In The Dark About Insurance Coverage Of A Power Outage?
Modern American homes rely on the constant availability of electricity. But what happens when that electricity is cut off for a period of time? Will your homeowner's or renter's insurance help cover the resulting problems?
The answer depends on a few factors. To help you understand what you may receive in compensation and what you may have to deal with on your own, here are some important things to know.
1. The Cause Must Be Covered
The most important thing to know about power loss and insurance is that it all depends on what caused the power outage.
In general, the power loss must be caused by some catastrophe beyond your control. This includes storms, hurricanes, lightning, heavy snow, or an earthquake, for instance. You cannot have caused it yourself, such as while conducting home repairs or digging. And outages caused by the power company may or may not be included in your policy.
2. You'll Pay a Deductible
If you do have a covered incident, you'll first need to understand your deductible requirements. Deductibles vary depending on the policy purchased, but that amount is generally deducted from any reimbursement you receive. You should have only one deductible for the incident but may have more.
3. Hotel Stay Coverage Depends
What if your loss of electricity means you cannot stay in your home until it's fixed? Is this expense covered? Again, this depends on whether or not the cause was a covered incident. If a storm causes electrical outages and damages your roof in winter, the home may not be considered habitable for the duration. However, simply losing power without other damage may not be reason enough for the insurance company to cover a hotel.
4. Spoiled Food May Be Covered
One of the most common side effects of sustained power loss is the spoilage of perishable food. Some policies specifically exclude food spoilage while others allow it as a standard claim. However, because you'll pay a deductible, carefully weigh whether or not it will be worth filing a claim if this is the only damage.
5. You May Need Receipts
If you do plan to put in a claim for valuables destroyed by the power outage, you'll probably focus on the more expensive items. If your expensive side of beef was ruined or the power spike damaged your 90" TV, it's worth getting compensation.
First, do what you can to locate any receipts, though. The carrier may ask for these, especially if it's unusually expensive for the category of goods (such as food).
Where to Learn More
Want to know more about your particular coverage against loss of electrical power? Begin by going over your policy and considering new ones with the help of a homeowner's insurance provider in your area today.