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Avoiding Common Holiday Dangers
The holidays are full of gift giving and entertaining and traveling. But those things also can increase the risk that something bad will happen. In order to keep your holidays happy, be aware of some potential issues:
Gift giving. The holidays are a common time to present your loved one with expensive jewelry, art or other gifts. Just be aware that you need to make sure your gifts are insured long before they are opened.
Give us a call immediately – maybe even while you are still in the store – and let us know about the item. We can make sure that it is covered by your homeowners policy or, if necessary, we can add a rider to your policy. Then even if the Grinch steals your gift from under the tree, you can replace it.
Entertaining. A houseful of people is a holiday tradition. But be aware that if guests – or often caterers and other employees – fall and injure themselves in your house or on your property, you could be sued. Similarly, if a guest has too much to drink and causes injury to property or people while driving home, you could be liable.
So when you entertain, make sure to clear your walks, stairs and porch of all ice and snow. Remove tripping hazards such as electrical cords, throw rugs and carpet runners. Don’t leave candles burning unattended; better yet, don’t use real candles at all. If a guest has too much to drink, call a cab or arrange an alternate ride home. And unplug decorations before you go to bed.
An empty house. Burglars know that many people travel during the holidays, leaving their homes empty -- and unprotected. Winter weather also can cause problems if your furnace breaks down or your water pipes freeze. If you are going to be gone, take precautions to protect your home.
The best approach is to find a house-sitter, either a professional or a friend or relative you trust. Consider getting a home security system if you don’t have one; the system should include sensors for temperature and water. If you don’t have a house-sitter, put lights on a timer, and vary the timing slightly from room to room so that all the lights don’t come on at once. Have someone come check on your house while you are gone, and ask them to park in the driveway. Stop your mail or have someone pick it up, and make sure your sidewalk and drive are shoveled. And never post about your trip on social media – at least until you come back.
Travel. Before you travel, check your health insurance coverage to make sure it applies where you are going. If not, buy travel insurance that covers health care. At the same time, you might want to consider coverage that will evacuate you if, for example, you break your leg skiing or get sick in a remote location.
If you are traveling with expensive jewelry, check to make sure you have sufficient coverage. Always leave your jewelry in a hotel safe. Or better yet, leave it at home.
At The Bensman Group, we will be happy to talk to you about any aspect of your insurance coverage. Just contact us at 847-572-0820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.