Does Renters Insurance Cover Hotel Stays?

Here's how your policy could help if you need temporary housing.

Team LemonadeTeam Lemonade
Your renters insurance may help cover the costs of a hotel stay in certain situations.
  • If you are forced to leave your rental due to a covered cause, your renters insurance would likely help cover the cost of a hotel or motel stay (or Airbnb rental).
  • Importantly, your policy will likely only reimburse you for additional costs above and beyond what you’d normally spend if you were at home.
  • Your policy may also help cover additional expenses you incur, like food delivery, laundry, pet boarding, or storage fees (even if you choose to stay with friends or family, and not at a hotel).
  • Hotel stays would likely not be covered if the reason you left your rental was flooding, an earthquake, or a widespread power outage or water outage.

In certain cases, your renters insurance will help cover the cost of hotel stays (and other additional temporary living expenses) if you’re forced out of your home due to specific causes. 

The important thing here is that you’ll be reimbursed for the difference between what you normally spend at home, and what you’re spending while you can’t be at home. For example: If your monthly rent is $800, and a hotel stay for a month is $1,100, you might be able to claim the difference of $300.

This part of your policy is known as “Loss of Use.” Let’s take a look at how it works, what you can expect, and when it would apply.

What is ‘Loss of Use’ coverage?

Loss of Use (LoU) coverage is an important piece of your renters insurance policy (which also includes personal property coverage and liability coverage for renters).

Loss of Use is coverage that kicks in if a covered peril—say, a fire, or windstorm—damages your rented home and you’re unable to live in it while repairs are being made. It covers the additional temporary living expenses that you incur during this time.

When does renters insurance cover hotel stays?

Depending on the reason, your renters insurance policy might help cover the additional cost of a hotel under your Loss of Use coverage.

Your renters insurance policy will often help cover the cost of hotel or motel stays, beyond what you are currently paying for rent. But it depends on the reason you had to leave your rental.

Imagine a scenario where a pipe bursts in your apartment, or a kitchen fire scorches the walls. While your landlord scrambles to get it fixed or make repairs, you can’t exactly live in a waterlogged or smoke-damaged home.

That’s where Loss of Use comes in. If your policy has Loss of Use coverage (which most standard policies do), it can cover the additional cost of comparable temporary housing—like a hotel or a short-term rental. 

It’s not meant to upgrade you to a luxury suite at the Ritz, but it will help put a reasonable roof over your head.

When would renters insurance not cover your hotel stay?

Most renters insurance policies don’t cover damage from certain natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes. Always check your policy’s list of covered perils.

What other expenses might be covered?

Beyond your hotel accommodation, you’ll likely rack up other expenses if you have to leave your rental home.

Food is an obvious one, since you might be ordering more takeout than usual. Can you claim these additional meal expenses?

The answer is typically yes. But remember, if you generally spend $500/month on food at home, and find yourself spending $800/month during the Loss of Use period—you’ll be able to claim the difference of $300, not the full amount.

Here are a few other categories that you may be able to claim later—so remember to keep your receipts!

  • Laundry
  • Moving costs and fees
  • Storage units
  • Parking
  • Pet accommodation

How long will renters insurance pay for your hotel stay?

Many renters insurance policies will cover additional temporary living expenses for up to 12 or 24 months, or until your home is habitable again, whichever comes first.

Lemonade’s Loss of Use coverage would last for a maximum of 24 months.

How do you file a claim for your hotel stay or other expenses?

In most cases, you would initially have to pay out-of-pocket for your temporary living expenses and then file a claim to be reimbursed by your insurance company later.

This is how most insurance claims, including those for Loss of Use, typically work.

Once you’ve made your claim, your insurance company will usually review and approve it before they reimburse you. They may require receipts and a detailed accounting of your additional temporary living expenses to ensure they fall within your policy limits and they are due to the covered peril.

In some instances, especially in cases of significant disasters, insurance companies may
provide some funds up front to help cover immediate costs. 

Would loss of use also cover the cost of an Airbnb rental?

Absolutely! In most cases, Loss of Use coverage isn’t limited to traditional hotels. It also extends to temporary accommodations like short-term rentals, including Airbnb.

The principle remains the same: If a covered peril forces you out of your rented home, the Loss of Use coverage can help with the costs of a comparable temporary living situation.

As always, the keyword here is “comparable.” So, if you were living in a two-bedroom apartment, your policy is likely not going to cover a swanky five-bedroom beachfront Airbnb rental.

Would renters insurance pay for my pet’s accommodation?

Your renters policy's Loss of Use coverage may also help pay for accommodations for your pets in certain circumstances.

If you can’t stay in your home and have to go to a hotel, you may also need to find separate accommodation for your pet.

Some insurance companies, including Lemonade, do cover reasonable additional boarding fees under the Loss of Use coverage. (FYI, for those with a fur fam: Lemonade also offers pet health insurance that you can bundle with your renters policy, unlocking savings on both—among other reasons why pet parents who rent should consider getting their cat or dog covered.) 

Would my landlord have to pay for a hotel, if I don’t have renters insurance?

In general, landlords are not usually required to cover these expenses, particularly if the event was beyond their control (like a natural disaster).

If the damage to the property was due to the landlord’s negligence, then they might be legally responsible for your housing costs while the property is uninhabitable. But if the damage was due to an accident, a natural disaster, or the actions of a tenant or third party, the landlord typically wouldn’t be held liable.

Additional FAQs about renters insurance & hotel stays

Does every renters insurance policy include Loss of Use coverage?

Most standard renters insurance policies (like the ones offered by Lemonade) include Loss of Use coverage, but it’s always important to read your policy documents carefully. If you’re unsure, ask your insurance provider.

How much of the cost will my policy cover for a hotel stay?

This can vary depending on your policy and the coverage limits you’ve chosen. Some policies will pay a certain percentage of your personal property coverage limit towards Loss of Use. Others might have a set dollar limit.

What if I stay with a friend or family member instead of a hotel?

Even if you’re not paying for a hotel, you may still incur additional expenses if you’re staying with friends or family. These might be higher transport costs, increased grocery bills, etc. Many insurance policies will consider these costs as part of your Loss of Use claim.

Does renter insurance cover a hotel stay due to a power outage?

Whether renters insurance covers a hotel stay due to a power outage largely depends on the cause of the power outage and the specifics of your policy.

If the power outage is due to a grid failure, a blackout affecting a large area, or routine maintenance from your power company, these are generally not covered by renters insurance.

Renters insurance is designed to cover unexpected and sudden events that make your home uninhabitable. So if the power outage isn’t due to a specific event causing damage to your specific rental unit or building, then it’s likely that your policy won’t cover the cost of a hotel stay.

Would renters insurance cover a hotel stay during a water outage?

Similar to a power outage, whether renters insurance covers a hotel stay during a water outage largely depends on the cause of the water outage.

If the water outage is due to a covered peril under your policy, such as a major plumbing issue or damage from a storm within your rented property, then your Loss of Use coverage may apply. The important thing to know is that this damage would have to be specific to your building, not a widespread issue.

That means that if the water outage is due to city-wide issues, routine maintenance, or infrastructure problems outside your rented property, these are generally not covered by renters insurance. The key is that the incident leading to the loss of use must be sudden and accidental, and it must specifically affect your rented unit or building.

How can I get renters insurance, and how much does it cost?

Great question! Getting your digital quote only takes a few minutes—just click the pink button below. And the cost of renters insurance might be less than you think; as of January 1, 2024, the average price of a Lemonade Renters policy across the U.S. was around $14/month.

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Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.