Do you have Thanksgiving insurance?
Of course you do! It’s called your homeowners or renters insurance.
Are you looking forward to next week’s food, family, friends and football? If so, make sure you answer these two questions before all the guests arrive:
Do you have adequate coverage for the holiday season? Have you thought about how to avoid common Thanksgiving claims?
The first question is best answered with a phone call to your agent.
I’ll help by providing a few things you should ask your agent. Then, I’ll talk about some commonly known, but often overlooked hazards that contribute to the spike in claims on holidays.
Do you have enough Thanksgiving “insurance?”
Of course, there’s no such thing as Thanksgiving insurance. But there are Thanksgiving-related claims each year that are covered by your homeowners or renters insurance.
Fires and liability claims increase during the holidays. We’re stringing small lights everywhere, lighting candles, and cooking with ovens and deep fryers… all with guests in our homes. That’s a recipe for accidents, and accidents need insurance coverage.
If you haven’t had an insurance review recently, talk to your agent, starting with these questions:
1. How much liability coverage do you have? Is it enough?
2. How much dwelling and other structures coverage do you have? Is that enough?
3. Medical payments to others — do you know your limits and what it’s for?
There are more things to cover, of course. But a quick phone call to review these three things may make a big difference if the unthinkable happens.
Do you have safety procedures in place?
It’s just better that we don’t have any claims this Thanksgiving, right?
Let’s recap a few safety tips. Refreshers are good. They can save lives and claims.
1. People risks
Too many cooks in the kitchen can cause mishaps, like accidental cuts, burns from the stove and boiling water injuries. Keep unnecessary people and pets out of the kitchen… especially the kids.
2. Property risks
Too many injuries happen because of broken pavement and broken handrails. This gets compounded by not enough lighting and slippery winter weather. Check out the dangers before company arrives.
3. Food risks
There are three biggies.
First, make sure you ask your guests about food allergies.
Second, cook all foods to proper temperature, and don’t leave leftovers out for too long.
Finally, watch out for underage drinking, or for that matter, too much drinking by any guest. You can be held responsible.
4. Accident risks
Wobbly chairs, unsecured tall furniture, and loose rugs on slippery hardwood floors… these all can be accidents waiting to happen for unsuspecting guests. An ounce of prevention … you know the rest.
And finally, my least favorite and most frightening accident, the frozen turkey in the deep fryer. Google this, and then don’t do it. Always follow all safety instructions when deep frying poultry.
I’m very thankful to have had the privilege to share my thoughts in this column for almost two years. Many of you have told me how much you appreciate the articles. Thank you and thank you to the wonderful team at the Napa Valley Register. May you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.