Insurance Delivers Treat if you Experience a Halloween Trick

Halloween is a time of jack-o-lanterns, trick or treaters, and fun, but sometimes this combination results in injuries and property damage so it’s important to assure that your homeowners and car insurance policies are ready to tackle the challenges of the season.

The most common Halloween incidents faced by homeowners are:

  • Automobile Damage. Having your car egged, dented, or smashed is unfortunately common around Halloween. In fact, personal vehicles are twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween as any other day of the year. If possible, park your vehicles in a garage or well-lit area to minimize the risk of damage.
  • Property Damage. If you wake to find your yard covered in toilet paper, you may also find damage to trees, landscaping or other features. Your homeowners insurance should cover the damage but don’t clean the mess up until your agent has inspected and documented everything.
  • Disappearing Decorations. If Halloween goblins walk off with your yard décor you probably won’t get them back but you can make an insurance claim. Be sure to keep the receipts and file a police report to support your claim. 
  • Slips and Falls. Children in bulky costumes, distracted parents, wet sidewalks, and darkening skies mean that it is possible for someone to slip, fall, and become injured while on your property. While your homeowners insurance should cover this issue under the liability portion of the policy, you may not be covered if the condition of your walkway or your decorations presented a significant hazard.
  • Dog Bites. Even the best-behaved dog can become overexcited when a horde of costumed children come to the door, and may bite one or more of them. This issue is usually covered under the liability portion of your homeowners insurance unless you acquired the dog after the policy was signed. In that situation you may or may not be covered.
  • Fires. Many people still light their jack-o-lanterns with real candles, which is fine until a child accidentally knocks one over and sets the porch on fire. This happens more often than you think, with residential fires occurring more frequently around Halloween than other times of the year. Fortunately, your homeowners insurance provides coverage for repair and temporary living arrangements if your home is not habitable. However, if you are renting, you will need renters insurance to receive reimbursement for your personal belongings.
  • Harming Pedestrians. Halloween comes in second only to News Year’s for the number of pedestrian deaths. If you’re driving, be very watchful of children in dark costumes and do not drive distracted or impaired. If you are in an accident, your car insurance may provide liability coverage buy you may also face criminal charges. 
  • Gravestone Damage. After Halloween you may visit a loved one’s grave and find that the stone is stolen or damaged. Most homeowner insurance policies will cover vandalism and will repair or replace the stone. 

When Insurance Might Not Help

There are a few situations where your insurance may or may not provide coverage. These are:

  • Homemade Treats. If you make and distribute homemade goodies, understand that there is a risk that could result in a lawsuit. Unless you make the items in a commercial kitchen and provide a detailed ingredient list, a child could become ill or even die if they are allergic to an ingredient or there was unintentional contamination. For this reason, it is best to give store-bought treats to trick or treaters and save the homemade goodies for your family, friends, or party.
  • Your Child is a Prankster. While your insurance will cover damage to your home and property caused by other people, it does not protect you if your child damages someone else’s property. If your child commits intentional acts of vandalism you will be responsible to pay restitution, even if the child is a minor. It is also possible that your policy will not provide coverage if you are sued due to the intentional nature of the acts.

Every holiday season brings the potential for damage and loss but Halloween is the time when problems are most likely to occur, which makes October the perfect month to review your homeowner and auto insurance policies to determine if you have the coverage you need if a disaster or goblins strike. Let Alliance help. Our highly trained agents are happy to review your policies and identify gaps and/or opportunities for savings. We represent the best insurance carriers in Florida and can help you find the right coverage for your needs.

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