Thursday, October 29, 2009

Here's a Scare: Ghosts, Goblins and....Lawsuits on Halloween

As families are transforming themselves into witches, ghosts, headless horsemen and superheroes for the much-ballyhooed Hallow's Eve, homeowners should be making sure their property is safe for these visitors of the night.

Allstate Insurance Co. released some precautions that could prevent an angry parent from filing a lawsuit. Sooo, there's more to do than just buy candy and stuff it into seasonal fluorescent green, orange and yellow packages.

“Homeowners need to realize they can be held liable should a trick-or-treater be injured on their property,” said Meredith Joseph, Senior Communication Consultant, Allstate. “Each October we invite all of the neighborhood children onto our property and drive on crowded neighborhood streets. We need to be extra vigilant about safety during this time and we also need to make sure we have the right amount of insurance protection.”

Check your Outdoor Lighting: Make sure your property is adequately lit before trick-or-treaters arrive.

Inspect Your Property: Make sure the path to your door is safe. Look for cracks in the sidewalk and loose stair railings. Remove any obstacles that can lead to a trip or fall.

Watch the Decorations: Make sure Halloween decorations are not obscuring walkways and causing hazards. Use artificial lighting instead of candles to reduce the risk of fire-related accidents. If you do use candles, make sure you extinguish them before going to bed.

Drive Carefully: With nearly 25 million families participating in trick-or-treating each year, neighborhood streets are going to be crowded. Use extra caution while driving and if you are planning to drive, steer clear of alcohol.

Keep Your Pets Inside: Even if your dog enjoys the parade of children that arrives on your doorstep each year, the neighborhood children may not enjoy meeting your family pet.

Allstate also recommends that all homeowners contact their insurance agent before Halloween and make sure they are adequately covered in the event someone is injured on their property. While a homeowners policy provides a level of liability protection, it may not be sufficient protection if injuries are severe. A personal umbrella policy works with the homeowners liability coverage and provides additional protection.

No comments:

Post a Comment