A few basic safety steps, along with up-to-date homeowners and auto insurance policies, can take some of the fright out of possible Halloween related damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
- Your home or car is the target of mischief
Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies provide coverage for vandalism. There will be a deductible before your policy starts to pay, but if you suffer expensive damage to your home or possessions you will be financially protected. In the event that your car is damaged by mischievous trick-or-treaters, there is coverage under the optional comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy.
- There is a fire in your home
If a Halloween candle or electrically powered decoration causes a fire, any damage will be covered by standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. If the fire is significant enough to make your home unlivable, you would also be covered for additional living expenses, such as having to check into a hotel while your home is being repaired.
- A trick-or-treater is injured on your property
If a trick-or-treater or Halloween party guest is accidently injured in your house or apartment, you would be covered under the liability portion of your homeowners or renters insurance policy, should the injured guest sue you. Standard policies also include no-fault medical coverage so that the injured guest could simply file their medical claim with your insurance company and avoid a lawsuit. Not everyone is familiar with this coverage, but it provides very important financial protection.
- You crash your car into a tree to avoid hitting a trick-or-treater
Of course, we know you will drive slowly and carefully, but if a group of excited trick-or-treaters darts in front of your car causing you to swerve and hit a tree, you should be covered. Accidents that do not involve another driver or pedestrian are covered under the optional collision portion of an auto insurance policy. If another car or person is involved in the accident, the liability portion of your auto policy would kick in.
- Remove all objects around the outside of your house that could cause children to trip or fall.
- Turn your outside light on so children will know they can visit your home.
- Keep candles, jack-o-lanterns, matches and lighters in a place that children cannot reach. Halloween candles with multiple wicks close to one another are hazardous and should not be used. When lit they can produce a single high flame or several large flames close together resulting in intense heat and the danger of igniting nearby materials such as curtains or window sills.
- Keep pets inside and away from trick-or-treaters and lit candles, especially if they are easily frightened or become over-excited in the presence of strangers.
- If using decorative lights indoors or outdoors, use lights certified by a recognized organization such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Discard damaged sets. Do not overload extension cords.
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