Outdated equipment, an antiquated infrastructure, accidents, and issues related to wind, rain, sleet, snow, and ice have all caused power outages across the country. While surprising to hear, the number of outages have increased in the United States over the last few years, so you may have experienced a loss of power. These power outages can leave you without a working refrigerator and freezer for a period of time. Unfortunately, a refrigerator and freezer that does not work will cause your family's food to spoil, which wastes food and money. Thankfully, your homeowner's insurance policy may cover a portion of this expense. If you have lost food due to a power outage, use this guide to begin filing a claim.
During the Outage
While your power is out, you may be constantly worrying about the expensive food inside your refrigerator and freezer. However, it is important that you avoid opening up the appliances to check on the contents during the power outage.
Opening the fridge and freezer doors will cause the cold air to seep out, increasing the risk of food spoilage even further. Keep the doors closed during the outage for extra protection.
Remain calm during the outage because your refrigerator and freezer do have the ability to keep your food safe. Refrigerated foods will be safe to consume as long as the power was out no more than 4 hours. Frozen food will remain frozen in your freezer for up to 48 hours. Of course, these deadlines only apply if your doors of your appliances were kept shut during the entire outage.
If your power has been out for an extended period of time, it is time to document what has spoiled in your refrigerator and freezer.
Make a list of all the foods and beverages you need to dispose because of the power outage. It is also helpful to take photos using your smartphone.
Having documented evidence of your spoiled food will be helpful during the process of your homeowner's claim.
Contact your Agent
Once you have photos and a list ready, contact your insurance agent or company to notify them of the problem. It is important to note that each policy is different.
Your insurance claim may depend on what caused the power outage. For example, most claims are approved if the outage was caused by a storm or winter weather.
If you have recently lost food after a power outage, contact your agent for information about filing a claim. With proper documents and evidence, you may be entitled to compensation.