When a storm takes out the power for a few hours, most food in the fridge is still okay to use. However, when the outage lasts for a day or so, you may need to toss most of what you have. That probably seems like a massive waste of money. Will home insurance cover this loss? It may, in some situations.
Here's how to know if you can file a claim.
What Caused The Power Outage?
Homeowners insurance often does cover food lost due to a power outage or other loss. However, the biggest qualifying factor for the home insurance company is understanding the cause of the outage.
Your homeowners policy may help cover the loss of your spoiled food if the cause is a covered peril. This may include, for example, a storm that takes down a power line near your home. It may cover ice storms or problems related to other accidental and unavoidable instances.
If you caused the power outage, though, its loss of your food may not be covered. For example, if you did not pay your electric bill, the power company turned the power off, and the spoilage occurred, the insurance company is not going to provide you with financial protection.
There are some limitations here. Some home insurance companies restrict when they will cover such outages from a storm or other event. For example, they may cover instances in which your street's power was off due to the storm, but not if the event just impacted your home. Others might only pay you a certain stipend for lost food, rather than the actual cost of the items lost.
How To Process A Food Spoilage Claim
If you believe you do have coverage for your losses, you can file a claim with your TCU Insurance agent. Your agent will verify your coverage and then process the claim.
Keep in mind, though, that you often will have to pay your deductible. This is the amount of money you must pay for any claim before the insurance company pays for the other losses. In some cases, this can negate any real benefit of filing a claim for lost food. Re-stocking the fridge might cost less than the cost of a deductible.
That said, if your deductible is low, you may be able to still file a claim, depending on the amount of loss you have. You also will need to take pictures of what you are tossing out. This will help the insurance company to determine how much they can pay you for your claim.