What makes Halloween so much fun is that all the scary things — ghosts and skeletons, witches on their broomsticks, pumpkins lit with evil grins — are make-believe. At least we hope they are. Unfortunately, in the real world, there are some very real dangers to our homes, our belongings, and our finances on October 31st.
This is why experienced insurance advisors work with their clients to make sure they have sufficient homeowner’s insurance to protect them from all the things that “go bump in the night.”
At Blue Lion Insurance Advisors, LLC, we work hard to assist you in assembling an insurance package that will keep you and your family safe not only on Halloween but all year round.
Halloween-Related Property Damage You Need Your Homeowners Policy to Cover
One of the major reasons you have homeowners insurance is to protect your home and belongings from damage and loss. Multiple studies show that insurance claims for home and property are far more numerous on Halloween than during most of the year. The Highway Loss Data Institute, for example, reports that the risk of your home being damaged on Halloween is nearly twice that of an average day.
By working with an experienced insurance advisor, you can be sure that you will have a homeowners insurance policy that is comprehensive enough to cover you for all the ghoulish things that may happen due to Halloween pranks and accidents, including:
While young children in the guise of pirates and gypsies, robots and celebrities, are a pleasure to see and hard to imagine as dangerous, older goblins and marauding teenagers may present a danger. Common pranks that may be more costly than their perpetrators realize include:
- Egging your home — possibly not only making a mess but damaging your paint or siding or breaking your windows or other structures
- Toilet-papering your trees
- Smashing your pumpkins
- Covering your house and yard with shaving cream
Most of these acts of vandalism may not be worth making a homeowner’s claim since they won’t cost more to clean up than your deductible. Nonetheless, if you have to replace panels of siding, windows, or even doors, you’ll be glad to have a homeowner’s policy that will cover your expenses.
More serious damages may also occur since some adult criminals view Halloween as a free-for-all during which they feel entitled to take a hammer to your porch railing or your brand new expensive barbecue grill.
Other criminal activity also increases during the holiday. It is common for decorations, such as coffins, gravestones, skeletons, and outdoor lighting to be stolen — the more expensive it is, the more tempting. More brazen criminals may use the window they’ve broken to make entry and remove high-priced items from your home or garage. All such illegal activity should be covered by your homeowner’s policy.
All too often, homeowners unwittingly cause damage to their own property or set the stage for others to do so, setting a spooky mood by putting real candles in their jack-o’-lanterns. Unless you have been extraordinarily careless — for example, leaving your pumpkins aflame and near a pile of dry leaves throughout the night — a strong homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the costs of repairing and rebuilding. It should also pay for your alternative living arrangements while you wait for repairs to be finished.
Most people are aware of how their home may be damaged on Halloween, but few think of the less obvious dangers of being sued for personal injuries that occur on their property. Trick or treaters and their parents are expected visitors on Halloween, and as a homeowner, you are responsible for providing them with a safe environment. Depending on the nature and extent of another’s injury on your premises, you could be faced with a lawsuit claiming extensive damages for your negligence if someone has:
- Slipped and fallen as a result of your slippery walkway, a wire across your path, poor lighting, a damaged step to the front door
- Been bitten or knocked over by your dog
You might even be sued if a trick or treater:
- Had an asthma attack as a result of your fog machine
- Suffered a severe allergic reaction to nuts in a candy you distributed
- Suffered a seizure due to your strobe lighting
Though in these latter incidents, the plaintiff’s lawyer might have a difficult time proving your negligence, you still might have to pay attorneys’ fees to fight the case. This is why it’s so important to have a homeowner’s insurance policy that has been properly vetted by a sharp insurance advisor.
An Ounce of Prevention
As you can see, the real horrors of Halloween can, in many cases, be avoided by some simple preventative measures. Make your home safe for Halloween guests by clearing your walkway, having sufficient lighting along with the approach to your house, illuminating your jack-o’-lantern with battery-operated lights, keeping your decorations entertaining (not extreme), and warning your candy consumers to check ingredient labels. Beyond all this, keep yourself and your family safe this Halloween by consulting with one of our insurance advisors to make sure that your homeowner’s insurance policy is Blue Lion Strong™. Call us today at 732-649-1600 to speak with one of our experienced Insurance Advisors!