Halloween can be a scary time for Homeowners with all of its frightful risks, but there are many ways you can help keep trick-or-treaters safe by preventing accidents and protecting youself by knowing what your homeowners/renters policy covers.
The Insurance Information Institute says that the standard homeowners and renters insurance policies provide coverage for vandalism caused to your home and property by others but if the police catch your 12-year-old son and his friends egging a house and breaking windows, you may be liable for your son’s actions but home insurance policies may not cover intentional acts that inflict injury on someone else.
You as a homeowner have a responsibility to keep your property safe. If someone trips and falls on your dark sidewalk or on a smashed pumpkin, you could be held liable. Protect yourself by keeping your lights on and sidewalks clear of debris. If you have a dog, make sure it is secure before trick-or-treaters arrive. Educate your children to not approach strange dogs. The costumes they are wearing may frighten the animal even if it is familiar to the children.
If a Halloween Party guest is accidentally injured, the insured would be covered under the liability portion of the homeowner’s or renter’s policy. There is also medical coverage available that the injured party could use. However you can be held liable if your party goer has too much to drink at your party and is involved in an accident on the way home. Be sure to plan for transportation if alcohol is served to your guests 21 or older.
Do not leave candles or electronic decorations unattended. Use small flashlights in your Jack-o-lanterns and make sure your smoke detector batteries are charged. If a Halloween candle or electrically powered decoration causes a fire, any damage will be covered by a standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
According to an article published by PRWeb.com, the hour with the most accidents on Halloween is from 6-7PM. To protect your children, use face paints instead of masks so their vision is not impaired. Make sure they are wearing reflective clothing and following traffic laws. Give them flashlights or glow sticks to carry. Have an adult accompany young trick-or-treaters and discuss safety rules with your children prior to trick-or-treating. Remind them not to enter stranger’s homes.
If you are driving, stay alert and off your cell phone. Watch out for kids darting between cars. They are paying attention to the costumes and candy, not cars.
Preventative actions and safety precautions can protect you, your home, family, and guests from tragic harm. Keep Halloween a safe and fun event. If you have questions on what your homeowners, renters or any of your policies cover, be sure to call one of our Account Managers or Account Executives at Barrs Insurance.
-Cheryl Pastor, Social Media Manager