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This is a fantastic question that I receive during our summer storms. It seems that our power company's just can't get power restored fast enough sometimes. 

Which brings up the question of whether or not my home insurance will pay for the loss of refrigerated and or frozen foods if the power outage is longer than a day or so. A follow up question usually is, Will my insurance company pay for a couple of nights at a hotel so I don't have to stay in my sweltering hot house while the power is out?

My answer ***ALWAYS*** is you must read your policy to determine how your insurance company will pay out in a situation such as an extended power outage.

Power Failure is an Excluded Peril. This means there is no coverage. However, some insurance carriers will "give back" a little coverage in the Additional Coverages section of your policy. You may see an item for Refrigerated Property for which the Power Failure Exclusion doesn't apply. I quickly glanced at three insurance company policies and two had this coverage. The other one did not. The insurance carrier that did not, has an available option for the homeowner to add an endorsement for refrigerated products if they choose to pay a little extra.

So, will my insurance company pay for a few nights at a hotel because of  an extended power outage?

The answer is most likely no. Unless your home received damage in the storm, in addition to a power outage, that makes your home uninhabitable you won't have access to the Additional Living Expense coverage in your policy. Hopefully, you have good friends you can stay with or just go to a resort for a few days and have a relaxing staycation.

Tips for Homeowners:

  1. If you normally have lots of meats in your freezer and this coverage is important to you, ask your insurance agent about this coverage. You may find that you have no coverage or that you have the opportunity to add this coverage by endorsement. 
  2. Have an emergency fund on hand for situations like this where your insurance policy doesn't apply. It can make a frustrating situation a little less stressful when you have cash on hand in an emergency.
  3. Review your home insurance policy with an independent insurance agent who can find the right policy for your needs.

Author Richard Morris

Richard Morris, an independent insurance agent in Chandler, Arizona, has been serving and helping Arizona families and businesses with all their insurance needs for over 23 years. Visit his website at http://www.southwestpremierinsuranceagency.com to see all the ways he can help you with your insurance needs or call the office at (480) 336-2707 or toll free at (888) 907-9349. Connect with Rich on Google+ and Twitter.

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