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October is the month of ghoulish parties and costumes as kids – and adults – look forward to Halloween on October 31. Halloween spending is expected to reach a new record this year of $10.6 billion, exceeding 2021’s record of $10.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

But Halloween is a time for not only treats but also a few tricks. Given the popularity of the holiday, it's wise to be prepared should calamity ensue – and to be aware of the role insurance plays should you need to file any claims.

For home and car owners, taking precautionary measures to safeguard your property can reduce the chances of falling victim to Halloween hijinks. Even the most careful property owners can wind up being the victim of Halloween pranks.

Fortunately, homeowners insurance and auto insurance typically cover such damages. Here's a look at the types of policies that cover five common Halloween capers and accidents.

Someone egged my car. Am I covered?

Vandalism to your car is covered by your automobile insurance as long as you have comprehensive coverage. Whether or not you should file a claim depends on the amount of your deductible – if you can clean the offending materials off your car without damaging the paint, it wouldn’t make sense to file a claim.

However, if your car is splattered by paint from paintballs or eggs that eat away at the car's paint, then filing a claim would be justified. To help you decide, you can get an estimate of the damage to see if it's significantly higher than your deductible.

Does homeowners insurance cover vandalism of my home?

Sometimes Halloween pranks can go to far and cross the line into vandalism. If items are thrown at your home and break windows or cause other damage, your homeowners policy will cover it. Take photos of the damage right away and file a police report, then contact your insurance company.

My dog bit a trick-or-treater – am I covered?

Prior to planning any Halloween festivities, make a plan for how your dog will react. Around 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, most of them children, according to the Insurance Information Institute. If you’re having a party, send your dog to another room to minimize the risk of your dog coming into contact with your guests.

While every state has different rules, homeowners policies typically cover the liability and medical expenses related to an accident in your home. If your dog is excluded from the policy, which isn't common, you would be responsible for the costs. If a dog joined your family after you took out the homeowners policy, notify your agent to make sure you're protected.

While Halloween is a festive time for many people, it can be downright spooky for dogs, which could result in your pooch biting one of your costumed visitors.

Lights are on, but nobody's home – is burglary covered?

You might see Halloween as a time to escape to the movies or a night out far away from the costumed carousers. Of course, this makes your home more vulnerable to theft. If your house is burglarized on Halloween, your homeowners policy will cover theft of any belongings as well as any damage that occurs because of the break-in. In this case, your deductible will apply.

Remember that the burden falls on you to establish proof of ownership of the items that were stolen. It’s recommended that you take a regular inventory of your possessions and keep receipts when possible. To prevent theft on Halloween, stay home. If that's not an option, keep the lights on and make it appear as if someone is in the house.

Is tombstone theft or vandalism covered?

A ghoulish but common prank on Halloween is the theft of or damage to a tombstone. Grave markers are typically covered by homeowner policies for around $1,000. You can take out additional coverage of up to $5,000, which is prudent if a family member’s tombstone cost more than $10,000.

Where did my car go? Car thieves are busy on Halloween

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, an insurance nonprofit, Halloween is the third-biggest holiday for car thefts, behind New Year’s Day and Presidents Day. If your car is stolen, it will be covered by comprehensive insurance.

On Halloween – and every day – you can guard against auto theft by:

  • Removing your keys from the ignition when you leave your vehicle
  • Locking your doors and closing the windows
  • Parking in well-lit areas
  • Parking your car in your garage

Final thoughts: Are Halloween tricks covered?

Halloween is a good reminder to stay vigilant when it comes to protecting your home, vehicle and family. Make sure to watch out for little ghouls and goblins while you’re driving, lock your home and vehicle and make sure your kids are careful while they’re out trick-or-treating.

Happy Halloween!

– Michelle Megna contributed to this story.

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