as normal and shouldn’t stop you from commuting to work, school or taking part in any other leisure activities you usually get up to.

If your home is only going to be uninhabitable for a few days or nights, your insurer might decide to cover the cost of staying in a hotel rather than trying to find an alternative like for like (just check the small print on room service – you might regret ordering that midnight feast). You can of course stay with friends or family and in this instance, some insurers may provide a food allowance.

What do I need to know if I am a landlord?

If you rent out property and your contract states that you will provide alternative accommodation for tenants, you might also want to check that your landlord’s insurance includes it.

What about my pets and belongings?

Policies will differ according to provider so it’s important to check the details. Some insurers will cover the cost of temporarily rehoming your pets and others will also fork out for the cost of storing your belongings whilst your home is being repaired.

How much am I covered for?

That depends on what policy you’ve agreed on with your provider. Providers often have different levels of cover and this may dictate how much you can claim for alternative accommodation.

When can I make a claim for alternative accommodation if it’s under my home insurance?

You can make a claim if you’re insured for an event that has made your house uninhabitable. This could include a flood, fire, storm damage, subsidence and even vandalism. You should always check what your policy covers as insurers will all have a different opinion of what ‘uninhabitable’ actually means. In most cases it would cover:

- Loss of water
- Loss of all sanitary facilities such as toilets, showers and baths
- Loss of heating (especially during the winter months)
- Structural damage directly caused by the insured event such as a storm

Is there anything else I should consider about alternative accommodation?

You should always read the fine print of any insurance policy you take out. But before you book yourself in at the Ritz and flick through the telephone directory to find a builder – just check whether your insurer has any clauses about where you can stay or who does repairs. Some insurers like to use their own network of trusted tradespeople and calling in your best friend’s dad or your local handyman might invalidate your claim.

What’s next?

Now you know what alternative accommodation is, why not see if your current policy comes up to scratch? We have a range of trusted home insurance providers to help find a policy that’s right for you. So don’t risk being told there’s no room at the inn – start comparing the market today.

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