CHICAGO — With the fun and excitement of Halloween right around the corner, it’s easy to forget about the increased potential for property damage this holiday. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has a series of simple steps that every homeowner and driver can take to help make it a safe and claim-free Halloween.
1.Don’t be distracted behind the wheel
It is important to be aware of potential hazards that accompany the festivities associated with Halloween. “Use caution when driving around as trick-or-treaters could dart out in front of your vehicle. As it starts to get darker earlier, it is extremely important for drivers to be alert for trick or treaters,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI senior director of personal lines policy.”
“The excitement of getting to the next house or joining a friend across the street for trick or treating can cause children to dart into traffic, and according to Safe Kids Worldwide, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. With so many distractions, it’s important for drivers to be extra cautious and look for trick or treaters who might be dressed in darker clothing. Insurers stress the importance of staying off the phone while driving, and planning your route ahead of time so you can stay focused on the road,” added Hackett.
2. Don’t drink and drive
Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to drunk drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of drunk driving fatalities are on the rise on Halloween. “Statistics show there’s been a steady increase each year on Halloween, which is why it’s important to plan a safe ride home if you do plan to drink,” said Hackett.
3. Protect your home and vehicles from being the target of vandalism
Unfortunately, along with the candy, costumes, and fun, a little mischief can also accompany Halloween. The Highway Loss Data Institute analysis shows every year there are a high number of vandalism claims that are filed on October 31. A National Insurance Crime Bureau recent report shows that on Halloween there have been more thefts on that day than average.
“Remember to park your car in a safe, well-lit location or keep it inside a garage and make sure it’s locked and alarmed,” said Hackett.
4. Homeowners can also take steps to minimize accidents as well.
“Keep the path to your front door well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause falls,” said Hackett.
Keep in mind that the annual family tradition of carving pumpkins and using candles for lighting can be a major fire hazard. The National Fire Protection Association reports that Halloween decorations cause over 1,000 home fires each year. “It’s a good idea to use battery operated candles instead to prevent the unthinkable from happening,” said Hackett.
PCI Tips how to have a claims-free Halloween: