Halloween insurance nightmare! No, not a horror movie, surprisingly. I mean who couldn’t get with a horde of undead insurance professionals mindlessly (pun intended) eating the brains of unsuspecting victims. Problem is, at most insurance company corporate headquarters, that’s not a nightmare. It’s known as “Tuesday”. And we don’t call them “zombies”, we call them “actuaries”. I mean, staring at actuarial tables all day will do that to ya’, man.
No, I am speaking of the fact that Halloween is the day of the year with the most vandalism claims. While most mischief on Halloween is innocent and non-destructive, there are always the few who just take advantage of the opportunity to go the extra mile and break stuff, paint stuff and steal stuff. Or worse.
Halloween Insurance for Your Home
Of course, most policies will cover this type of damage if you have the right coverage. Vandalism and theft coverage are common on Homeowners polices, but it’s not a given. If you have purchased a policy with “just enough to satisfy my mortgage” or you have a high risk home that for some reason resulted in you buying just a “Dwelling” policy, it is possible that those coverages are not included or severely limited. Fortunately, those type of policies are the exception rather than the rule, but if you are not sure, call your agent. If you don’t have a true agent and instead bought from a direct sales company, call your company’s call center and ask for a supervisor because there is a pretty fair chance that the call center person doesn’t know the difference either.
To discourage vandals and thieves:
- Make sure your exterior lights are turned on.
- Turn on additional interior lights can emphasize to any miscreants that there are people home, in fact lots of people are home.
- Use interior lights even if you are not home. Be sure to turn off the porch lights so as not to irritate the trick or treaters.
- Be sure to turn on your alarm if you are not home.
Halloween Insurance for Your Car
With auto insurance, it’s easier, vandalism and theft are covered by Comprehensive coverage, subject to whatever deductible you chose for that coverage. While we’re on the subject of Comprehensive coverage, check with your agent to see what your deductible is. You might be surprised that many companies don’t charge much more for a very low deductible on Comprehensive coverage and since (in California at least) your premiums will likely not increase for filing a claim under Comprehensive coverage, there’s no real downside to filing the small claims that would usually result from a Halloween insurance claim on your car. Basic tips then would include:
- Park your car inside a garage, if possible.
- If a garage is not available, park your car in a well-lighted ares.
- Be sure to activate your car’s alarm.
- Avoid parking in isolated areas.
Halloween Insurance for You!
However, aside from the obvious claims discussed above, the most serious Halloween insurance claims come from accidents and other things that can happen to you while driving. On Halloween night, many people are driving kids on their candy pillaging campaigns, stopping alongside the road then pulling out suddenly, with or without lights on. Also, some teens seem to make it a habit to drive with an extra dose of sugar-induced stupidity on Halloween. And of course hoards of cute ghouls, goblins and zombies are running about wearing vision obstructing masks, again suffering from Snickers Attention Deficit Disorder. For all these reasons, be sure to bring along a copilot to ride shotgun and serve as a second set of eyes. And, of course, exercise extra diligence and attention while driving. After all, a vanload of excited kids on a fructose bender can be the epitome of “distracted driving”. Kind of like driving while texting, playing Pokemon Go and watching a movie. So, while driving:
- Be extra careful, look twice before pulling out.
- Roll down any tinted windows to improve your visibility at night.
- Minimize lighting inside the car to improve the driver’s night vision.
- Trick or treat early when more light is available.
- Bring an extra pair of eyes to ride shotgun and help wrangle the sugar rush rodeo.
- Instruct your little ones to remove vision-restricting masks while walking from house to house.
- Encourage your trick or treaters to wait until they are home to survey and eat their night’s haul.
- Put your phone in your pocket to avoid the temptation of checking it.
Of course, with all the excitement around Halloween insurance is the last thing on your mind, as it should be. But knowing that you’re ready for whatever might happen might make it a little less spooky and a little more fun.