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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.
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 337 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.
Freezer contents insurance protects you against unexpected situations that might ruin your frozen food, like:
The amount of compensation you might get for your frozen or refrigerated food can vary depending on the insurer.
According to Defaqto, 306 out of 332 home contents policies offer cover of £400 or more. And 245 policies offer £750 of cover or greater..
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.
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.
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.
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.
This can vary between insurers, so you’ll need to check your policy exclusions. But you won’t typically be covered for:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Page reviewed by: Jasmine Hembury
 Last checked 9 December 2022