Fright Night: Carelessness on Halloween Can Cause Insurance, Financial Nightmares

Halloween festivities are sure to bring plenty of chills and thrills. However, it could quickly turn into a nightmare if you do not take time to carefully plan for the evening’s activities.

Candles, frightened pets and wet or poorly maintained walkways all can prove dangerous to your family and trick-or-treaters.

“Protecting yourself, your family and guests starts with making sure you have Homeowners Insurance with high enough limits of liability to protect your financial assets,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “After that, homeowners should take every reasonable precaution to ensure that their homes are safe for residents and guests.”

Injuries to guests are covered under the Liability portion of your Homeowners Insurance policy. Most homeowners’ policies start with liability limits of $100,000.

However, regardless of the season, you may want to consider purchasing at least $300,000 worth of liability protection and adding an Umbrella Policy. In many cases, you can purchase up to 10 times more liability coverage for an additional several hundred dollars per year.

Your policy also provides “no-fault” medical coverage. In the event a friend or neighbor is injured in or around your home, he or she can submit medical bills to your insurance company up to the limit you’ve chosen – generally from $1,000 to $5,000. This allows payment of smaller medical expenses without needing to file a liability claim.

However, it’s important to note that medical coverage only applies to guests and does not pay medical bills for you, your family or your pets.

NW Insurance Council offers these common-sense tips to help you avoid the negligence ghouls and safeguard your family, home and trick-or-treaters this Halloween night:

  • Ensure safe walkways by raking or sweeping leaves and other debris away from porches, decks, sidewalks and driveways.
  • Trim low-hanging branches over walkways.
  • Keep walkways well lit.
  • Keep pets away from approaching trick-or-treaters. Some pets may get excited or hostile when encountering children dressed in costumes.
  • Keep candles away from all combustible and heat-sensitive items. Make sure they are displayed on stable surfaces and out of reach of children and pets. Extinguish candles before leaving a room.

If you’d like more information about your Homeowners Insurance policy or your liability limits, contact your insurance company or agent.


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