We hope that everyone has a safe and warm holiday season without any mishaps—but sometimes, things go awry.
And, just what are the most common claims this time of year? For the answer, read on:
No. 1: Fires. At this time of year, people tend to use more candles, light fires, deep-fry turkeys and participate in other practices that can be considered a fire hazard. A common homeowners claim this time of year is a claim that involves smoke and fire damage.
A practical seasonal tip: Some people love to buy real Christmas trees to set up in their homes—and we get it, they smell great and they’re beautiful. However, they can be a dangerous fire hazard. Real trees are dry—and highly flammable. If you choose to have a real tree, we advise you to keep them away from fireplaces, candles, electrical outlets—or other sources of electricity.
When hanging lights on the tree, inspect them carefully to ensure that there aren’t frayed or exposed wires, and keep an eye on these lights until the tree is removed from your home. (Plus, be careful not to overfill your tree stand with water, and check the water depository for leaks—another common claim involves water stains and damage to floors caused by overflowing tree stands and leaks.)
No. 2: Black ice and unsafe driving. A common auto insurance claim during this season includes car accidents caused by black ice or unsafe driving. When driving to and from holiday festivities, remember to exercise caution by adhering to speed limits, and slowing down for curves in the road and when making turns.
A practical seasonal tip: Consider avoiding the roads at night—when black ice is less visible. And, if you choose to imbibe in alcohol at a holiday party, designate someone who isn’t drinking to drive you home, or stay where you are. Winter driving gets even hairier when there’s alcohol involved.
No. 3: Theft. Theft is prevalent during this time of year—people like to steal packages off porches, lawn decorations and ornaments, or even the belongings inside your home.
A practical seasonal tip: Your homeowners insurance will cover some of these instances of theft, but for more valuable belongings (e.g., jewelry and fine art), you may need an additional endorsement.
No. 4: Falling off ladders. Homeowners everywhere like to channel their inner Clark Griswold this time of year to hang twinkling lights on their houses. They’re pretty and fill neighborhoods with warm nostalgia. But, falling off a ladder is a common claim around the holidays.
A practical seasonal tip: Be careful when you are installing and removing these lights, and make sure that your ladders are stable and that you are supervised by someone on ground level.
But no matter how you stack it, these things happen. If you experience an accident and need to submit a claim this holiday season, your independent agent is here for you. Give us a call if you need us, any day—any time.
Alexandra Chouinard has editing, writing, advertising and publishing experience from her Alma Mater, Loyola University, where she earned a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree in Writing and Communication.