I have a total loss from fire in my apartment. My policy states one year for coverage, and my insurance company has been reluctantly extending my ALE every 10 days or so. I am told they will not extend it further, and I have the hotel wanting me to pay or leave. I am on my second adjuster with currently over a thousand dollars of expenses submitted for review and no answer as to when I will be reimbursed. I have asked to speak to a manager on three different occasions, and am pacified with “I’ll review and get back to you today.” They offered me a cash out but were not specific as to what exactly the cash out would cover. I still have a storage unit and was told that when I find a place to move they would reimburse me for having my items moved from storage. This is a nightmare and I have extenuating circumstances that make finding a place very difficult – and although it’s not anything I would consider I am actually contemplating staying at my hotel, where I am now considered a resident, without paying. I am on a small fixed income–my apartment was subsidized with a housing choice voucher or section 8 and I had been paying my portion as rent abatement. My adjuster asked how I wanted payment: direct deposit (I said no) then a check (I said no), I want a letter emailed and also a hard copy to my mailing address that clearly states what your offer is covering. Is this wrong, am I not understanding something? I feel bullied and also not sure how it is possible for them to determine what a reasonable length of time is – this situation calls for more time. It’s scary I may end up in my car and would appreciate knowing what if anything I can do to avoid this.
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.
A good first step is to get as much information as you can from your insurance company. It sounds like you asked for information about your claim already. If you didn’t ask for all the information in writing, it is a good idea to send a letter (or email) to your adjuster. UP has a sample letter on the website. (https://uphelp.org/claim-guidance-publications/sample-letter-requesting-information-about-insurance-benefits-for-temporary-living-expenses-ale-or-loss-of-use/)
It can also be helpful to tell the insurance company, in writing, about all your problems communicating with them. You may want to add something to your ALE letter describing your efforts to communicate and the difficulties in getting a response.
As for your questions about whether this fair or what your options are to make your insurance company act fairly, UP cannot offer legal advice. We do have a resource where people who were dealing with ALE questions shared information. https://uphelp.org/claim-guidance-publications/survivors-speak-additional-living-expense-ale-loss-of-use/
If you feel like you can’t handle this on your own, you may want to contact a public adjuster on an attorney. Here is a link to a directory of professionals who may be able to help. https://uphelp.org/sponsor-location/california/