Power Outages and Homeowners Insurance

December 05, 2023

Whether or not your homeowners insurance covers damages or losses resulting from a power outage depends on the specific cause of the outage and the terms of your policy. Here's a breakdown of what is typically covered and not covered:

Covered Perils

Homeowners insurance generally covers losses caused by perils, which are sudden and accidental events that are beyond your control. A couple examples of covered perils that can lead to power outages include:

  1. Lightning strikes: If a lightning strike damages your home's electrical system or causes a power surge that damages your appliances, your homeowners insurance may cover the repair or replacement costs.
  2. Windstorms: If a windstorm topples a tree onto your power lines or damages your home's electrical system, your homeowners insurance may cover the repair or replacement costs.

What is Not Covered

Homeowners insurance typically covers losses caused by power outages, but there are some exceptions. Here are some of the situations when homeowners insurance may not cover losses by power outages:

  1. General and widespread power outages: If the power outage affects a large area and is not caused by a specific event on your property, your homeowners insurance may not cover the losses. This is because the outage is not considered to be a "sudden and accidental" event, which is typically required for coverage.
  2. Mechanical breakdowns: If your power outage is caused by a mechanical breakdown, such as a malfunctioning appliance or a problem with your home's wiring, your homeowners insurance may not cover the losses. This is because mechanical breakdowns are considered to be maintenance issues, which are not typically covered by homeowners insurance.
  3. Negligence: If your power outage is caused by your negligence, such as accidentally cutting your power line or failing to pay your power bill, your homeowners insurance may not cover the losses.
  4. Food spoilage: While some homeowners insurance policies do cover food spoilage caused by power outages, there are often limitations. For example, there may be a sublimit on the amount of food spoilage that is covered, or the policy may only cover food spoilage if the outage is caused by a covered peril.
  5. Accommodation costs: Homeowners insurance typically does not cover the cost of alternative accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a power outage. This is because power outages are rarely considered to make a home uninhabitable.

It's important to carefully review your homeowners insurance policy to understand what is covered and not covered in the event of a power outage. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us for clarification. Additionally, it's always a good idea to take steps to prevent power outages, such as trimming trees near power lines and having a backup generator in case of emergencies.

*Coverage is subject to the policy as written.