I had to leave my home since I had no power. Will insurance pay for me to stay elsewhere?
If you can’t stay in your home due to damage caused by insured perils or because of an official evacuation order, your homeowners or tenants policy may provide coverage for additional living expenses (hotel and food costs). However, if you are checking into a hotel because your home is no longer comfortable to stay in and there is no physical property damage or evacuation order, you’ll likely have to pay out of your own pocket. Your insurance company may ask for proof of your home’s condition to verify it is unlivable.
If you are planning to file a claim for living expenses, make sure your policy names the specific peril that damaged your home. If you’re unsure, your BrokerLink broker can help you determine whether your policy will cover the cost of living away from home until the power comes back on.
Without power the food in my fridge and freezer went bad. Will that be covered?
Homeowners and tenants policies cover any damage or loss to the contents of your home, which includes food. A fridge will keep food safe for four to six hours as long as the doors remain closed. If your freezer is fully packed, it will keep food for between 24 and 36 hours. If you’ve lost power for a longer period, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency advises you dispose of perishable foods left at temperatures above 4⁰ for more than two hours.
If you had to throw out any food and plan on filing a claim through your insurance, take an inventory of all items. Policies have different limits on what compensation you may receive for food items, so review your policy before you file or check with your broker to see how much you can claim.
My business was forced to close when the power went out. How can insurance help me?
For businesses, lost inventory, lost sales and staff salaries mean costs of closing can add up quickly. There is a wide range of coverages available for commercial insurance policies, which are tailored specifically to the unique traits of each business. If you had to shut down while the lights were off, contact your BrokerLink broker to figure out what coverage you have and what kind of compensation is available.