A couple stands in a hotel room with packed suitcases after being temporarily relocated from their damaged apartment.

Temporary Housing & Renters Insurance

Updated April 5, 2021 . AmFam Team

Being temporarily relocated? Learn more about temporary relocation as a renter, additional living expenses and coverage options with American Family Insurance.

Sometimes called additional or temporary living expenses coverage, most renters insurance policies cover temporary relocation expenses after a covered event. Here’s how insurance for temporary housing works: suppose the place you’re renting experiences a covered loss, like a fire in the kitchen. When the damage from the loss renders it uninhabitable, you may be able to file a claim for temporary relocation expenses. And that can be a big help when property damage to your rental qualifies as a covered peril.

The coverage can help pay for extra costs you incur as a result of relocating, like food purchases, lodging expenses, and laundry costs. Because the unexpected can strike at any time — potentially leaving you without a place to live — it’s important to know how your renters coverage works, and under what circumstances you can qualify for temporary relocation coverage.

So, does renters insurance cover temporary housing? It certainly can help pay for allowed expenses after a covered loss, once you’ve paid your deductible. Today, let’s explore how renters insurance temporary housing coverage works. We’ll break down the coverage into a few examples to see what it can do for you in the event you need to relocate from your rental unit and into temporary housing.

How Does Temporary Living Expenses Work?

Also referred to as loss of use coverage, temporary living expense coverage helps if your apartment becomes unlivable in the wake of a covered loss — like a fire or tornado — and you need to relocate while repairs are being made. These expenses can include things like:

  • Hotel or short-term apartment rental fees
  • Food and meals, including restaurants bills
  • Laundry costs and related purchases like detergent and dryer sheets
  • Storage fees for household items you’re required to relocate while your rental unit’s getting work done
  • Parking and transportation costs for increases in mileage

These costs can really add up quickly — and you may have to pay out of pocket without the right renter’s insurance in place. When does renters insurance cover temporary relocation, and under what circumstances? To receive the funds from your insurance company to cover temporary relocation costs, you’ll need to file a claim on your renters insurance and pay your deductible after the claim is approved. You’ll also need to keep all your receipts so you can show your agent how much your temporary living expenses have cost you.

Does renters insurance cover relocation costs if you fail to provide receipts? Not typically. In most cases, your insurance company will only reimburse you for your itemized expenses, rather than hand you a lump sum. You’ll need to continually submit receipts to your renters insurance company to be reimbursed. Keep in mind, your renters insurance has coverage limits for things like temporary living expenses. Be sure to check with your agent (Opens in a new tab) to better understand your individual policy’s coverage limits.

What Does Temporary Living Expenses Cover?

Temporary living expense coverage can help to pay for living expenses you wouldn’t normally incur when living at your home. So, if you need to pay for a hotel room or need to eat at restaurants more because you don’t have kitchen access, those are additional expenses that would be covered by your renters insurance.

Take a look at a few different kinds of additional living expenses that loss of use coverage may help to pay for:

Temporary housing

Through your renters insurance, you’re entitled to housing that is comparable to your original living situation — but not housing that exceeds it. If you were originally living in a studio apartment, you can expect to be reimbursed for a single hotel room, studio apartment short-term rental or something similar.


Generally, if your option is to stay somewhere that doesn’t offer access to a kitchen, you may be reimbursed for the cost of eating at restaurants while you have been temporarily relocated. This is because it’s considered an additional expense.


If you’ve been temporarily relocated and now need to use a laundromat to do your laundry — when you usually had access to an in-unit washer and dryer — that could qualify as an additional expense.

Storage fees

If you need to store things temporarily while your rental unit is being restored, you may be reimbursed for the costs of storing your possessions in a secure, locked storage unit.

Parking and transportation expenses

When your new temporary housing is located further away from typical destinations — and you’ve now got a longer commute to work — you may be reimbursed for added travel expenses that you normally wouldn’t have to pay for.

Get Temporary Relocation Coverage with American Family Today

Temporary living expense coverage is a great resource to have available as a renter, should the unexpected happen. And with other great additional coverages, you can protect your finances from other costly issues. Our electrical appliance coverage is another great example smart protection available to renters. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to understand exactly what kind of coverages will better help you protect everything you’ve worked so hard for.

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