CHICAGO, IL – As candy bowls are filled, pumpkins are carved and minions, storm troopers and Elsa’s invade neighborhoods across the country, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), warns homeowners, renters and drivers to be mindful of a few helpful hints on how to keep Halloween claims-free.
“November 1st is a busy day for insurance adjusters given that more vandalism claims are filed on Halloween than any other day of the year” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines policy. “Halloween 2015 comes on a Saturday night so there will be more festivities, more cars and more little zombies dodging cars on dark streets. The fun of Halloween also brings more risk of auto and homeowner claims.”
The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) stats are alarming when it comes to the high number of vandalism claims that are filed just on October 31st. In fact, Halloween had the highest number of claims for any day by 81 percent. The average cost per claim on Halloween was $1,660, which is approximately 9 percent higher than the annual daily average cost per claim. HLDI also reports the estimated cost for the insurance industry is around $2.8 million just on Halloween alone which is attributed to the high volume of vandalism claims.
“Some common sense moves can keep Halloween focused on parties and candy instead of calling your insurance company,” said Hackett. “Park your car in a well-lit area or parked in the garage. Be sure the path to your door way has plenty of light and free of obstacles that can cause falls. Make sure your pets don’t eagerly greet guests and scare trick-or-treaters.”
Halloween has joined Christmas as a retailers’ busy season. The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend at least $6.9 billion on costumes, candy and spooky decorations in 2015. The average American will spend $74 on costumes, candy and décor.
Homeowners, renters and drivers should all be aware of Halloween related insurance risks,” said Hackett. “Candles in pumpkins light the night but they also ignite fires. Use battery operated candles instead. Party hosts should consider the liability of sending drunken drivers off into the streets as well.”
How to have a claims-free Halloween:
· Park cars in well-lit areas or inside a garage
· Lock cars, close windows and turn on car alarms
· Watch out for kids crossing streets or walking between cars
· Drive slower in busy neighborhoods full of zombies, minions and Frozen’s Elsa and Anna
· Dress kids in flame retardant costumes only
· Keep walkways and paths well-lit and clear to avoid falling trick-or-treaters
· Keep dogs on a leash, don’t let aggressive dogs rush trick-or-treaters at the door
· Make sure children wear comfortable shoes and can see out of their costume
· Don’t put candles where kids or pets can knock them over
· Don’t let children play with candles, matches or lighters
· Don’t put candles in bedrooms or sleeping locations
· Don’t leave candles unattended or on over night
· Use battery-operated candles