Will I Be Reimbursed for Food Spoiled in a Power Outage?

As a homeowner or a renter, you may wonder if you can get reimbursed for spoiled food resulting from a power outage. After all, it’s not your fault when the electricity that your utility company is supposed to provide goes down for hours. If a refrigerator lacks electricity for too long, it can make certain food unsafe to eat, resulting in hundreds of dollars worth of wasted food. Here are things you should know regarding insurance and spoiled food.

Typical Coverage for Spoiled Food

A basic homeowners insurance policy provides limited coverage when a power outage leads to spoiled food. While the total loss in grocery spending that went to waste maybe a few hundred dollars, the standard homeowners plan is structured with a $500 deductible. That means you must pay the first $500 worth of damage, and then the policy will cover additional damage beyond $500.

This limited coverage suggests individuals will likely suffer an overall financial loss when a power outage wipes out what might be a week or more worth of food. You can talk with your insurance agent to find out about getting extra coverage, which likely would mean paying a higher premium. Some homeowners who store a high volume of perishable food can benefit from the extra coverage.

Renters can get coverage on spoiled food through the personal property portion of their renter’s insurance plan. Renters should review their plan periodically to know what all is covered. Again, a deductible will be involved before reimbursement is sent. Each insurance company handles spoiled food coverage its own way, so it’s best to talk with your agent to clarify your coverage.

Protecting Your Food in a Power Outage

While getting a spoiled food reimbursement may sound like a good idea on the surface, it can often be more hassle than benefit. The payoff will likely be negligible unless you buy extra coverage and have lost a lot of food. With this in mind, the best-case scenario is to have a backup plan for perishable food. Some homeowners invest in a backup generator so that power can quickly be restored before the utility company fixes the problem. Another solution is to have ice chests ready so that you can move products and drinks to a cooler location. A refrigerator is commonly set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while a freezer is calibrated at zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Without electric power, a refrigerator is only going to protect perishable food for about four hours. When a freezer loses power, it can protect food for about 24 hours. After that time has elapsed, the food may become unsafe to eat. One of the ways to determine how well the food has been protected during a power outage, according to the CDC, is to keep a thermometer in the refrigerator and the freezer. You should avoid tasting spoiled food because it can cause illness. Despite the growing interest in sustainability, sometimes it’s necessary to throw food away if it’s dangerous to consume.

Know Your Coverage

The most important takeaway about any type of insurance plan is to know exactly what it does and does not cover. It’s crucial not to assume any type of catastrophe or loss is covered by standard homeowners insurance. Since every insurance company is different, find out if your plan covers reimbursement for spoiled food.

Carrying the proper insurance coverage and staying aware of your policy are two important keys to protecting your family. Coverage for spoiled food is one example of how complex insurance can be. Let us help you find the right business insurance solutions that meet your needs and budget. Talk to the team at Kneller Agency today to get started. We can help you find affordable coverage for your start-up business.

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