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Halloween is all fun and games until a trick-or-treater trips, knocks over your jack-o-lantern, and sets your front porch on fire.
Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies cover these common Halloween home mishaps:
Tricksters damage your home. Standard homeowners policies cover vandalism, such as dents in your siding caused by eggs thrown at your home, when repair costs exceed your deductible.
Candles or decorations cause a fire. A fire started by a Halloween candle or a string of holiday lights will be covered. If the fire makes your home unlivable, your homeowners policy will pay your living expenses while you wait for repairs.
A trick-or-treater gets hurt on your property. Injuries to trick-or-treaters or your party guests are covered by the homeowner liability portion of your policy. The injured person files a claim with your insurer.
You crash your car into a telephone pole to avoid hitting a trick-or-treater in your driveway. That accident would be covered by the collision portion of your auto insurance (if you have it). If you hurt anyone, the liability portion of your auto insurance would cover the cost of their treatment.
If everything on this list of Halloween home horrors occurred, your umbrella insurance would kick in to cover costs — if you have it.
To make your property safe for Halloween, the Insurance Information Institute has these recommendations:
Pick up anything in your front yard, sidewalk, stoop, or porch that a person could trip over.
Turn on your outdoor lighting so kids can see where they’re going.
Use battery-powered lights in your jack-o-lanterns.
Don’t put matches, lighters, or candles in places children can reach.
Pets, candles, and trick-or-treaters don’t mix. Keep pets away from the front door on Halloween.
Look for safety certifications, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), on your decorative lights.
Dona DeZube has been writing about real estate for more than two decades. She lives in a suburban Baltimore Midcentury modest home on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, racoons, foxes, a herd of deer and her blue-tick hound.
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