A homeowners insurance policy is a package of several different types of coverage. The primary coverage is for the home itself, followed by insurance coverage for the other structures on the property. Liability for damages or injuries is another part of your home insurance policy, and so is your personal property. Finally, a homeowners insurance policy offers coverage for "loss of use," which can be used to reduce the hardships of picking up after a disaster that prevents you from living in your home.
Loss of use coverage reimburses you for expenses due to damages caused by a covered peril. If you can't go home at all, this part of your policy will pay for lodging, meals and incidental expenses such as laundry or transportation. You will need to save the receipts and explain how each one is necessary to maintain the standard of living your family is accustomed to, and the insurance company will reimburse you for the costs when your claim is settled.
If your home is completely destroyed, Loss of use will reimburse you for most of the immediate costs of living. On the other hand, loss of use insurance also pays for partial loss, such as not being able to use your kitchen because of a fire, or losing the ability to do laundry when your wash-house is destroyed by a falling tree during a storm.
As with other types of coverage, there will be limits to the amount you can claim as loss of use. Typically, the limits for a loss of use claim will be a percentage of your total policy value, but every insurance company will handle such claims differently. Read your policy carefully or contact your insurance company to get more information about how loss of use claims will help you pay the bills when you can't go home.