Does your home insurance cover fireworks accidents? With the Fourth of July holiday fast approaching, it’s important to know the answer. What types of accidents are there, will your home insurance company pay for them, and how can you avoid them?
Because each house and family is unique, there is no single or easy answer to these questions. Most home insurance policies provide many different types of protection, and these protections often have different payment limits. Also, there are different types of accidents.
Different accidents, different coverages. If fireworks set fire to leaves in your gutter, a section of your home insurance policy for fire incidents could cover the damage. Fireworks that malfunction and injure a friend on your property could be covered under a section for medical payments to others. Likewise, a section on liability payments could cover your fireworks accidentally shooting into your neighbor’s house and breaking a window.
Get an umbrella (policy). If you have lots of assets or need more protection, consider adding an umbrella policy. A personal umbrella liability policy can protect you after you reach the limits of your standard policy. It may also protect you in areas not covered on your other policies.
Each homeowners insurance policy is different, so if you have a question, ask your insurance company to point out and explain the sections of your policy that describe your coverage.
Practice safety. Even if you understand your home insurance policy and are sure you’re covered, the best way to avoid problems is to focus on safety by using proper pyrotechnic practices. Every year, thousands of people are injured by fireworks, and some are even killed.
Imagine how you would feel if you burned down a neighbor’s house or seriously injured someone while trying to celebrate. Insurance questions would probably be the last thing on your mind. Even if your insurance did cover the accident, the consequences could continue for the rest of your life.
Keep children safe. According to the latest fireworks injury report from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), children make up a large percentage of fireworks injuries each year. Even children under five are injured often, including many burns from sparklers – which can reach temperatures of 1,200 and even 2,000 degrees. The best advice is to avoid private fireworks displays. If you want to see fireworks, go to a professional public display. However, if you insist on lighting fireworks yourself, please follow these fireworks safety tips from the CPSC.
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Originally posted June 23, 2008.
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