Fridge freezer contents insurance

Did you know your home insurance can cover the value of the food in your freezer? Find out if your policy includes this and how to make a claim.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 21 February 2023  | 4 mins read
Reviewed by Jasmine Hembury

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Does your home insurance cover your fridge freezer food?

It could cost you a lot if your freezer contents were spoiled and you had to replace everything - particularly at times like Christmas when it may be chock-full of special festive foods.

The good news is that most home insurance policies also cover the food in your freezer.

According to Defaqto, 94% of 331 home contents policies listed offer cover for your freezer contents as standard.

A further 2% have freezer cover as an optional extra. Cover is often quite generous, as 73% of contents policies with freezer cover will insure you up to the total figure given for your home contents cover.[1]

What risks are covered by freezer contents insurance?

Freezer contents insurance protects you against unexpected situations that might ruin your frozen food, like:

  • A sudden rise or fall in freezer temperature
  • Food contamination from refrigeration fumes
  • Your freezer breaking down after a flood
  • Unplanned power cuts or a power surge that stops your freezer working

How much cover would be given?

The amount of compensation you might get for your frozen or refrigerated food can vary depending on the insurer.

According to Defaqto, 307 out of 331 home contents policies offer cover of £400 or more. And 242 policies offer £750 of cover or greater..[1]

Some policies even offer unlimited cover. But realistically, you’re unlikely to have more than £1,000 worth of food in your fridge or freezer at any one time.

As well as the cost of replacing the frozen food, some policies also cover the cost of hiring a replacement freezer until yours can be repaired or replaced.

What will insurers class as spoiled food?

There’s no specific insurance definition of what counts as spoiled food, so this may vary between insurers.

Generally, it means food that’s unfit for human consumption due to a rise or fall in temperature, or because the food’s been contaminated by refrigerant fumes.

According to the Food Standards Agency, if there’s a power cut: food can stay fresh for up to four hours in a fridge, up to 48 hours in a full freezer and 24 hours in a half-full freezer - but this will depend on your type of fridge or freezer.

Will home insurance cover fridge freezer repairs?

If an event like a flood or power cut means your freezer stops working properly or breaks down, your home insurance will usually cover its repair or replacement.

But most home insurers won’t cover freezer problems in general, as this is something that’s likely to happen through wear and tear over time.

However, if you have a manufacturer’s warranty you may be able to have it repaired free of charge, so check the paperwork.

Do I need extra cover at Christmas or other times?

This will depend on your cover limit for frozen food. At times like Christmas, or for special occasions, you may be storing luxury foods or just buying more food in general - so it might be worth taking out extra cover for this period.

This is sometimes known as celebration cover and will cover your food as well as other items you may be storing for the event.

Not all home insurance policies offer this extra cover option though, so it’s best to check your policy wording or shop around for cover that better suits your needs.

What isn’t insured?

This can vary between insurers, so you’ll need to check your policy exclusions. But you won’t typically be covered for:

  • Doors left open – You won’t be covered if your food was ruined because the door to your freezer or fridge hadn’t been closed properly
  • Fridge freezers over a certain age – If your freezer is more than 10 years old your claim will be rejected
  • Non-food items – You won’t be able to claim for anything stored in your freezer that isn’t food
  • Planned power cuts – Your cover won’t apply if your freezer contents are ruined after a scheduled power outage that was communicated to you
  • Food held for business purposes – You won’t be able to claim on your home insurance for any food you were storing for your business
  • Any items that haven’t spoiled – You’ll only be able to claim for food that’s no longer edible
  • Accidentally turning the power off – You won’t be covered for accidentally turning off or unplugging your freezer

Key points

  • Freezer contents cover will cover you if your frozen food is spoiled
  • Cover is available either as standard or as an optional extra
  • Check your policy carefully for exclusions and excesses if you're considering a claim

When can you claim for frozen food?

You’ll need to check your policy wording, but typically you’ll be able to claim for frozen food when it’s been spoilt by an accidental change in temperature in your fridge or freezer.

This might be caused by a mechanical fault or a power surge, for example.

You can usually make a claim if your freezer accidentally breaks down or if the food’s been contaminated by refrigeration fumes.

And if there’s an unplanned power cut that’s beyond your control, you’re likely to be covered if it lasts long enough to ruin your food.

However, if you’ve been without power for some time, you may be able to get compensation from your energy supplier and avoid making a claim on your insurance. The amount you get will depend on how long the power cut lasted and how many homes were affected.

Can you claim for a new freezer?

Depending on your policy, your contents insurance might cover your freezer for accidental damage, as well as for damage or loss from risks like fire, flood, and theft.

But if you simply need a new freezer because your old one stopped working properly, you won’t be able to claim for a replacement.

Alternatively, you could take out home appliance cover. This will cover you for call-outs, repairs and even new replacements for any of your white goods and appliances.

Do you need receipts to claim?

No, not normally. As the food may have been in your freezer for several weeks, it’s generally understood that you may not still have your receipts.

Instead, many insurers will ask for photographs of all the ruined food before it’s thrown away and a list of the spoiled items.

But if you’re doing a big shop and buying lots of luxury treats, it’s always a good idea to keep hold of your receipts for a while - it’ll certainly help if you did need to make a claim.

Making a claim for freezer contents

Before you make a claim, check how much your voluntary excess is as this will usually be deducted from your payout. Unless the remaining amount will be enough to help replace the food, it’s probably not worth making a claim as it may bump up your premiums in the future.

If you do make a claim, you’ll need to provide your insurer with your policy number and the make and model of your fridge or freezer, as well as proof of its contents.

Often insurers will ask you to list and take photographs of all the spoiled food. And you may also be asked to estimate the food’s value based on current prices.

But it’s important to be honest about what you’re claiming for.

The insurers will know how much food your type of fridge or freezer is likely to hold and if they suspect you’re claiming too much they may reject your claim or ask for receipts.

Most insurers will have cover for damaged food caused by rising or falling temperatures, or fumes escaping, but your insurer won’t pay out if the fault was deliberately caused by someone, or if your home was unoccupied for a long period of time"
Ceri McMillan, Go.Compare’s home insurance expert

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Page reviewed by: Jasmine Hembury

[1] Last checked 24 May 2023