What will putting in an insurance claim for spoiled food do to my homeowner premiums?

That will affect you very little or not at all, don’t worry.

Insurance companies tend to look for long-term trends according to Bob Hartwig, insurance expert, economist and consultant for University of South Carolina.

“Filing a food spoilage claim as the result of Matthew won’t impact your rates,” Hartwig said. “Insurers look at longer run trends for all types of claims associated with events like Matthew to determine rates in your location.”

Claims for spoiled food loss are usually covered by renters’ or homeowners’ insurance policies, but there is often a deductible that needs to be met, Hartwig said. If you’re already claiming other damages, like a tree falling on your home, include the food loss. If you didn’t lose much food or enough to surpass the deductible amount, it probably isn’t worth it, he said.

Be sure to review your specific policy and discuss your options with your insurance provider.

Joan McDonough: 843-706-8125, @IPBG_Joan