Does Renters Insurance Cover Power Outages?

Know your coverage, before the storm rolls in.

Team LemonadeTeam Lemonade

Extreme weather events all across the U.S. might have you asking: Are power outages caused covered by my renters insurance? The short answer is that power outages generally aren’t covered, except in very specific instances.

  • In general, power outages are not covered by your renters insurance policy—unless certain types of direct damage to your rental building caused the outage.
  • Loss of use claims for power outages and spoiled food caused by such outages are generally not covered by renters or homeowners insurance.
  • Damage to belongings caused by burst pipes is covered, but loss of use caused by frozen pipes is not. 
  • Renters are generally covered for personal belongings and temporary housing in the case of property damage; they are not covered for structural damage to the rental property itself, which is the landlord’s responsibility.

Let’s take a look at some points of confusion around renters insurance and power outages, focusing on some common disaster scenarios.

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

My power went out due to bad weather.

Here’s the tough news: Power outages, without other physical damage to your building itself, aren’t covered as part of your policy.

The Loss of Use section of your Lemonade homeowners or renters policy can help out with costs if your place becomes unlivable due to certain specific circumstances (what we call ‘named perils’). But power outages aren’t one of those perils. 

Such outages are common in the U.S. due to all sorts of bad or inclement weather, and renters and home policies have limited coverage unless there is actual damage to your home. 

My power went out and now all my frozen or refrigerated food is spoiled.

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but unfortunately, we generally can’t cover you for damages caused by such outages. There are very specific circumstances in which food spoilage from a power outage might be covered—here’s a deeper dive into food loss and your insurance.

I experienced a power surge.

Damage from power surges might be covered, if what caused the surge was one of the perils covered by renters insurance.

For instance, fire is a covered peril. If a fire in your apartment causes electrical damage in one room, and this instigates a power surge in another room that destroys your TV and laptop, you might be covered for the damage.

Want additional protections against power surge-related damage? Consider Equipment Breakdown Coverage, which offers more peace of mind for your appliances and electronics.

My pipes froze.

Your policy does not cover you for Loss of Use due to frozen pipes.

There are a few things you can do to avoid frozen pipes, though.

If you haven’t lost power and still have heat, you can try to open up any bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room cabinets, which will allow warm air to circulate around your plumbing fixtures and possibly prevent pipes from freezing. You can also leave your faucets running, just a trickle, for the same reason. 

My pipes froze and then burst, spewing water all over my furniture.

Yes, in this case you’d be covered for both damages to your stuff and for Loss of Use (meaning we’d help pay for alternative accommodations while you’re unable to stay in your home). In this case, you have actual physical damages caused by a named peril—here, it’s “accidental discharge from a frozen burst pipe”—and so your policy coverage does kick in.

I don’t own my home, but the physical building was damaged.

If you’re a renter, any damage to your apartment or rental home itself falls back onto your property manager and their insurance to address. Your Lemonade policy is able to address damage to your personal belongings, as well as temporary housing or other related expenses while any repairs are being completed, depending on the circumstances.

Cover Your Stuff

A tree fell on my home in a storm and caused damage.

Damage to your house’s structure, or your personal stuff, would be covered under your homeowners policy.

If you’re a renter, you’d be covered for any damage this fallen tree caused to your personal belongings, as well as given help with temporary housing expenses if your home becomes unlivable. However, any damage to the actual building would fall under your landlord’s insurance policy (see the question above).

If I’m a renter, what is my landlord responsible for?

Your landlord is responsible for repairing any damages to the apartment or rental home itself.

They are usually not responsible for replacing, moving or storing your personal belongings, or covering any temporary accommodations you need while the repairs are being completed.

Your landlord may waive your rent for the period you are not able to occupy your home, but not always.

What resources are available to me in general?

Now that extreme weather events are the new norm, you’ll want to do everything you can to mitigate the effects of a potential power outage.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to preparing your home for a power outage.

And, if the worst does happen, you still have options. The Red Cross runs shelters for those displaced from their home due to emergencies, and you can also dial 2-1-1 for more info on similar initiatives.


Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.