Halloween is here! Get ready for the costumes, parties, pranks, trick-or-treaters, candy and…the risk. Every year we are reminded how quickly Halloween celebrations can go wrong. Since cancelling Halloween is not an option, it is important to identify risks that can be controlled and insure against those that cannot.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of childhood pedestrian deaths increased fourfold among children on Halloween. The following tips can limit the likelihood of being involved in a vehicle-pedestrian accident.
- Slow down and be alert. Children may move in unpredictable and unsafe ways.
- Take extra time at intersections. Pay attention to medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate distractions, such as cell phones and music.
- Turn headlights on earlier in the day
Standard auto insurance policies would typically provide coverage for damage and liability resulting from a vehicle-pedestrian accident, subject to any policy exclusions.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Whether they are trick-or-treaters or party guests, people typically have more visitors than usual on Halloween. This means a higher risk of slip, trip and fall accidents and liability. To prevent accidents:
- Keep areas well-lit.
- Remove all objects that could cause children or guests to slip, trip or fall.
- Make sure Halloween decorations don’t create a hazard.
- Repair any broken walkways, sidewalks, driveways, paths and steps.
- Warn visitors of, and clearly mark, any hazards that cannot be removed or repaired.
- Keep pets inside and away from guests and trick-or-treaters.
If a guest is injured, standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies will typically provide coverage in the event of a lawsuit. These policies may also provide an injured guest with medical coverage, which may help avoid a lawsuit.
The National Fire Protection Association says that Halloween ranks among the top 5 days of the year for candle-related fires. The NFPA also found that decorations, like jack-o-lanterns, are often the items first ignited in home fires. To prevent fires:
- Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from flammable materials.
- Make sure decorations and costumes are flame resistant.
- For decorations requiring electricity, make sure plugs, wires and cords are not damaged and are used properly.
Fires caused by candles or decorations will typically be covered under standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies.
Homes and vehicles are often damaged by mischievous or malicious trick-or-treaters. To limit the risk:
- Keep areas well-lit.
- Move items indoors or to another location.
Vandalism damage that exceeds the deductible will typically be covered under standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies. If a car is vandalized, the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy should cover the damage.
If you would like more information about identifying and insuring against various risks, please contact us.
If you would like to subscribe to our newsletters please click here.