Yikes! Are You Covered for Halloween Dangers?

28 Oct
Are you covered for halloween dangers?

Homeowners should be careful, as there can be liabilities with this holiday that could result in an expensive claim on your homeowners policy.

Halloween is just around the corner and soon tricksters and treaters will be knocking on your door hoping for their favorite candy. While it is always fun to get in the Halloween spirit, homeowners should be careful, as there can be liabilities with this holiday that could result in an expensive claim on your homeowners policy.

Here are just a few risks that could end up turning your Halloween into a nightmare:

Handing Out Candy

Any time a person comes onto your property there is a risk that they could fall and hurt themselves. Having dozens of excited kids pumped up on sugar running up to your front door multiples that risk by infinity.

Before you open for Halloween business make sure that all obstacles to the candy bowl have been removed and there are no slippery or loose surfaces. While Halloween is supposed to be scary, take it easy on displays that might frighten the kids. It is also a good idea to make sure your front door is well lit, tripping and falling in the dark could lead to a lawsuit.

The good news is that you are covered if someone falls and gets hurt on your property. This falls under the liability portion of your policy and is fully covered up to policy limits. Your insurer will even pay for the cost of your defense in the event that your case ends up in court.

It is possible to up your coverage limits or purchase an umbrella policy if you feel your current limits are not sufficient to protect your assets in a lawsuit situation.

Hosting a Party or Haunted House

Hosting a haunted house or neighborhood party ups your risk of injuries on your property and potential lawsuits. If at all possible, experts recommend letting someone else on the block host the party.

Any falls, injuries or accidents would be covered by your homeowners policy but again, only up to policy limits. A serious incident could leave you on the hook for any damages that exceed your coverage limits.

If you set up a haunted house and charge admission you could be leaving yourself exposed to a huge risk that would not be covered by your homeowners insurance. If a fee is charged to enter, your insurer would argue that you are running a business out of your home and would deny your claim.

A separate business policy would be required, consult with your insurance agent if you plan on setting up a for-profit haunted house.

Vandalism and Stolen Property

Halloween can turn ugly with stolen property and vandalism. In some cases, Halloween displays have gotten monstrous, costing hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars. A few stolen decorations can quickly add up to an expensive theft.

This would be covered by your homeowners policy as a theft claim but you would have to file a police report and the loss would need to be higher than your deductible to make it worthwhile. It is important to remember that every claim you make could end up raising your premiums so it is wise to carefully consider the consequences before making a claim.

Vandalism can be another matter. Toilet paper in the trees is certainly nothing to get an insurer involved with but broken windows or spray paint damage can run up some serious bills. If your home has been serious vandalized, call your agent to file a claim. Carefully documenting the damage will make the claim process go smoothly.

Dog Bites

Halloween is not only scary for kids, it can be terrifying for dogs. The doorbell ringing every few minutes combined with dozens of strangers dressed in strange costumes can send even the most well behaved dog over the edge.

It is best to keep your pet locked up in a safe room with plenty of distractions to keep them busy. In the event that your dog does get loose and bites a trick or treater your homeowners insurance policy will cover liability damages up to policy limits.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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