MyKey Presents: What’s the Best Temporary Housing Option?

Jul 17, 2020

Has your home recently sustained damage that has caused you to be temporarily displaced, such as a fire or weather-related incident? You’ve filed a claim with your insurance company and your Homeowners Insurance policy provides a stipend for Addition Living Expenses, or ALE, to cover your temporary living arrangements.

Now the question is, what accommodations are right for you? Well, it’s complicated. Many factors must be considered when deciding what route to take, including:

  • ALE budget
  • Length of stay
  • Location
  • Proximity to school and work
  • Number of people
  • Special needs
  • Pets

All the above criteria (and more!) come into play when finding a solution. You’ll want to choose accommodations that meet as many of these criteria as possible, not to mention being someplace you actually want to live!

Overwhelmed? Not to worry. That’s where MyKey comes in as a leading provider of temporary accommodation services to the insurance industry in Canada and the United States. We’ll examine all your requirements and desires, and work with your insurer to identify solutions that work for your unique needs.

Learn more about who we are and how we help

Here are the key options to consider whenever you need temporary housing.

HOTELS

Why They’re a Good Choice:

  • Emergency Stays – Easy to instantly book, day or night, when disaster strikes
  • 1-2 Night Stays – Hard to beat the value and convenience when you’re displaced for just a couple of days
  • Familiar Process – If you’ve checked into one hotel, you’ve basically checked into them all
  • Onsite Amenities – Pool. Fitness center. Business center. These are pretty standard
  • Secure Entry – Most have controlled access exterior doors and/or doormen and front desks to keep out non-guests
  • Standard Cleaning Protocols – With COVID-19, knowing there are uniform cleaning, disinfecting and social distancing standards in place is both comforting and necessary
  • Known and Trusted Brands – Whether it’s a Hilton or a Holiday Inn Express, you basically know what to expect

But on the Other Hand:

  • Not Cost-Effective Long Term – Once you get past a few days, other options on this list make much more sense, particularly when taxes come into play
  • Small Space – Hotels have gotten better about space utilization, but they’re still not ideal in the mid- to long-term, and virtually every space must serve multiple roles
  • Not Ideal for Families – When it’s just you or you and one other person, the space limitations are doable for a few days, but when kids and pets enter the mix, hotel rooms fill up quickly and the inconveniences mount
  • Cannot Prepare Meals – Extended stay properties offer kitchenettes with smaller refrigerators and cooking surfaces, but you’ll still likely find yourself eating meals out more often than not, which gets expensive. Standard hotels entirely lack the amenities necessary to prepare a meal.

FURNISHED APARTMENTS

Why They’re a Good Choice:

Cost-Efficient – The longer you stay the more price positive they are compared to hotels. After 30 days, you no longer have to pay tax on this option

Spacious – You get more for your money, and the floorplans allow you to both spread out and have dedicated spaces for eating, sleeping, working or watching TV, plus private bathrooms and bedrooms

Options in All Major Markets – Professional corporate housing providers can be found in every major market, and just about every secondary and tertiary one as well, making them as viable an option as hotels

Most Have Secure Entry – It will vary from building to building and city to city, but most often you will have controlled entry to the building or private entrances to your apartment

Standard Cleaning Protocols – With COVID-19, knowing there are uniform cleaning, disinfecting and social distancing standards in place is both comforting and necessary

Professional Owners – These aren’t people who rent out their basement or cottage for extra cash. They run a legitimate, licensed business and typically are vetted for your safety

But on the Other Hand:

Limited Customization – Most floorplans and furnishings are standard across all apartments at a location, however there are generally multiple options in an area to offer some variety

Inflexible Lease Lengths – Furnished apartments typically carry a minimal lease length of 30 day but can be as much as 90

Fewer Options in Remote Areas – While smaller and more obscure markets certainly are well covered by this industry, the more remote or unique the need the greater the difficulty of fulfilling on it with a furnished apartment

Arrival Process Varies – Different providers have different arrival procedures, and sometimes those procedures can further vary based on the location of the apartment, so the experience is frequently atypical or unfamiliar from place to place

Custom Housing

Why They’re a Good Choice:

  • Ideal for Long-Term Stays – If you are going to be displaced for months, such as following a total loss necessitating a lengthy rebuild, there is no substitute for having a whole house to yourself
  • Wide Variation of Options – These are vacation rentals operated by private owners so there is no cookie cutter option. Each house offers something different
  • Meet Unique Needs – Because the options are so varied, and are not locked into a set hotel or apartment building floorplan, there is a much better chance of finding the solution that meets special needs or requests

But on the Other Hand:

  • Cleaning Protocols Not Standard – Owners are independent operators with no corporate oversight. They may adhere to recommendations handed down from their advertising platform (i.e. Airbnb) but they are not required to follow any specific instructions. It can be a crap shoot
  • Arrival Process Varies – Every house is different. Every owner is different. You never know how they prefer arrivals and departures to be handled
  • Owner Accountability May Vary – Hotels and furnished housing providers have maintenance and emergency afterhours service protocols in place to handle anything that comes up. Here, you’re dealing with someone renting space on the side, and they may not be as immediately responsive to requests for assistance

MyKey can help you find and choose the right option 

Now that you understand all the furnished housing options available to you when you are in need of temporary accommodations, let MyKey help find you the solution that works best for your unique needs. MyKey has partnered with thousands of hotels, serviced apartment providers and private homeowners across Canada and the United States in order to provider our clients and our guests with options for every situation.

We offer 24/7 assistance and have an average response time of 22 minutes to ensure your experience is easy and enjoyable. We’ve also created a simple-to-use online housing request form to help insurance agents and adjusters quickly get the help their policyholder deserves.

Insurance Professionals

Online ALE Housing Request: https://mykey.com/insurance-inquiry/
Phone: 844-627-8759
Email: insurance@mykey.com

Individuals

Online Housing Request: https://mykey.com/temporary-housing-inquiry/
Phone: 844-627-8759
Email: info@mykey.com

MyKey offers solutions. You just pick the best choice for you.

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