The most wonderful time of the year is here. Days are filled with watching Christmas movies, shopping for gifts, and baking cookies. Your little ones are wildly excited and there is a feeling of festivity everywhere you look.
The malls are extravagantly decorated and the holiday scents of pine and peppermint are in the air. Add the sounds of nostalgic Christmas carols to this picture, and you are in a world of holiday enchantment. Your insurance agent, however, will tell you that even in a perfect world, you have to be cautious.
Accidents happen even during the best of times. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, our homes can become a minefield of potential accidents that can lead to insurance claims.
To mitigate your risk of loss from unexpected events, get in touch with a YourPolicy agent to discuss your insurance needs. Our knowledgeable agents can help you find coverage and give you peace of mind during the coming holidays.
In the meantime, here are a few things to look out for.
Twelve Holiday Insurance Claims
12 Clark Griswalds
Who can forget the “Christmas Vacation” scene of Clark Griswold putting his feet through the floor of his attic. It’s strange that he wasn’t injured with the board whacking him in the face three times. Apparently, he was saved by the magic of movies.
You may be surprised to learn that insurance companies actually receive claims for this type of event every year. Ceilings are destroyed, furniture is damaged, and injuries occur. The next time you visit your attic, take a flashlight.
11 Live Christmas Trees
Nothing brings back memories of Christmas like the smell of pine, and we all know what can happen if you choose to use a live tree. Fire is a very common insurance claim during the holiday season. Drying trees can lead to a total fire loss in less than 3 minutes!
Keep the tree well watered and don’t place it near a heat source. If you’re going to be away from home or even out of the room for a prolonged period, turn off the lights.
10 Burning Candles
Another fire hazard is burning candles. Candles create a cozy atmosphere and some have delectable scents, but they are a naked flame.
If you’re using candles, place them on stable surfaces away from anything that is highly flammable. Never leave a burning candle unattended, and extinguish them before going to bed. With all of the beautiful flameless candles available, you can eliminate this hazard completely.
9 Falling Parents
Only parents of small children know the five stages of toy assembly:
- Denial: It’s only 11:00. These won’t take long to assemble.
- Blame: Here come the snarky comments from the parents who did none of the shopping. They blame everyone from the grandparents to the long-suffering parent who has been shopping since August so that their kids have the perfect Christmas.
- Reminiscing: Remember the days when you were expecting that little bundle of joy and thinking about memorable future Christmas mornings.
- No More Kids: This happens when your hungry baby wakes up and your toddler thinks it’s Christmas morning. You’re done.
- Acceptance: You’ve gotten through worse than this. Get the job done so that you can sneak in a 30 minute nap.
The danger here is that when you drag yourself out of bed to gleeful Christmas-morning shouts, you’re exhausted and disoriented. You’ll probably fall down the stairs. Maybe you’ll trip over a piece of plastic dollhouse furniture. In any event you’ll break something. Here’s hoping that Santa brings good health insurance.
8 Burst Pipes
Depending on your location, Christmas can be very cold. If you live in an area that is subject to freezing temperatures, your safest bet is to insulate your pipes. There are several methods that will work, including snap-on foam insulation and UL-approved heat tape. Be sure to insulate near your crawlspace, attic, and exterior walls, and follow the manufacturers’ installation instructions for any process that you use. Santa doesn’t come to houses with no water.
7 Freezers Failing
Given the exorbitant cost of food this year, you don’t want to have to make an insurance claim for a failed freezer. It would be very sad to have to discard that $200 prime rib roast or filet. If you have concerns about the age or condition of your freezer, invest in a new one before Christmas. Don’t wait for Santa to leave one under the tree.
6 Falls Off of Ladders
This type of accident can happen either during decorating or when removing your decorations. Never, ever go up a ladder that isn’t stable, and be sure that there is another adult around in case of an emergency. Don’t be Clark Griswold.
5 Drunk Dancers
Every holiday gathering brings together a group of excited adults who have too little sense and drink too much eggnog. This could result in broken furniture, a toppled Christmas tree, or an artery severed by a broken wine glass. Be sure that your insurance is up to date.
4 Shattering Pyrex Dishes
Pyrex is not resistant to thermal shock and the company has been sued for damages and injuries. Pyrex moved from the oven to the cold granite counter or from the refrigerator to the oven, has been known to shatter. This can ruin Christmas dinner.
Carpets and floors have been ruined with hot payrex shards, not to mention the chance of injury from flying glass. Be cautious when moving Pyrex from one temperature extreme to another. Let it come to room temperature or use hot pads to prevent accidents.
3 Auto Mishaps
We’ve heard this sage advice many times but it bears repeating. Please drive according to weather conditions, don’t text and drive, don’t eat and drive and, most importantly, don’t drink and drive. If you’re at all concerned about the weather or your alcohol level, stay the night. Avoid using your auto insurance.
2 Holiday Office Parties
If you’re hosting your employee holiday party at your home, you are legally responsible for the safety of your guests. If you are having a party at your office, be certain that you have the required liability coverage. Office parties are notorious for bizarre behavior. Speak to your insurance agent about policy limitations, exclusions, and conditions.
1 Despicable Thief
Unfortunately, in some areas criminal activity is on the upswing. Criminals understand that they will hit the jackpot if they break into a home during the holidays. Do whatever you can to deter them.
If you can, install one of the many security systems available. If that isn’t possible, use common sense. Always leave lights on when you’re out. Never leave presents near any windows that can be viewed by passers by. Try to be at home when gifts are delivered, and if that’s not possible, have a neighbor pick them up for you. Thieves have been know to follow Amazon trucks.
There are so many wonderful things to look forward to with the holidays approaching. To keep the fun from being spoiled, be aware of what can go wrong and do whatever you can to mitigate your risk. Enjoy your friends and family and have a safe and Merry Christmas!