Not all of us are perfect homemakers who have the uncanny ability to deck the halls of a house like something out of a pricy home decor catalog — things are inevitably going to go wrong when it comes to how your house handles the holidays. So what if those roasting chestnuts get a little out of hand — will your insurance cover it?
Kiplinger’s takes a look at some of the most common scenarios the average homeowner (who isn’t living the perfect Pinterest life) could expect to encounter, and whether the average policy will cover it. Of course it’s always a good idea to check with your individual provider — and you might want to ask about a few of these on the list.
So about those roasting chestnuts: The nuts have gone up in flame and your house has burned down. It’ll probably be covered, as standard homeowners policies usually take into account damage due to fire. It’s worth checking if that policy will also cover the rebuild and replacing anything lost or damaged in the fire.
You’ve overdone the outdoor light display: Talk about burning bushes — and trees — most outdoor vegetation would be covered under a homeowners policy if the bright twinkling of your holiday cheer sets things on fire. The coverage could be limited, however, so clarify that with your carrier.
If your dog chases the squirrel that pops out of the Christmas tree and destroys everything: Nope, you’re probably not covered and neither would the Griswolds if National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was real life. Standard policies don’t cover any damage done by domestic animals or rodents.
You forgot to shovel and de-ice your walkway: If the delivery man slips and breaks his arm because someone forgot to prepare the way for him, most policies will provide about $100,000 in liability coverage. But seriously, do some shoveling and salting before anyone walks up your steps.
Throwing drunken holiday punches isn’t good for anyone: Someone spiked the eggnog and you swing at a guest — you aren’t gonna be covered if you’re trying to hurt someone on purpose. Many state laws also let social hosts to be held liable if any guests get too sloshed and get into an accident that injures others.
Check out Kiplinger’s in the source link below for tips to prevent any of the aforementioned scenarios, and please, have a healthy and happy holiday everyone. Don’t punch your friends.
Does Your Insurance Cover Holiday Mishaps? [Kiplinger's]