Spider webs are strewn across perfectly trimmed bushes. Pumpkins are gutted and carved into smiles. Fluffy stuffed tarantulas replace your doorbell. Little witches, colorful superheroes and dozens of Harry Potters, come out for a bit of stroll and a free sugar rush. Although children may look forward to a careless night trading Twizzlers for Reese’s Pieces, Halloween is easily dreaded by some homeowners.
Whether or not you indulge in the American practice of trick or treating, Halloween night sheds light on seven risks you may face as a homeowner, particularly during the holiday season. Let’s tackle what these are and how insurance could make you feel like a carefree child on Halloween:
1- Property Vandalism
Stereotypical Halloween vandalism usually includes egging or toilet paper roll tossing. The truth is, it does happen. Nevertheless, damages may look more frustrating than they are. Despite your annoyance, consider this before filing a claim. Home insurance policies often have a deductible price they uphold. This means that if repair costs fall anywhere beneath the deductible, homeowners are required to cover it themselves.
On the other hand, if you happen to be the joker, intentional vandalistic actions will not be covered by your insurance costs. You will most likely be legally obliged to pay your neighbor for damages.
2- Car Vandalism
Perhaps you were unlucky enough to wake up on November 1st and find your new Mercedes had slashed tires, broken windows, or a coat of spray paint. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, in reference to personal vehicle vandalism, “Halloween had the highest average number of claims for any day of the year with 1,253” compared to the “692 claims” on a non-holiday. Auto insurance is responsible for covering vehicle vandalism costs because it is unlikely that your homeowner insurance policies would.
3- People Accidentally Harmed on your Property
You will most likely be liable for any harmed Trick or Treater if the cause of their disaster can be traced back to any form of homeowner carelessness. You would be charged under “premises liability.” As Trick or Treaters are considered guests, this rule applies to anyone knocking at your door looking for treats in a witch hat. Although homeowner insurance should shield damage costs, additional medical expenses may be further insured by bodily injury liability coverage.
4- Hazardous Decorations
Homeowner insurance will also cover this. However, this claim is easily avoided. Maybe don’t put those spider webs anywhere Spiderman could trip over. Remember, if your decorations where considered carelessly managed, your insurance claim will be rejected. Check with our agents at Petra to figure out what is deemed to be dangerous and what is or what is not covered
5- Accidental Fires
Homeowner insurance covers accidental fires as well as the medical costs for anyone harmed by it. Again, if it is determined to have started as a consequence of negligence, insurance policies will not cover the costs. According to the emergency section of Khaleej Times in 2019, “The General Directorate of Civil Defense in Abu Dhabi … said a number of fire accidents had been caused by electric cables of poor quality, improper connections, short circuits, and overloading of electric networks”. If you planned on using decorative red and orange lights to show off your Halloween spirit, enforce proper usage.
Additionally, a study by the National Fire Protection Association in the United States stated that “From 2013 – 2017, 780 home structure fires began with decorations per year.” Although it is always special to see a flame dancing in your carefully carved pumpkin, consider using a battery-run candle. Or just don’t put it on top of a pile of dry leaves.
6- Animal Bites
Hordes of dressed-up children and a doorbell that never stops ringing can make even the best-behaved dogs, Batman’s Halloween nightmare. Luckily, your pet’s actions should be covered in your home insurance policy. Make sure it was drafted after Sunny became your family’s new edition. If not, call your agent to fit him in.
This type of injury is not covered in homeowner insurance policies. Consider buying store-bought candy rather than making it yourself.
As a homeowner, you want to be ready for any mishaps. As a Trick or Treater, however, you want to give in to your sweet tooth while watching your little monsters pretend to be their favorite personalities. Here at Petra, you can have both. Happy Halloween!