This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Dark Days: Insurance For Power Outages





You're not alone if you're in the dark about home insurance coverage for power outages.

The issue sparks lots of questions, and the answers are all over the grid, depending on your insurance company, your home insurance policy and the state you live in.

Coverage also varies depending on the damage you suffer and the cause of the outage. Here's how insurance generally applies in the following situations:

  • Lightning strikes your home and fries your electronics. Standard home insurance typically covers damage from lightning, and some home insurance policies cover electronics damaged by power surges that are the result of lightning strikes, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Some home insurance policies also cover damage due to other power surges. Keep in mind there may be a limit on the payment per damaged item.
  • You opt for a hotel room. Home insurance pays for the costs of temporarily relocating if your home is damaged by a "covered loss," such as a fire, and is uninhabitable while repairs are made. Generally a standard policy will not pay for a hotel stay simply because the power was out. Although your home might feel uninhabitable without air conditioning during an August heat wave, it technically is livable. The same goes for the winter when temperatures drop and the heat goes out. For more on what your insurance covers if you truly are forced to leave your home, see Champagne and Jacuzzi lifestyle? Oh yeah, you can claim it!
  • Water water everywhere. If a power outage causes your pipes to freeze and burst, then home insurance would come to the rescue. However, if you purposely left your home without power and the pipes burst as a result, then you probably would have trouble getting your claim paid. Keeping your home heated is part of your responsibility to maintain the property.
  • Food spoils when the fridge is off. Standard home insurance policies typically cover food spoilage if the power was out due to some other covered loss -- such as a fallen tree that damaged your house and knocked out electricity. But some insurance companies offer coverage for food spoilage from any type of power outage. This coverage sometimes is included in the policies or offered as an endorsement, which is a policy add-on you can purchase by paying a higher premium. The deductible for food spoilage is sometimes waived or lower than the deductible for other damage. For more information on spoiled food, see The Boston Globe's report on food safety following power outages.

Your best bet for deciphering coverage for power outages is to contact your insurance company or agent. In addition, do what you can to prevent disasters that could result from outages. Invest in surge protectors to safeguard electronics and figure out how to turn off the water, in case the pipes freeze. Shutting off the water quickly helps prevent the pipes from bursting. The III also recommends installing an emergency release valve, which protects the plumbing from the pressure caused by frozen pipes.

Insure.com receives compensation from carriers when readers choose to request insurance quotes. This article is provided by an external partner that is solely responsible for the content.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,399.67 +19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 +17.25 0.91%
NASDAQ 4,316.0740 +57.6360 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs