Insurance Considerations for the Holiday Season

The holiday season should be a time for cheer and goodwill. But sometimes, things take a wrong turn, and disaster strikes. Maybe it’s an opportunistic thief trying to steal your car from that unfamiliar parking spot on the street outside your family home. Perhaps your Christmas tree is made out of fire-friendly material and you’ve placed it too close to the fireplace. It could be one or more of many things. If you want to avoid the sound of jingle bells turning into sirens, here are the insurance considerations you need to think of.

Keep An Eye On Your Car

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, New Year’s Eve was the fourth most ‘productive’ date for car thieves. The number of car thefts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day doesn’t fall far behind. It would seem that carjacking is popular during the holiday season. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get your car insured against theft way before Christmas rolls in. Otherwise, you may be left blue and not just due to the cold either.

Be Careful When You’re Shopping Online

This is a great season for shopping as you need to get those last-minute gifts. But that can be slightly risky if you aren’t careful. Many websites are scams and so many a not insignificant number of people selling stuff online. You need to be cautious when you’re interacting with them. Be careful when you’re uploading your credit card details or when you’re reading emails from retailers that you don’t know. Those could be phishing scams. If you want additional protection, ask your insurance agent about including identity theft in your homeowner’s insurance.

Fire-Proof Your Home

This may be a good time to get a homeowner’s insurance policy. Those typically cover fires whether they’re in or around your home. That includes your Christmas tree. While flaming Christmas trees aren’t the Christmas memory you want, they do happen and they can be disastrous. The NFPA states that US firefighters responded to 160 home fires a year, between 2014- 2018. Two people died due to these, and the property was damaged to the tune of $10 million. Those are staggering statistics if you think about it. These fires started due to faulty electrical wiring, dried tree leaves falling near the fire, and other such unpredictable reasons.

Kitchen Fires

Exploding ovens, faulty electricals, and many other factors can lead to kitchen fires. These can be devastating and could destroy your entire home if they get out of hand. You can try to prevent these by staying in the kitchen if your appliances are on. An unattended stove or cooking space is a major cause of cooking fires. Another precaution you could take is to be sober when you’re manning the stove. Otherwise, ask someone else to take over. Check on your food regularly and keep children and animals at a distance. To safeguard yourself, find out whether your homeowner’s insurance policy protects you from fires.

Be Careful With The Food

Another important factor is to make sure the delicious food you’re serving is fresh and edible. You would get into big trouble if people get food poisoning from you. They would require medical attention. A home insurance policy could sometimes cover medical expenses. Just make sure yours does as well. Also, be careful when you’re making your food, check the expiration date on everything, and make sure everything is cooked properly.

Protect Yourself Against General Crime

If you’re getting expensive gifts, make sure you insure them. Also, be wary if you’re taking a long vacation during this season. Home break-ins are common and you’ll need to protect yourself against crime. Increase your security features, hide your expensive belongings, and ensure your insurance plan gives you adequate protection. Make your policy covers loss of possessions as well as damaged caused by an intruder. A normal policy would cover the physical structure of your home, personal possessions, liability, additional living expenses, and replacement costs.

Be Careful of Home-Related Accidents

Be careful you don’t fall when you’re climbing your ladder to decorate your home. That could put you out of action during the Christmas season. Also, be wary of other home-related accidents suffered by your guests. Those could include guests falling on your ice-covered pavement. Or someone else getting into a car crash in your front yard. Normally your homeowner’s insurance would cover injuries to guests. Ensure you have personal liability coverage. You’d be surprised to know some homeowner’s policies also cover liquor liability coverage. Find out what your policy protects you from.

Keep An Eye on The Alcohol

If you’re having a party and you’re serving alcoholic beverages, you’ll need to be careful. You could be held accountable for your guests if they get into accidents while they’re intoxicated. It’s best if they leave your home in a cab or are driven back by a friend. They can always get their vehicle when they’re sober. Also, purchase a higher liability insurance limit on your policy. You can also buy a personal umbrella insurance policy. Those normally have higher limits.

Your home insurance policy could cover you for host liquor liability. But that would depend on the carrier and the coverage form. This would only protect you if you aren’t charging for the alcohol that you’re serving.

Keep all these in mind and you’re sure to have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.