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FACT or MYTH: If a trick-or-treater is injured on my property, I can't be sued and don't have to pay any of his or her medical bills.

March 2017

MYTH! Halloween or not, when injuries are sustained on your property by invited or uninvited guests, you can be vulnerable to insurance claims and lawsuits. Injuries to the trick-or-treater would be covered by the homeowner liability portion of your policy. Should the medical expenses or potential litigation exceed your policy limits, your umbrella coverage would kick in to cover the costs-if you have one.

To protect yourself against potentially the scariest risks of Halloween, the team at Peel & Holland suggests you take the following precautions:

  1. Keep the Lights On- Prevent trick-or-treaters or other visitors from stumbling after dark by keeping your property well-lit. In addition to protecting against potential liability claims, this can also help deter burglars or vandals who are less likely to target a well-lit home.
  2. Clear the Path- Creating a clear path to your front door reduces the liability risk of visitors injuring themselves on your property. We suggest you keep pumpkins and other decorations clear of the sidewalks and steps.
  3. Confine Your Pets- For the safety of your pet and your visitors we suggest keeping them confined and without visibility of visitors as they are often inclined to jump, bark, or bite at unfamiliar guests.
  4. Jack-O-Lanterns- Just as common as the carving of a Jack-o-Lantern is the use of a candle to illuminate it. And just as with any open flame, this common practice can have disastrous consequences.  To avoid fire damage and other liability claims, the team at Peel & Holland suggests lighting your jack-o-lanterns with battery-operated lights.
  5. Serving Safety- Please remember that you are responsible for the safety of the guests who will visit your home. To protect yourself, only distribute commercially-packaged candy or treats.

Halloween is a great time to review your homeowners insurance policy. Take a moment to call our office and ensure you will be fully protected for your holiday plans. This could also be a great time to consider an umbrella policy, which offers protection when a liability claim or suit exceeds the limits provided by your personal auto or homeowners liability coverage.

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