7951 E. Maplewood Avenue, Suite 110
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Serving Colorado, New Mexico, Utah & Wyoming
Contact: Carole Walker, Executive Director
303-790-0216 or toll free 800-355-9524
'Tis the Season for Holiday Mishaps, So Add Checking Insurance to Your "TO DO" List
December 20, 2010 – Whether your holiday décor rivals Clark Griswold's or you expect a houseful of family members to descend, it can set the stage for a not so merry celebration.
"It's a good idea to make sure you're covered for situations that go hand-in-hand with the holiday season," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "We recommend an annual insurance check-up with your agent or company representative, and a quick review of your car and homeowners policy before you ring in the New Year to help you keep Scrooge at bay."
Top Holiday Mishaps
What if someone steals the holiday decorations in your front yard? Under a standard homeowners insurance policy, decorations are generally covered, but subject to your out-of-pocket deductible and policy limits, so it's important to know how much coverage you have on personal items and deductibles. Your holiday trappings are also generally covered under a standard renter's or condo policy.
What if someone breaks into your car and steals gifts while you're parked at the mall? You have coverage to replace these items under your homeowners or renter's insurance policy. But, that's minus the deductible and up to policy limits, so it's a good idea to keep gifts and valuables hidden. This is also an easy target for identify theft, so don't leave your purse, wallet or other personal identification items in your car. If your car is damaged during a break-in repairs would be paid for under your car insurance policy.
What happens if a guest at your holiday party slips and falls on your icy driveway? First, you need to report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance company. Standard homeowners insurance policies provide a certain amount of medical payments coverage if your guest seeks medical attention. If the injured guest sues for additional damages, your homeowners policy also provides liability coverage. Check with your agent or company to be sure you have adequate liability limits.
What if your cousin borrows your car (with your permission) to make a grocery store run and causes an accident? Auto insurance follows the vehicle, so your car insurance policy would provide primary coverage to fix your car and pay medical and car repair costs to any victims. Your cousin's auto policy will generally provide excess coverage over your policy limits. If your cousin is hurt, his health insurance or medical payments coverage would also help pay for his treatment. Check with your agent or company about policy limits, deductibles and specifics of your policy.
What if your holiday candles or Christmas lights ignite a fire? Under a standard homeowners insurance policy, your home and personal belongings will be covered if they are destroyed by a fire, subject to policy limits and deductibles. You would also have a certain amount of additional living expenses to live elsewhere if your home is uninhabitable. Under a renter's policy, you would have coverage to replace your personal stuff—minus deductibles and up to the policy limits.
Links to more information on common insurance coverage questions:
Log on to www.rmiia.org for more information.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.