Unless you lost your home

Property insurance agent Dave Noble of Hemet is fielding calls from local residents who were mandatorily evacuated during the Cranston Fire last week.

The “Loss of Use” coverage in an insurance policy gives protection for anyone who loses a body part, an automotive, a piece of property, etc. In the case of the Cranston Fire, evacuees no longer could use their homes.

Often, this coverage does on require a deductible, meaning you are paid outright for expenses to reside somewhere else until you are allowed to return.

But in this case, where residents were only gone for a few days, Noble said to file for this coverage with your insurance company is “a stupid idea. Because you lose your claim-free discount which can be as much as 15 percent,” he said. “If you’re gone for a month, that different — that’s a big loss. But for such a short period of time, it’s not smart economically.”

Noble said that’s the case for all 14 of the home insurance companies with which he works.

“Living Expenses” coverage is another question. The loss of refrigerated and frozen food during the power outage that lasted a few days would fall under this coverage, but Noble said that is subject to the deductible and most people are just not going to meet that deductible with what they lost.

He does have a client who has two freezers (with a side of beef) and two refrigerators who may benefit from filing a claim, but that’s an exception.

“Of course, if they do want to file a claim [for either Loss of Use or Living Expenses], we will do it for them. But I wouldn’t recommend it.”