Food Spoilage Coverage- Helpful Coverage or Dangerous Decision?

Updated February 20, 2024
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Claiming food spoilage on your personal lines homeowner’s policy can be a difficult decision, and whether it’s a bad idea depends on several factors:

  1. Policy Coverage: First, check if your policy actually covers food spoilage. This is often related to power outages or appliance failures. Not all policies include this, and those that do might have specific conditions or limits.
  2. Premium Increases: Filing a claim, even a small one, can sometimes lead to an increase in your premiums. Insurance companies often view any claim as an increased risk, which could cost you more in the long term. Since food spoilage limits are typically $500, one needs to consider the possibility of paying that back in the form of rate increases.
  3. Claim Frequency: Filing multiple claims within a short period can flag you as a high-risk customer. This could lead to higher premiums or even difficulty finding coverage in the future. If it was possible to predict the future, and you knew you would not have to file other claims, filing a food spoilage claim would make sense.
  4. Alternative Solutions: Consider other solutions first, like seeking compensation from a utility company if the spoilage was due to a power outage, or from a warranty if an appliance malfunctioned.

Before making a decision, it’s advisable to speak with your insurance agent or representative. They can provide specific advice based on your policy details, claim history, and personal circumstances. Remember, insurance is primarily intended to protect against significant losses, so using it for smaller incidents might not always be the best financial strategy. Consumers often are often under the impression that a food spoilage claim is “not a claim” since there is typically no deductible, but that is incorrect. Food spoilage is a claim and if something else happens within the next 5 years, having 2 claims in 5 years can result in non-renewals which then lead to much higher prices, often for 5 years.


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