It’s December and the holidays are filled with family, friends, food, fun and festivities. Naturally at the Reis Insurance Agency, we see an insurance claim waiting to happen.
Not to put a damper on the reason for the season, mind you, but we see risks everywhere we look. That is why we’re devoting this month’s blog post to sharing a few examples with you so you can be prepared or anticipate them during the holidays and beyond.
Candles and Cords and Cooking
One of the first things we think of when it comes to risks at home is fire. Having more people around can translate into less attention being paid to what is going on throughout the house. Everyone loves to light extra candles for Christmas, but who is responsible to blow them out when you leave the house? There are more than 15,000 home fires a year (an average of 42 per day!) caused by unattended burning candles, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
You can’t look around the neighborhood without seeing hundreds, if not thousands of Christmas lights in yards, on trees, consuming whole houses! Electrical cords might be haphazardly strung together quickly while putting lights up in the cold this time of year. Be mindful of the potential for cords getting wet or short circuiting. Be careful with lights and cords on Christmas trees inside your home too. A dry tree and frayed cords on a permanent tree are potential fire starters.
What about in the kitchen or on the grill? If you prepare a turkey dinner, your home is at risk for fire. Make sure your outdoor grill or deep fryer is in a well-ventilated area a safe distance from overhangs. Be prepared for flames and fire by keeping baking soda, a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand nearby at all times.
Ice and Snow, Slips and Falls
Another risk this time of year – and not just during the holidays – is ice and snow on sidewalks and steps. If you have company visiting, be sure you keep walkways clear and sanded, if necessary. Nobody wants to think about a lawsuit, but if someone is injured on your property and need serious medical care, you may be faced with medical bills that exceed the limits of your homeowners insurance policy.
Early winter is also when we see stories about cars and snowmobiles breaking through the ice. It’s tempting to believe the ice is thicker than it is after a few weeks of dropping temperatures. Be sure to confirm with authorities that the ice is safe before you venture out. And be aware that if your car or sled is drenched, the damages may not be covered unless you have optional comprehensive insurance on your insurance policy.
Are You Covered If Gifts Are Stolen?
Do you shop ’til you drop for Christmas gifts, only stopping long enough to bring a load of bags and boxes to your car in the mall parking lot? Do you have insurance protection if the gifts are stolen? If thieves take your property out of your car, you may assume your auto insurance will pay for the losses. Few people realize it’s their renters or home insurance that covers personal property. We can help you determine exactly what is or is not covered by policies you may have and identify possible gaps in coverage too.
Speaking of gifts, we are very thankful for each and every customer. In the hustle and bustle this time of year, we want to make sure you understand how much we appreciate your business. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!