Following Hurricane Sandy, many people would like to know if they are covered when the lights go out.
Typically, a power outage causes a minor level of inconvenience – especially at home – but when a storm such as Hurricane Sandy strikes, many people wonder if the losses that can occur from those events are covered by their homeowners insurance policies.
After a certain number of hours, it is no longer a matter of simply not being able to watch TV.
For example, when power failures occur in the dead of winter, or in the middle of a heat wave during the summer, a lack of electricity can cause some significant losses to a family. It is recommended that policyholders read the fine print on their homeowners insurance coverage in order to find out exactly what level of protection you have.
Many homeowners insurance policies have different coverage depending on the circumstances.
For example, some homeowners insurance policies will have a higher likelihood of providing you with coverage if the outage is specific to your property. For example, if a tree should fall or a lightning strikes, cutting off the power to your home, your policy is more likely to cover you than if there has been a widespread blackout. This, according to the Georgia Insurance Information Service’s executive director, David Colmans.
Insurers each have their own way of handling this type of protection. However, even within the same homeowners insurance company, the coverage can vary from one policy to the next. Each state also has its own regulations for the type of coverage that will be available. For that reason, it is highly recommended that you actually speak with the insurer or have your agent explain the coverage to you. This way, you will know for certain what protection you have.
Typically, there are four types of issues that may be covered by homeowners insurance when power fails:
• Spoiled food in the refrigerator or freezer
• Hotel stay until home electricity is restored
• Power surges that have damaged electronics
• Burst water pipes that froze from the lack of heat
Experts recommend going over the homeowners insurance policy carefully with a professional to know the extent of coverage.