Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a busy holiday season, which comes with a unique set of hazards. In this podcast episode, we discuss insurance tips to help you have a safe Thanksgiving, whether you’re staying home and entertaining guests or traveling far distances to spend time with loved ones.
1. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is up to date.
Make sure your policy is updated to include new purchases or valuable belongings. Some policies limit coverage for personal possessions to 10 percent of total coverage for personal property. Therefore, it is important to get replacement cost coverage by having an appraisal and adding separate items as “floaters.”
Check if you’re covered for common holiday mishaps, such as:
Fire caused by cooking catastrophes. The National Fire Protection Association says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.
Review your homeowner’s or renters insurance policy to ensure you have at least HO-2 – or ‘Broad Form coverage’ – to cover you for fire damage.
Tipsy house guests. The increase in holiday house parties and guests leads to an increase of accidental injuries you may be liable for.
If you are hosting a holiday party where alcohol is present, remember that your tipsy guests are your responsibility. If your guest gets drunk and crashes their car, your homeowner’s insurance could be canceled due to “social host liability”.
2. Protect your home if you’re going away.
Whether you are traveling thousands of miles away or simply driving a few cities over, you should take added measures to keep your home safe while you are away.
Farmers Insurance finds that home robberies jump 25 percent at the end of the year. Consider the following tips for deterring potential thieves:
- Don’t advertise your travel plans on social media
- Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home, bring in the mail, water the plants, etc.
- Keep lights on a timer and use motion detectors for outdoor lights
- Consider purchasing a “smart doorbell” to bolster your home security
3. Review your auto insurance policy before hitting the road.
The November holiday is one of the busiest travel periods of the year; about 48.7 million Americans will travel 50+ miles from home this year, making it the busiest Thanksgiving period since 2007.
The potential for a car crash increases exponentially when there are more people on the roads. It is important to review your current auto insurance coverage to ensure you are adequately covered if an accident occurs.
If you do not already have it, consider rental car insurance. If an accident happens and you cannot use your own car to finish your trip, this will cover rental car expenses.
4. Consider travel insurance.
Thanksgiving travel is famous for long delays, bad weather, and canceled flights.
One in six Americans has had their travel plans impacted by medical conditions, natural disasters or mechanical or carrier-cause problems, according to the US Travel Insurance Association. Of those affected, only one in five had travel insurance.
For approximately $20 per trip, travel insurance may cover the following:
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Medical cancellation, interruption or evacuation
- Security and political evacuation
- Lost, stolen or damaged baggage