Open your fridge and freezer. If you had to guess, how much is the value of the food in it? This can be a significant amount of money in many households. If the power goes out for an extended period of time, you could lose a large amount of money due to spoiled food. In some cases, your home insurance can help cover those costs.
Don't Risk It
When the power goes off, minimize opening and closing your refrigerator. The United States Department of Agriculture provides some insight into how long food lasts. It notes food can stay cold for up to four hours in the refrigerator if left unopened. A full freezer can remain frozen for up to 48 hours in some cases. Follow these instructions for getting rid of or using food.
When You Have to Waste It
In some cases, the power can remain out for a day or longer. When the food within your refrigerator or freezer goes bad, contact your home insurance provider. Here are a few considerations.
- When will the policy cover your loss?
The cause of the outage plays a role here. Most policies classify a storm as a covered loss. If the refrigerator stopped working due to poor maintenance, you may not have coverage. If you accidentally cut the power lines to your home, the home insurance provider will not cover the loss. Yet, if the power is out due to a fire, and the fire broke out by accident, the policy may provide coverage. Every situation is unique.
- Is the entire neighborhood without power?
That doesn't mean the policy automatically covers your loss. Some home insurance plans only cover food spoilage if the power outage applies to just your home. Others will cover damage even if the outage is widespread.
- What's the limit?
Your insurer will list the limit on freezer and refrigerator claims. The policy will specify what these limits are. Your deductible applies here. For example, if you have $700 worth of groceries lost and a $500 deductible, the insurer will pay up to $200.
A Final Word
Food spoilage coverage applies to most refrigerators and freezers in your home. Take a moment to update your policy. Be sure it reflects all types of incidents that may occur to your home appliances. Discuss the amount of coverage you have, and ensure that you have adequate limits. If an incident occurs, let your agent help you file a claim to get reimbursement for your loss.
Contact us for a Bend OR home insurance quote at (541) 383-1733.