Does Renters Insurance Cover Hotel Stays?

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If your rental unit is made uninhabitable due to a covered loss, renters insurance will generally cover the cost of a hotel stay alongside additional living expenses. However, how much your insurer covers you will vary depending on the terms of your policy and your standard expenses.

Keep reading to learn more about when you’re covered by renters insurance if your home is temporarily unlivable, what types of temporary housing you’ll be covered for and the steps to make an insurance claim.

Key Takeaways

  • Most renters insurance policies include loss of use coverage, which will reimburse you for temporary accommodation similar to your current standard of living if your rental unit is unlivable due to a covered loss.
  • Loss of use coverage will cover only expenses that exceed your normal daily living costs.
  • Hotels, motels and other short-term rentals of all types can qualify for renters insurance coverage provided they meet the requirements of your policy.
  • You likely won’t get coverage for a hotel stay if your rental isn’t entirely uninhabitable or inaccessible, you’re at fault for the damage that made it so or if the claim is found to be false.
  • Keep track of all hotel costs and other additional living expenses, as your insurer will only reimburse you for the difference compared to your standard expenses.

When Would Renters Insurance Cover a Hotel Stay?

Renters insurance would cover a hotel stay if your rental unit was made uninhabitable due to a peril covered by loss of use coverage up to your policy limits. Loss of use coverage is included in most renters insurance policies and works to reimburse you for a hotel stay alongside other additional living expenses accrued from lack of access to your rental unit.

Even if your home isn’t damaged, you may still receive loss of use coverage if you’re prevented from accessing it so long as it was due to a covered peril. For example, if you’re required by the government to evacuate your home because of a local wildfire, then loss of use coverage may still apply.

Here are a few examples of typically covered perils and some possible examples in which they might qualify for a hotel stay through loss of use coverage:



Fires or lightning

A wildfire or lightning strike damaged the foundation of your rental, forcing you to find a new permanent residence or wait for repairs

Windstorms or hail

Heavy storms or hail damage your roof and windows, leading to inside water damage from rain

Damage caused by vehicle

An intoxicated driver smashes into the side of your rental unit


Your rental unit is broken into and damaged, exposing it to the elements

Falling objects

A tree falls into the side of your rental during a heavy storm

Weight of ice, sleet or snow

Heavy layers of snow cave in your rental’s roof

Water/steam discharge from home systems and appliances

A burst pipe leads to internal water damage and the development of mold

How Much Will Renters Insurance Cover for a Hotel Stay?

Reimbursement for temporary housing is typically limited to a flat amount or a percentage of your personal property coverage. For example, in California, loss of use coverage is typically capped at 20% of your personal property coverage. This means if you have $100,000 in personal property insurance, then you’ll have up to $20,000 in coverage for hotel stays and other living expenses.[1]

Keep in mind that your loss of use coverage will apply only to expenses in excess of your ordinary living expenditures.

If your monthly rent is $1,200 and your two-week hotel stay costs $2,800, then you’d be reimbursed for $1,600. Similarly, if you usually use your kitchen for cooking and spend $1,000 a month on groceries, but your lack of a kitchen increases spending to $1,500 on food expenses, your loss of use may cover meal expenses equivalent to the difference of $500.

Your policy will typically only cover temporary accommodations similar to your current standard of living. In addition, loss of use claims typically don’t require paying your deductible before offering coverage, but this can vary by policy.

How Long Does Renters Insurance Pay for a Hotel Stay?

Renters insurance covers hotel stays for as long as your policy allows, usually up to 12 months, or until you can resume standard living conditions in your rental.[2] The exact amount of time will vary on your policy and your insurer is unlikely to continue covering a hotel stay once you can return, even if you haven’t hit the policy limit.

When Won’t Renters Insurance Cover Hotel Stays?

Renters insurance won’t cover hotel stays if it was made unlivable due to an noncovered peril. Floods, for example, aren’t included under standard renters insurance coverage and typically require flood insurance for coverage.

