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Halloween Risks and Homeowner’s Insurance


Celebrating Halloween usually includes buying candy, costumes, pumpkins and scary decorations. Whoever thinks about sprucing up the insurance policy for Halloween?

Although homeowners insurance is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween, it should be one of the items near the top of the Halloween list. The mere fact of the increased exposure (meaning a stream of people visiting the property) increases the possibility of a homeowners insurance claim.

Halloween Insurance Tips for Homeowners

Listed below are a few things you do to reduce the risk of having to report a Halloween insurance claim.

  1. Keep Fido out of the way. Dogs get excited at the hustle, bustle and ringing of the doorbell. The oddly dressed people on the other side of the door don’t do much to calm Fido down. It’s best to make sure your dog is occupied or kept away from unsuspecting trick or treaters. The last type of Halloween treat you wants is a liability suit because of the dog.
  1. Practice extreme caution with candles. While the orange glowing effect of a candle adds to the Halloween ambiance, it can cause a fire if the candles are not carefully placed and monitored.
  1. Illuminate walking paths for trick or treaters. It is possible to decorate a home for Halloween keeping with the dark and gloomy tradition while simultaneously providing enough light for the walking path. Whether the walkway is lined with glowing pumpkins or the muted illumination of solar lights, it is important that you properly illuminate the walking path to avoid unnecessary trips and falls.
  1. Keep all wiring off the walking path. Along with proper theme related lighting, st take care to keep the extension cords off the walkway or cover them with mats in such a way to prevent tripping and falling. Trips and falls are common causes for homeowner insurance third party liability claims.
  1. Be careful of the ‘shock and awe’ affect. The Halloween celebration invokes thoughts of horror, fright and shock. However, in an attempt to reduce the possibility of a lawsuit, it is recommended to refrain from tactics such as suddenly jumping out from darkened bushes or other such scare tactics. These blood rushing tactics may be fun at an amusement park fun house, but it opens the homeowner up to another source of liability. Amusement parks carry Haunted House Insurance to cover such risks; homeowners do not.
  1. Purchase additional coverage. If the thought of pulling in the reigns on a Halloween celebration puts a damper on the fun, maybe its time to consider purchasing additional insurance to cover the holiday. Call your insurance agent to find out how much it will cost to increase your liability limits to cover the increased holiday exposure.

By taking just a few precautions, you won’t have to spend time worrying about potential insurance claims. The only thing you should be concerned about is whether or not you have enough candy for the hungry little trick or treaters.

About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a former insurance broker who is now a freelance writer.

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