Sometimes, the power will go out in your home for a few minutes and then come right back on. While this may be an inconvenience, it is nothing that will slow you down over the long haul.
On the other hand, there are situations in which a power outage will last a very long time – sometimes several days or longer. What are you going to do in this situation?
Before you ever find yourself in this position, you should become familiar with the finer details of your home insurance policy. Whether or not you are covered depends on many factors including the type of policy, the company you are buying from, and the state in which you live.
Additionally, coverage is determined on the type of damage incurred as well as the cause of the power outage.
Although every home insurance policy can differ, here are some situations in which you may be covered:
1. Power Surges Damage Electronics
Lightning strikes your home, damaging the structure as well as electronics such as computers and televisions. Most home insurance policies cover structural damage from lightning, but only some cover electronics damaged by a power surge.
Note: even if your electronics are covered, there may be a limit on the amount reimbursed per item.
2. Hotel Stay
If you need to stay in a hotel, your home insurance will likely pay for this expense. As long as your property is damaged by a “covered loss” you should be able to receive reimbursement for your temporary residence.
Note: most home insurance policies will not pay for a hotel because you were without power. Instead, there has to be damage to the property, forcing you to live elsewhere until repaired.
3. Frozen Pipes
If you were unable to heat your home because of a power outage, your insurance policy will likely cover the loss. On the other hand, if you neglected to heat your home – maybe because you were on vacation – your claim will not be paid. It is your responsibility to keep your home heated.
4. Food Spoilage
This is something that many homeowners overlook during a power outage. If your power is out for an extended period of time due to a covered loss, your home insurance policy will typically cover any food spoilage.
Here are some good tips to keep your food longer in case of an extended outage:
Tip: check with your home insurance company to see if there is a separate deductible for food spoilage or if this will be waived. If you have to pay the standard deductible, you are probably better off avoiding a claim.
Now is the time to learn more about coverage for a power outage. You don’t want to be without this knowledge when the next big storm hits your hometown!