HALLOWEEN FOR HOMEOWNERS

Happy Halloween! It’s almost that time of year again. You’re putting out all of your spooky decorations. The kids are obsessing over finding the right costume and planning for a night full of trick or treating and tons of candy. And just like every other parent, you are worrying about your kids on this action packed night. If you have teenagers, you worry that they will be safe driving and will stay out of trouble. If you have young ones, you are probably more worried that all that candy will make them sick!

Many people are unaware that this night is one of the riskiest of the year. They are also unaware that their homeowners insurance has a liability section that can protect them from some of these risks, if they have enough liability coverage that is! So as the big night approaches, be sure to keep in mind these safety tips that will protect you and your family:

 

AT HOME

  1. Make sure that the pathways leading to your front door are well lit and clear of debris or damage. We know it sounds crazy, but should someone fall on your property because they could not see a stair that was not properly lit, you could be held responsible.
  2. Only offer commercially packaged treats to trick or treaters. If someone were to have an allergic reaction or fall ill from your snack, you will likely be held liable. Also, if you were the only non-commercial treat that person received, you could be blamed regardless of whether or not it was actually your snack.
  3. Secure your pets. Even the sweetest pets can become agitated or defensive of you with a large influx of visitors. That does not just mean biting someone. Your 75 pound golden retriever might just be happily excited and accidentally knock over a toddler. If your dog were to accidentally break a young child’s arm, you can rest assured that the parents will expect you to pay the medical bills.

 

PLANNING ON HOSTING A PARTY?

If you are planning on serving alcohol at your party, you are opening up yourself to a whole host of potential exposures. Primarily, as the host, you are responsible for the actions of your guests. Should one of your patrons leave the party intoxicated and injure themselves or someone else, you could be held legally liable for the resulting accident. So if you are planning on hosting a Halloween get together at your home, here are a few safety tips for you to consider:

  1. Make sure that guests that have been drinking have a sober ride home. Whether that is a designated driver, a taxi, Uber, or Lyft, make sure your guests have access to some of these resources.
  2. Consider hiring a bartender who can monitor for levels of intoxication
  3. Stop serving alcohol and provide other refreshments or food towards the end of the night

Homeowners insurance policies typically come with either $100,000 or $300,000 of liability coverage. But for literally only a few extra dollars per year, you can bump that coverage amount to $500,000. Another alternative is to add a personal liability umbrella which adds liability coverage in increments of $1 million above all of your personal liability policies such as your auto, home, boats, rental properties, and more. If you are curious about additional liability coverage options and scenarios, give us a call today at (615) 383-8874!

 

The ideas and tips from this blog came from:

Fraley, Misty R. “Have a Happy and Safe Halloween.” The Cincinnati Insurance Companies Blog. N.p., 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. <http://blog.cinfin.com/2014/10/23/safe-halloween-2/>.