Tis almost the season! With the holidays shortly upon us, we thought it would be a good idea to examine how the holidays might impact your homeowner’s insurance coverage.
This season is a joyful one, but sometimes bad things happen. How will your current coverage respond?
The Peril of Fire
As seen in this classic scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Christmas trees are highly flammable:
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the likelihood of fire increases in December and January. A huge spike in home fires occurs in the 10 days after Christmas, when homeowners have stopped watering the tree regularly, and are more lax about turning the lights off.
Electrical shorts from overloaded circuits near a source of kindling (a dried out Christmas tree) accounted for about 40% of Christmas tree fires. See more facts about Christmas tree fires here.
The good news: your homeowner’s insurance will cover the peril of fire unless the fire was intentionally set (and 24% of them are).
The Peril of Theft
All types of theft increase during the holidays, including shoplifting. However, the worst kind of theft to experience at this time of year is the theft of holiday gifts.
Christmas lights on the house, a brightly lit tree glowing in the window and no cars in the driveway are a beacon to thieves looking to cash in on some holiday spirit.
This family was hit in 2013:
There are many ways to keep your home from being burglarized, including making sure the home looks occupied at all times, installing a security system, and keeping gifts out of sight from windows. This article explains how to keep your home safe, with advice from thieves on what prevents them from breaking and entering.
The good news: theft is typically covered under a homeowners policy.
Do You Have Enough Coverage?
All of those Christmas gifts piled up under the tree are sure to bring joy to your friends and family, but they also do one other thing: they increase the value of the contents inside your home.
Packages containing jewelry, clothing, and electronics can add up and cause problems in the event of a major catastrophe such as a fire. Do you have enough contents coverage on your homeowner’s policy to cover newly purchased items such as laptops, gaming systems, or diamond jewelry? If you are housing expensive items such as ATVs or even a new vehicle on your property as a potential gift, are they covered under your policy?
The good news is: your broker is just a phone call away!
Check your policy and talk to your broker about these and other potential hazards that may occur during the holiday season. The only thing worse than having a claim at the holidays is finding out you don’t have the proper coverage.