5 min read
Find out what home insurance covers when things go bump in the night.
On Halloween, you have more to fear than a bellyache from too many Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. You need to think about the little kids in costumes, the safety of your house, and how to prepare for the big night. What does your home insurance cover during this ghoulish time?
Stay with us as we answer this question and get down to some seriously spooky business.
A Scary Stat You Need to Know
Halloween might make you think of candy, costumes, and cobwebs. It’s not all harmless fun, though.
Halloween brings a significant (17%) rise in claims for theft and vandalism.
How unlucky is that? It’s like carrying a black cat under a ladder then breaking a mirror.
How do you change your fortunes during the Halloween season, when tricks could outweigh the treats?
Start by following these tips for preparing your home.
Creative Ways to Skip the Flame
Your homeowners policy would cover an accidental fire that happens under normal conditions. Let’s talk about a Halloween-related risk that it might not cover.
You create a haunted vibe by turning off the lights and lining your porch with hundreds of candles. You think the flames give your decorations a more “authentic” feel.
We admire your dedication. It takes forever to light that many candles. But this display could fall under the “dangerous behavior” section of your home insurance policy.
Translation: It’s not safe to have this many candles going at once, especially when you expect above-average foot traffic on your property. You are increasing the chances of starting a fire.
Fetch Some LED Lights Glowsticks
Use LED candles or LED lights instead of candles. They might not look 100% real on your porch or sidewalk, but they’re much safer. If you put one inside a jack-o’-lantern, it’s tough to tell that it’s not a real candle.
You might save money in the long run by buying LED lights, too. They don’t put out much heat, so they won’t melt. This means you'll be able to reuse them.
You could use glowsticks, too. They light the way and work perfectly when you want to decorate your home like:
- A mad scientist’s laboratory
- The site of an alien invasion
- An enchanted forest
Take extra care when you use straw bales, cornstalks, and scarecrows as decorations. They’re flammable, so skip them completely or keep them far away from sources of heat.
Inspect Your Property Before the Kiddos Show Up
Are you the type who goes all out for Halloween? Do you spend hours painting fake gravestones, hanging orange lights, and blanketing your yard in cobwebs and plastic spiders?
You pay attention to the details, that’s for sure. So don’t skip out on inspecting your property a few days before the trick-or-treaters show up.
You don’t want a kid (or a parent) to trip over a decoration or divot and sprain an ankle.
We don’t want to make it seem like everyone in the world is sue-happy and money-hungry, but you’re responsible for injuries that happen on your property.
Rope Off Those Fake Gravestones
Though you might want that dreadful vibe, make sure you have a clearly lit path to your doorway with those LED lights or glowsticks mentioned earlier.
Get creative with making props off-limits. Rope off areas with caution tape and signs that say things like, “No entrance allowed. Zombies on the premises.”
Here’s what else to look for and fix on your property:
- Holes in fences
- Loose window well covers
- Cracks in the sidewalk
- Stray electrical cords
Your home insurance will cover injuries on your property up to certain limits.
That's why you should ask your local Pekin Insurance agent about an umbrella policy, which gives you extra liability coverage to supplement your homeowners policy.
Don't Let Dog Bites Happen
You might have a dog who’s normally scared of everything. Halloween could change that.
You’ll see a fair share of Disney princesses at your door, but some kids wear truly scary costumes. You don’t want your dog to mistake a child for a real monster. That’s when bites come into play.
Make It a Chill Night for Your Pup
Unless you’re 100% sure your dog is okay with trick-or-treaters, you should keep your canine pal away from the door.
Have someone hang out with your pup further into your home. Or, take your dog to a friend’s house if that friend doesn’t hand out candy.
Dog bites could fall under the liability section of your homeowners policy depending on the circumstances (every situation varies), but you shouldn't take that risk.
Your Car Looks Better Without Broken Windows
Would you park the family van in the driveway and hang a sign on it that says, “MY OTHER CAR IS A HEARSE”?
You might want to rethink that.
Car vandalism goes up on Halloween. We’re talking broken windows, spray paint, and eggs (yes, people still smash eggs on cars).
Hide It or Give Thieves and Vandals a Fright
Remove all valuables from your car and park it in the garage if you have one.
Think about adding a security alarm to your car. Or, put a sticker in your window that says your car is protected by a security system, even if you don’t have one. That could make vandals and thieves think twice about targeting your vehicle.
We hope these tips will help you worry less and enjoy your Halloween more.
Get in touch with your licensed Pekin Insurance agent if you have questions about your home insurance. They might share more sweet tips and their Halloween candy!