Renters insurance policies typically only cover perils if they’re sudden and accidental. For example, mold caused by a burst pipe might qualify for a covered hotel stay, but not mold caused by negligence over several years. Your claim is also likely to be denied if your insurer finds the claim was falsely made or if you were found to be at fault for the damages, so you won't get coverage if you make a claim based on fire damage that you intentionally caused.

If your rental unit was affected by a covered peril but it wasn’t made unlivable, then hotel stays will likely not be covered. For instance, if a storm causes a power outage, renters insurance won’t cover a hotel stay even though it’s often a covered peril. Additionally, your insurer will unlikely reimburse you for your hotel stay if it exceeds your coverage limit.

Does Renters Insurance Cover All Types of Temporary Housing?

Renters insurance covers temporary housing of all types, depending on the terms and limits of your policy. Hotels, motels and short-term rentals are typically covered under loss of use coverage, but your insurer will likely only reimburse you for claims on comparable temporary housing. As much as you might like them to, your insurer will not see a tree falling on your one-bedroom rental as a means to cover a five-star resort stay.

Are Airbnbs Covered by Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance loss of use coverage includes Airbnb housing and other short-term rentals. However, they come with the same caveat as other covered temporary housing – they must be comparable to your current housing and within your coverage limits.

How To File a Renters Insurance Claim for a Hotel Stay

If you find your home is inaccessible or uninhabitable due to a covered peril and likely qualifies for rental insurance coverage for a hotel stay, here are the steps you should follow to make a claim:

  1. If your rental is damaged due to vandalism or theft, file a police report. Keep a copy to offer to your insurer to help validate your claim. If any of your personal belongings were damaged or stolen, include these in the report, as it could also be used to help get personal property coverage.
  2. Document the damage to your property and how it’s preventing you from safely living in your rental unit. If necessary, contact the landlord, who may be responsible for repairs to their rental property.
  3. Calculate your standard expenses, such as food, transportation or any other costs that may increase due to not having access to your rental. Your insurer will need this information to calculate the difference they’ll cover.
  4. Loss of use reimburses for additional expenses, so you must pay the hotel stay upfront. Keep track of your temporary living expenses, such as storage fees, with receipts to provide evidence of the costs you accrue.
  5. Contact your insurance company. They will let you know whether the hotel stay qualifies for a claim, how long you can stay there and what they’ll reimburse you for.
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Will I have to pay for rent even if my rental unit is uninhabitable?

Tenants retain the right to a minimal standard of living in their rented property, and some states allow tenants to withhold rent, sue the landlord or break the lease if these minimal conditions aren’t met. However, these laws vary between states, meaning you should always check your local laws and tenant rights before deciding on actions that may break the rental agreement.

Does renters insurance cover hotel stays if my air conditioner is broken?

While it may feel uncomfortable, generally, your insurer won’t consider your house uninhabitable if your air conditioning breaks and won’t cover a hotel stay. Even if a heat wave makes your apartment dangerous without air conditioning, you are unlikely to receive reimbursement for a hotel stay as heat waves aren’t typically covered as a named peril.

Does renters insurance cover hotel stays due to mold?

Renters insurance may cover a hotel stay if a covered peril, such as a burst pipe, causes the mold. However, if the mold was caused by negligence or another peril not covered by your policy, like flooding, you likely won’t be covered.

Does renters insurance cover a hotel stay in the event of a fire?

If accidental fire damage makes your rental unit uninhabitable, your renters insurance loss of use policy will generally cover a hotel stay up to your coverage limits. If local wildfires cause a mandatory evacuation from your rental, you may also be covered for temporary housing until you can return, even if the fire doesn’t damage your unit.

What isn’t covered by renters insurance?

Renters insurance will not cover a hotel stay caused by noncovered natural disasters, such as flooding or earthquakes, damage that doesn’t leave your home uninhabitable or damage you caused intentionally. They won’t cover temporary housing that isn’t comparable to your current living situation or typical expenditures, like continued rent, while your rental is uninhabitable.


  1. California Dept. of Insurance. “Residential Insurance: Homeowners and Renters.” Accessed May 20, 2024.
  2. Kin. “What is Loss of Use Coverage” Accessed May 16, 2024.

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