Brooks, Todd & McNeil Agency Blog

The 12 Claims of Christmas

Sing along to the “12 Claims of Christmas” and read about how you can reduce the risk of these common holiday mishaps. Prevention and planning will help keep you and your family safe and merry this season. 

The 12 Claims of Christmas that are such a shame to see…

1. Electrical fire in the tree

Be mindful of the lights and wires that are around your Christmas tree. Be sure they are not defective or frayed. A Christmas tree – especially a live one – will feed the flames and cause a fire to get quickly out of control.  If you do find yourself with fire damage, contact your insurance agent and be sure to document the damage. Your homeowners or renters insurance covers a loss after your deductible is met.

2. Slipping on the ice

It is a homeowner’s responsibility to clear ice and snow from their property. If a visitor slips and falls they could sue for damages. The liability coverage in your homeowners policy provides protection for such claims made by a visitor hurt on your property. Contact your insurance agent if you are unsure about your liability coverage under your homeowners policy. 

3. Thieves stealing gifts

You may have heard of the term “porch pirate”, a new kind of thief that has emerged as online shopping has grown in popularity. Theft involving online shopping is becoming increasingly popular as packages delivered are left unattended on the porch allowing an easy opportunity for them to be stolen. 

If you are away, ask a neighbor to bring in any packages or plan to have them delivered to an alternate location. While your homeowners policy should cover stolen packages, you will first have to satisfy your deductible. Your deductible may be higher than the value of the gifts exposing you to the cost of replacing them. 

4. Dog bit the mailman

During this time of year when you may be receiving many deliveries, be sure to keep pets inside. Depending on the breed, your homeowners insurance may not include coverage if your dog bites the mailman or anyone else on your property. If you are unsure about your homeowners insurance coverage for dog bites, talk to your insurance agent and be sure to review any breed restrictions to the policy. 

5. Lost golden rings

If you have given or been gifted an expensive item like a gold ring, be sure to insure it immediately. Depending on the value of the item you may want to consider specifically insuring or scheduling certain items like jewelry (or furs, fine arts, rare coins, etc), which would otherwise be subject to limitations of coverage. 

6. Canceled airline flight

Whether your flight is canceled due to weather or a pandemic, travel insurance can help cover the costs of your canceled travel. Some credit cards offer limited travel insurance coverage, but be sure to check what is specifically covered because you may find out too late that those coverages had partial protections.

7. Cyber attacked online

Many people are shopping online this holiday season and cyber attacks are on the rise. You may want to consider cyber attack/identity theft insurance, which is often sold as an add-on to your homeowners insurance. Among other things, this type of coverage can provide legal expenses for fighting cyber bullying and online harassment, cyber extortion coverage, data breach coverage and online fraud coverage.

8. Falling off the roof

The winter months aren’t the best time of year to be on your roof, but you may find yourself there hanging lights or putting up decorations. If you slip and fall, you will need to turn to your health insurance provider for coverage. If someone else falls off your roof, your homeowners insurance may provide that coverage. Consult with your agent about your coverage and protections afforded you from your policy. 

9. Skidding off the road

This time of year the roads are getting icy and the weather can be unpredictable. If you find yourself off road due to ice, you will be covered if your auto policy includes collision coverage. Collision coverage reimburses you after the deductible is met for the costs to repair or replace the value of your car in the event of a total loss. Auto liability can pay for damage to the property of others, or injury to other people.

10. Burst frozen pipe

If you won’t be home for the holidays, be sure to check your home before leaving and make sure your heating and plumbing pipes are in working order and you have adequate insulation. While away, do not turn your heat off. If you turn your heat down, be sure to keep it above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do come home to frozen pipes and water damage, document the damage and contact your agent right away. 

11. Too many alcoholic drinks

Several states have adopted “social host laws”, meaning, if you serve alcohol to someone who then leaves your home who in turn causes damages to persons or property, you could be liable. Of course, it is always important to make sure no one drives away from your home intoxicated, but you should be mindful of this liability to you as the host.

12. Tripping over toys

The last thing you want to do after opening presents is take a trip to the doctor and start the new year off with a broken bone. The end of the year is a great time to review all of your insurance policies, not the least of which is your health and disability insurance. Hopefully you can avoid the need to file a claim and enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season, knowing you are well protected.

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