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What is Loss of Use insurance coverage? 
Loss of use pays to maintain your standard of living while your residence is being repaired or rebuilt in the event of a covered claim. In most cases, loss of use covers the excess of what you normally spend for certain things. For instance, let’s say your home is being repaired for water damage. You’re unable to cook, so you’ve been dining at the hotel restaurant. You normally spend $300 a week in groceries, but your tab at the restaurant was $600. Your loss of use coverage would take care of the difference—$300. Typically, there is no deductible on loss of use coverage.
Examples of loss of use/additional living expenses:

  • Temporary housing (hotel or rental home)
  • Additional fuel costs
  • Utilities
  • Food (groceries, restaurants, cooking supplies)
  • Storage
  • Moving costs

Coverage limits for loss of use: 
On a homeowners policy
Loss of use is often restricted to 10%—20% of your dwelling coverage, which is the amount on your policy to repair/rebuild your home. For example, if you have $200,000 for dwelling coverage, then you would be covered up to $20,000—$40,000 on a loss of use claim.
On a condominium policy
Limits for loss of use on condo insurance work similarly to a homeowners policy. Some condo insurers will combine your dwelling coverage and personal property coverages. For example, if you have a $60,000 limit for your dwelling and a $30,000 limit for personal property, then you’ll get 20% ($18,000) of the combined $90,000.
On a renters policy
Depending on your insurance company, it can be a flat amount (between $3,000 and $5,000) or a percentage of your personal property coverage.
Loss of use coverage on a rental property
Landlords are eligible for reimbursement of lost rental income through their loss of use coverage on a rental property. As always, this applies to covered loss only, up to the policy’s limits. A covered loss just means something your insurance company pays for or “covers.”

As a homeowner, it can be easy to overlook important home maintenance, but with winter approaching, there’s one task in particular you’ll want to complete. And that’s getting your furnace in tip-top shape.
That bulky metal box in your basement (or crawl space, attic, or even hall closet, depending on where you live) is what produces the warm air that keeps your house cozy, making it possibly the most important piece of winter equipment in your home.
The good news is that furnace maintenance is relatively easy: a combination of simple do-it-yourself tasks and an annual tune-up by a professional. Here’s how to get it done.
Furnace Tasks You Can Do
Inspect the air filters. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program suggests doing a monthly check of your furnace’s air filter and replacing it when it looks dirty. Frequent changes prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris, which can reduce efficiency and lead to equipment failure. Changing the filter is especially important if you’re new to the home—who knows what dust and grime others left behind? Tip: To make sure you’re buying the right filter, check your existing one; the size is usually printed on the side.
Maintain a carbon monoxide detector. A failing furnace can leak carbon monoxide, so you’ll want to keep a battery-operated or battery-backup carbon monoxide detector in your basement (and every level of your home), according to the National Fire Protection Organization, placing it at least 15 feet away from the furnace to avoid a false alarm. Tip: Change detector batteries in the spring and fall, on daylight saving day, when you change your clocks.
Keep vents clean and clear. Before you turn on your system for the season, remove all the heating vent covers from the floors and ceilings around your home, and vacuum out the ducts. Dust, pet dander, and all those toy soldier pieces that seemingly go missing can collect there, causing your furnace to work harder. Tip: When cleaning ceiling vents spread a sheet on the floor and wearing goggles to shield your eyes from falling dust.
Tasks Best Left to the Professionals
Annual tune-up. A pre-season checkup by a professional is an absolute must to help prevent costly problems down the road. A heating contractor will make sure that your thermostat is working accurately and that your system is cycling on and off properly, and will typically go through a series of checks and tasks, including:
  •          Tightening loose electrical connections
  •          Oiling all the moving parts
  •          Inspecting all gas connections

Did you know there are specific times when we highly recommend reviewing your homeowners insurance policy?  There may be changes in your life or to your home that leave your current coverage or policy inadequate for your protection needs.  Please remember that as your agent, we are here to provide assistance and guidance in assessing your policy.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to our office. 1. Policy Renewal When your policy comes up for renewal each, we recommend reviewing the policy for any changes to the coverages or premiums.   Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has the company made any changes in coverage since last year?
  • Does my policy now include a separate deductible for risks like hail?
  • Should I raise the deductible to save money?
  • Am I taking advantage of all available discounts?
  • Do I need to raise the amount of coverage for liability, personal possessions or the structure?
  • If I don’t have one, do I need flood, earthquake or an umbrella policy?

2. Major Improvements If you have made any major improvements, make sure you have the proper limits to cover the improvements.  Also, if you have make any large personal purchases for items like jewelry or high-priced electronics, you may also want to consider adding a personal floater to your policy.  A personal floater will provide more coverage and higher limits for those types of items. If you have made major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, enclosing a porch or expanding a kitchen or bathroom, you risk being underinsured if you don’t report the increase in square footage to your insurance company. Don’t forget about new structures outside of your home. If you have built a gazebo, a new shed for your tools or installed a pool or hot tub, you should notify your insurance company as well. 3. You have made your home safer If you have installed a state-of-the art fire/burglar alarm system or upgraded your heating, plumbing or electrical system, make sure that your insurance company knows about these improvements. You may qualify for additional discounts. 4. Major lifestyle changes Marriage, divorce, or adult children who move back into the family home, can all affect your homeowners insurance. When people move in or move out, they take their belongings with them. And you may need additional coverage if there is a sizable increase in the value of the belongings in your home. Starting a home-based business can also trigger changes in your coverage. You will need to get additional coverage for business liability and equipment. If the business is your primary source of income, you may need a Businessowners Package Policy (BOP).  You can find out more about insuring a home-based business here.