Is there any way to get repaid for food lost during a power outage?

Michael Finney Image
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Is there any way to get repaid for food lost during a power outage?
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If you had to throw away everything in the fridge after a long power outage, is there any way to recoup those costs?

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a bad sign when you open your fridge and the light doesn't come on. Your best move is to shut the door and hope your electricity comes back on quickly. But if it doesn't, and you have to throw away all that food, is there some help in paying to replace your loss?

Let's start with your utility company. 7 On Your Side spoke with Mark Toney. He heads up the consumer group, The Utility Reform Network (TURN).

"Of course, PG&E cannot charge for electricity during the days that your power is off. However, because this is an issue that was not caused by PG&E, because of these major storms, atmospheric rivers, PG&E is unlikely to be held liable to pay for losses," says Toney.

So how about the government? Governor Gavin Newsom asked President Biden to declare an emergency and he did. However, so far FEMA is not setting up help centers like these from past disasters. 7 On Your Side checked with FEMA and was told it is standing by to help as needed, but there are no direct-to-consumer programs today.

That leaves it to your insurance company. We asked the Insurance Information Institute if a homeowner's policy will pay.

"It may cover it," says Janet Ruiz. "The thing you want to check on is your deductible cause. Often times that loss is going to be under your deductible."

The average deductible these days is between $500 and $5,000.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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