Summer is all about vacations, parties, and being outdoors. People wait all year for the months when they can enjoy swimming and barbecues with friends and family. We do our best to be cautious, but can be easily distracted by the fun. This is when accidents happen. Most are minor; but, occasionally, you have to file a claim with your insurance company.
The best way to maintain your peace of mind is to be proactive. Understand the types of accidents that can happen, and take steps to prevent them. There are no guarantees, but you’re already ahead of the game if you have the right insurance coverage. Here at YourPolicy, our licensed agents want to give you the peace of mind to enjoy your summer by helping you find the right insurance for your needs and your budget.
To prepare you for the unexpected, here are a few of the most common insurance claims that occur during the summer months and some tips to keep you and your family safe.
Five Top Summer Insurance Claims and Tips to Avoid Them
Fire Insurance Claims From Grills and Fire Pits
Firing up the grill to cook a great meal while enjoying the outdoors is the essence of summer. After eating, everyone wants to continue the summer evening around the fire pit. Without the proper precautions, however, these activities can quickly result in a disaster causing an estimated 7,000 injuries every year.
Safety Tips: Grill fires are avoidable. Keep your grill clean, and don’t leave it unattended or near flammable materials. It should be at least 10 feet away from other objects, bushes, and your house. Keep children and pets away from the grill until it is completely cool. Never use a grill inside your home or garage. With a propane grill always check the connection between the fuel line and the propane tank. If you find a leak, don’t turn on the gas or light the grill until it’s fixed, and don’t turn on a gas grill with the lid closed. If you’re using a charcoal grill, be sure to use only lighter fluid when starting the fire and be sure the embers are extinguished.
Before lighting a fire in your fire pit follow these tips.
- Don’t use flammable fluids.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the fire.
- Avoid using soft woods like pine or cedar because they can pop and spark.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or a water source close.
Boating Accident Claims
There is nothing better for a boating enthusiast than spending a beautiful summer day on the water, but it does come with risks. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2019 recreational boating accidents caused $55 million in property damage, 613 deaths, and 2,559 injuries. Drowning was the cause of 79% of deaths, with 86% of the victims not wearing a life jacket. Other contributing factors were operator inexperience and inattention, machinery failure, and excessive speed.
Safety Tips: To avoid accidents, take a boating safety class and be sure your boat is in good running order. Everyone on board should be required to wear a life jacket. Your boat should be well-stocked with safety supplies and don’t ever skimp on basic maintenance.
Swimming Pool Drowning Claims
For obvious reasons, swimming pools present a common hazard in the summer. According to the CDC, about 10 people die each day in the U.S. due to non-boating-related drownings. One in five is 14 years old or younger, and for every child that dies another five receive emergency care for submersion injuries. These nonfatal injuries can cause severe brain damage and long-term disabilities.
Safety Tips: Children should be unable to sneak into the area and accidentally fall into the pool. Your pool should be guarded with a fence and gates that can be locked. A pool alarm that signals you when anyone enters the pool area or the pool is ideal, and you can also set alarms for doors that lead to the pool. Keep toys that attract children out of the pool and the pool area, and get your children swimming lessons so that they learn safety skills. Lastly, learn CPR. It can double or triple the chances of survival after cardiac arrest.
Auto Accident Claims
Memorial Day signals the start of the summer driving season. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers increases by 16% per day during this time. Teens are easily distracted by cellphones and passengers. Other summer hazards that affect all ages are increased road construction, flash floods, overheated vehicles, and sun glare.
Safety Tips: To avoid these situations, keep your car regularly maintained and have it checked before any long-distance driving. To keep your teen safe, check whether your insurance company offers driver safety programs. These programs provide the double advantage of a discounted rate and driver safety education for your teens. App-based programs, which require teenagers to view safe driving videos, record driving trips, and pass knowledge assessment quizzes, can award up to a 10% discount on your insurance premium.
Home Burglary Claims
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, home burglaries increase by 10% in July and August. The obvious reasons are that people are on vacation, daylight hours are extended, and the weather is warm.
Safety Tips: If you have a security system, be sure that it is in working order. If not, consider installing a good system to protect your home. Activate a timer for the lights in your home to come on and go off at different times. You want to give the appearance that people are in the house. Have a trustworthy friend or family member park their car in your driveway, and hire a landscaper to maintain your property while you’re away. Alert your security company and the police to your plans, and don’t forget to leave a sign outside indicating that your home is protected by a security system. Finally, do not advertise your plans on social media.
Don’t let this information ruin your summer fun. The best defense against these problems is the offense of common sense and the right insurance coverage. Discussing your concerns with the agents at YourPolicy can put your mind at ease knowing that you’re covered against major losses with the right insurance policy. They can advise you as to the best insurance for your needs and painlessly guide you through the process.