Make sure to avoid common mistakes that could lead to insurance claims over the holidays. Bill Martin, president & CEO at Plymouth Rock Home Assurance, and PalAmerican security both recently put together lists of common types of homeowners insurance claims. Here are some ways to avoid hazards during the holiday season.
Martin says cooking accidents are the most common types of claims that homeowners file over the holidays. He says deep-frying turkeys indoors or in the garage, or not following deep fryer manufacturer instructions, is a common cause of house fires. He says cooktop fires are also common. Don’t leave cooking food unattended.
Dry Christmas trees are another common cause of house fires during the holiday season. Make sure you keep your tree away from sources of heat. Also, remember to blow out candles before you leave a room or go to bed. Homeowners insurance will typically cover fire damage to your home. Personal property insurance will cover damage to your belongings. Make sure you have both.
Christmas lights look beautiful, but you should always make sure you install them properly to avoid electrical hazards. Only use outdoor lighting outdoors. Only use indoor lighting indoors. Electrical equipment should be free of damage. You should also make sure not to overload electrical equipment, which is another potential fire hazard. Before you go to sleep or leave the house, make sure to turn off all the lights. Electrical cords can also pose a trip hazard if you do not cover them properly. Homeowners insurance usually offers personal liability coverage if a guest is injured on your property. Medical insurance would cover injuries to members of your household.
Injuries and Damage
Similarly, if someone is injured by a falling decoration or damage is caused to a neighbor’s property by a decoration that gets blown away, personal liability coverage will usually cover you. Trips and falls are extremely common forms of accidents in the home.
No one wants to their new Christmas presents stolen. That’s why home security is a must. Rember to lock your door, have proper lighting, and don’t leave gifts in plain view. Homeowners insurance that includes personal property coverage usually covers theft. However, some policies have limits for big-ticket items. You may want to get separate coverage for this with a rider or umbrella policy.
If a holiday party guest consumes alcohol at your home, the most responsible way for them to get home safely is with a designated driver or a ride-share. If a guest drinks alcohol at your holiday party and then gets into a car accident on the way home, you could potentially be liable. Make sure your personal liability insurance covers guests who end up in harm’s way.
Online Shopping & Electronic Devices
If your packages are stolen from your property, you may be covered under personal property coverage. Some homeowners insurance policies cover online identity theft, but others don’t. Make sure you check with your agent. If you are the victim of a ransomware attack, cyber liability coverage will usually help, including equipment replacement.
Make sure you have an emergency preparedness plan, including what to do and where to go if you have to evacuate your home. Make sure you have working fire extinguishers easily accessible inside your home.
Check Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage
If you don’t know what your current homeowners insurance coverage is, contact your agent to discuss it before you need to make a claim. If you need to switch your homeowners insurance to a different provider, Farris Insurance can help.
Farris Insurance serves businesses and people across Northwest Arkansas, including Springdale, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Rogers, and throughout Benton County and Washington County. Contact us today at (479) 756 – 6330.