Easy Ways to Get Reimbursement for Food Loss in Power Outage

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How to Get Reimbursed for Food Loss from a Power Outage

When the power goes out, you leave the fridge closed. This is one of the first rules we learn as kids in a power outage. It helps the refrigerator and freezer retain cold and keep your food fresh during the few minutes or hours the power is out. But what happens if the power is out for several hours; long enough for the fridge to warm up inside? What if the power is out for more than a day? You'll need to recoup the food that rotted while the fridge warmed.

Food loss from a power outage is one of the terrible side-effects of extended outages. While it may be gross to clean out rotted food, you shouldn't also have to cover the costs of all-new groceries. The good news is that you can get that grocery money back from the power company that failed to keep your fridge on.

Types of Food Loss in a Power Outage

  1. Melted frozen goods
  2. Wilted and spoiled produce
  3. Rotten meat and dairy products
  4. Spoiled prepared meals like soup and casserole
  5. Contamination of cooked rice

How Long in a Power Outage Before My Food is Spoiled?

How long can a power outage last before you experience food loss? According to the USDA, it's only 4 hours before a power outage spoils your cold food. This is how long it takes for your fridge to warm up and for the most bacteria-sensitive foods like raw meat and cooked meals to spoil. FoodSafety.gov suggests that you throw out most of the contents of your refrigerator and freezer after any power outage that lasts four hours or longer.

We know that can be hundreds of dollars in groceries for your family, and an expense you can't afford to repurchase casually. After a two-hour outage, it becomes a good idea to retrieve picnic foods like lunch meat and produce that doesn’t need to be cooked as your power outage family meal. After this point, however, it's important not to try and "save" foods that have already potentially begun to spoil.

How to Get Compensation for Food Loss From a Power Outage

In power outages that are caused or controlled by the power company, your utility provider is also responsible for any losses suffered due to an outage. This includes food loss. But you will need to prove what food was lost and its replacement value to .

Prove your losses
  1. Take photos of the inside of your fridge and freezer (before cleaning)
  2. Estimate the expense of the food lost
  3. Use your last grocery receipt for proof

Taking these steps will put a monetary value on your food loss claim and provide proof of your losses that the power company or your homeowner's insurance must respond to.

Contact your utility companyContact your electricity provider. Inform them that you experienced the power outage and that because it lasted over 4 hours, you also experienced significant food loss. Most power companies have a policy for food loss because it is a common side-effect of power outages. If you're lucky, the phone rep will connect you to compensation right away. If you're not, you may need to fight the company for your rightful grocery replacement money.
Make a homeowner's insurance claimSome homeowner's insurance policies will also cover food loss as a "minor" claim due to a power outage. If you have a rep and insurer on your side, they will fulfill your claim then turn around and get their money from the power company. If not, you may get the run-around on policies or news that your deductible is higher than the cost of your lost groceries

Skip the Hassle, Get Reimbursement for Outage Food Loss with DoNotPay

If your power company and/or insurance provider are giving you the run-around, you still have the right to food loss reimbursement. Power outages are not your fault, they are the responsibility of the power company. Losses caused by extended and unannounced power outages are therefore the power company's liability, not yours. You shouldn't have to repurchase a week or more of groceries just because the power went out, and we can help.

With DoNotPay, you give us the facts and we'll handle the hassle of dealing with your power company or homeowner's insurance. You don't need that stress. You probably don't have time for hours on the phone and re-filing paperwork, but that's what we do best.

How to Get Compensation for an Outage Using DoNotPay:

If you want to get compensation for an outage but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in these 9 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Outage Refunds product on DoNotPay.

  2. Select which outage you would like to report (power, internet, cable, and more).

  3. Select your energy provider and enter your account number.

  4. Indicate when the outage started and how long it lasted.

  5. Verify your account information.

  6. If you want to be reimbursed for losses related to a power outage, choose whether you want to be reimbursed for personal injuries, damaged property, or both.

  7. Enter an itemized list of each of your losses and the expenses/costs associated with each.

  8. Upload documents or photographic evidence that proves your losses. Also, add the names of any witnesses who can attest to your losses if possible.

  9. Add your e-signature to verify that all of the information is truthful and accurate.

DoNotPay Can Help With All Sorts Outage-Based Loss

Utility outages can cause a wide range of problems that shouldn't be your problem. We can handle everything from internet outages in Los Angeles to power outages in Maine. No matter which provider or utility you're dealing with, whether they're charging you for downtime or you suffered losses during an outage, we can help.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Of course, our ability to help isn't just limited to utility outage troubles. DoNotPay was designed to help you with every kind of everyday hassle we could think of. Need to file an insurance claim? Don't have time to pay for your parking tickets in person? Let us handle it for you.

DoNotPay is here to make life easier and save you unnecessary expenses. Explore our services to find out more ways we can save you time and money with online legal and procedural services.

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