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Power Outages: What does your homeowners insurance or renters insurance cover?

A customer sits in the dark during a power outage searching what her homeowners insurance will cover

Power outages are not only an inconvenience but they can also cause unforeseen damage to your home and property. There are many instances in which you may or may not receive coverage when filing a claim after a power outage. It’s important to read your homeowners or renters insurance policy carefully to understand the type of coverage you have when it comes to power outages. Here’s what to know about coverage for power outages under home insurance or renters insurance

Will my homeowners insurance cover burst pipes due to a power outage?

Damage to pipes that is a result of a power outage is typically covered under your homeowners insurance policy. However, if your pipes burst due to neglecting to turn on your heat while you’re away, then you will not be covered under your policy. 

Can you claim spoiled food on your homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance will generally cover spoiled food depending on if the power outage occurred as a result of direct damage to your home. Whether the power outage only occured at your residence or your entire neighborhood can play a role as well and is dependent on your specific policy. Typically there is no coverage for food spoilage if the power outage was widespread. 

Can you claim spoiled food on your renters insurance?

Food spoilage from a mechanical or power failure in your rental is typically covered under renters insurance. This coverage would fall under the personal property portion of your renters insurance policy. 

How long can food last in the fridge without power?

The USDA estimates that your refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours during a power outage. Perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers should be thrown away after four hours without power. You’ll want to keep your refrigerator and freezer door closed as much as possible during a power outage.1

Consider Adding Equipment Breakdown Coverage to Your Homeowners Insurance

Equipment breakdown coverage can be purchased as a supplement to your homeowners insurance for an additional premium. This type of coverage protects household appliances and systems if they are damaged due to electrical or mechanical failure—which typically isn’t covered under a homeowners insurance policy. Equipment breakdown coverage is generally an affordable addition to your policy, so it’s a good idea to see what additional coverage your homeowners or renters insurance carrier offers. 

Make Sure Your Home is Protected with Homeowners Insurance or Renters Insurance

Taking the time to carefully read your policy to understand your coverage can help you not only get the most out of your coverage, but also will help you take the necessary precautions needed to prevent damage to your home that may not be covered. The right homeowners or renters insurance can lessen the impact of any financial stressors associated with losses or damages to your home in the event of things like power outages. At SelectQuote, we can help answer questions about your coverage and can make sure your homeowners or renters insurance policy has all you need without any unexpected coverage gaps.

1 https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/food-safety-during-power-outage

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