The holiday season isn’t always merry and bright.
In the midst of bright lights and warm spirits, sometimes everything can go wrong.
Here are three holiday risks to avoid this season, plus a few tips (and helpful insurance policies) to keep you caroling along without a care.
Flammable Holiday Trees
What great memories you made taking the family out to cut down a fresh tree over the holiday season!
Trekking through the snow, choosing the perfect tree, hanging the decorations with care. But this joyous holiday tradition can also be very dangerous.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas tree fire danger is real. While NFPA says that Christmas tree fires aren’t as common as other causes of home fires, they are more deadly.
One in every 32 Christmas tree-related fires results in a death. In comparison, only one out of 143 home fires from other causes results in death.
The combination of dry trees and electrical light malfunction can put you at a big risk for a holiday fire.
According to the American Christmas Tree Association, you can follow a few safety tips to keep your tree from lighting up hotter than a yule log:
- Look for fresh trees with vibrant green needles.
- Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, or candles.
- Keep your holiday candles away from your tree.
- Only use lights that are tested in a lab by the UL for safety.
- Don’t keep your tree lights on when you go to bed or leave the house.
The ACTA warns: “When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your evergreen foliage until next year.”
Are You Covered?
What happens if your tree leads to a house fire? If you’ve got homeowners or renters insurance, you should be covered against fire damage.
Homeowner's insurance covers both the structure of your home and your personal property within against covered losses like fire.
Renters insurance will protect your personal belongings, even if you don’t own your home or apartment.
Your policy could even cover any unwrapped gifts that were underneath the tree if this unfortunate holiday risk should happen to you.
What’s Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Know which perils aren’t covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy and be sure to add additional coverages that suit for your specific needs.
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The entire holiday season brings more drivers out to share the roads.
Shoppers are out looking for the best deals. Harried hosts are hurrying to the grocery store to get ingredients for festive feasts. People are traveling short and long distances to be with friends and loved ones.
Everyone is either coming or going: to a parade, party, light show, or a favorite holiday event.
Increased traffic on the roads is almost always associated with increased traffic accidents.
And when the number of alcohol-impaired drivers increase, the rates of traffic accidents skyrockets.
Be safe on the roads this holiday season.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
- Don’t drive distracted.
- Pay close attention to road conditions and other drivers.
- Never drink and drive.
DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and New Years. With easy access to rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, there’s no reason to get behind the wheel of your car if you’ve been drinking.
Are You Covered?
With an increased chance of traffic accidents during the holiday season, now’s a good time to check your auto insurance coverage.
Most states require basic liability insurance coverage if you’re going to operate a motor vehicle. This will cover third-party damage or injuries if you’re at fault in an accident. But liability alone won’t cover damage to your vehicle if you’re at fault.
Collision coverage can help repair damage to your own vehicle if you collide with another vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage, in most cases, can help you repair your vehicle no matter what may come your way. Run in with a reindeer? Cracked windshield? Rolled vehicle? Damage from a snowstorm or flash flood? Comprehensive coverage is designed for it all.
Underinsured/ uninsured motorist coverage can also save you in the event you have a run-in with a driver who isn’t insured or carrying enough coverage to pay for the damages to your vehicle if they’re at fault.
Holiday Party Gone Wrong
Planning the perfect party for your office, charity, or organization this holiday season? Anyone who’s pulled off an epic holiday soiree knows not everything goes according to plan.
A sound system screw up could lead to an electrical fire at your event venue.
A temporary dance floor could collapse, injuring guests and catering staff.
A rowdy crowd - fueled by holiday cheer and an open bar - could cause a surprising amount of damage to the event venue.
An unexpected storm could blow in, causing road and venue closures and canceling your party before it even begins.
When your parties get big, your risks get bigger. Planning a large party or event can leave you exposed to potential injuries, damages, and financial loss from a thousand different angles.
Limit your liabilities when serving alcohol at a big event:
- Instruct alcohol-serving bartenders or vendors to cut off service to intoxicated party-goers.
- Never allow a company employee to serve drinks.
- Arrange alternative transportation options like shuttles, cabs, or ride-share.
- Provide food if you’re serving drinks, and have coffee and snacks available after last-call.
Are You Covered?
You may not realize it, but you can insure your next party or event for your business, charity, or organization.
Special event insurance covers your business or organization against claims for bodily injury or property damage which could occur during your big bash.
It may even cover things like contract liability and liquor liability for the safe sale of alcohol.
Special event insurance can also protect your vendors from the risks they face as concessionaires or exhibitors during your event, and can even include cancellation of a group or performer.
Be sure to wrap your next party with a festive and protective shield in the form of special event insurance, and you can cross “worry and fret” off your party-planning to-do list.
Stay Safe This Holiday Season
Common sense and awareness can go a long way towards keeping you safe this holiday season. You can do your part to avoid a party disaster, home fire, or accident on the road.
And when you can’t avoid an unexpected accident or incident, don’t worry…. If you’ve got the right insurance in place, you’re covered.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Aegis Insurance Markets!