Every year agents and insurers receive the typical holiday claims during the holiday season. The common homeowners claims during the holidays consist of cuts from frantically opening holiday gifts or putting together all the holiday gifts. Other claims consist of broken limbs from falls from ladders while decorating. This is not atypical. Homeowners claims from fire jump to 15% over the holiday season. We all try to be aware of holiday hazard to prevent claims however, there are some hazards that do occur that are preventable but are not always forefront in our thoughts.
Studies have shown perils are more common during the holidays due to people doing too many things. Over 52% of people surveyed stated that they are overwhelmed over the holidays due to the pressure of getting everything complete by the time festivities begin. More than 55% of consumer polled state that they drink more alcohol during the holidays and over 60% pf people state that they will try a new way of cooking or decorating of the holidays. A final statistic that is interesting; 37% of consumers with small children admit to becoming forgetful or distracted during the holiday season. All of these changes in routine and behavior are what spark holiday claims. Let’s face it holidays are stressful and changes in behavior routine and lack of sleep causes us to think less about preventing possible claims.
Now that we have examined the “why” of holiday insurance claims; the following are some examples of “what” and “how” of holiday claims. Candles are the largest cause for homeowners claims during the holiday season. In fact, the week of Christmas is the one of the top three weeks for candle-related fires. The average cost of damages due to a candle fire is $50,000. Christmas trees are another leading cause of a holiday-related homeowners claim. Fires involving both live and artificial trees cause on average $100,000 per claim. Some causes of tree fires are not watering a live tree and the tree ignites from hot Christmas lights. Another cause is, and this may be a surprise to many, an electrical fire from watering a Christmas tree with the lights plugged in. This can cause both severe property and bodily damage.
The other predominant homeowners holiday claims that occur are thefts. 71% of consumers order gifts and have them left on their porch exposing valuable gifts to theft. 54% of the people surveyed travel a minimum of overnight over the holidays leaving their home a target for theft.
Finally, homeowners claims for cuts and abrasions are also seen by insurance companies over the holidays. This is due to children and adults use sharp objects to open difficult packaging or rushing to open their Christmas gifts. In the excitement occasionally accidents happen.
These holidays claims are all preventable by using common sense and most of all slowing down and taking time to spend with your families. Easier said than done, right? Etler-Kettenacker Agency wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season to our clients and readers. If you need us, we are here for you this season. Best Wishes!