Autumn is just around the corner, and with the change in season comes a change in the types of insurance claims that insurance agents will most commonly see. Colder temperatures, falling leaves and other seasonal elements bring a new set of potential risks and hazards for clients at home. Additionally, fall holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving can increase the amount of guests for homeowners, thus increasing their chances for personal lines liability claims.
Home Theft Claims
Reports indicate that theft and burglary claims increase by around six to seven percent in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. According to FBI statistics, the average property dollar loss per burglary is $2,251. Burglaries occur most often during the time of day that most residents are at work or school and would be less likely to walk in on a burglary in progress, giving thieves plenty of time to grab jewelry, electronics and recently-purchased holiday gifts.
Statistics do show that thieves tend to avoid homes with obvious security systems, so remind clients that right now is a good time to look into a home security system to reduce their chances of being burglarized.
Water Damage Claims
Pipes, dishwashers, water heaters, water supply lines and toilets are some of the more frequent sources of water damages. In the autumn months, cooler temperatures can quickly turn to freezing temperatures overnight, causing pipes to freeze and burst. Clogged rain gutters and damaged or missing shingles can also leave homeowners at risk of excess water leaking into the home. Sometimes these leaks can be hidden and small enough to go undetected while weakening walls and ceilings and causing mold to form.
While some forms of flooding are unavoidable, routine maintenance such as leaving faucets at a slow trickle to avoid freezing pipes and clearing leaves and debris from gutters and roofs often, can help reduce the risk of water damage claims.
Bodily Injury Liability
Halloween and autumn gatherings bring more bodies into people’s homes, as many homeowners entertain friends, family and acquaintances this time of year. Unfortunately, that also means the homeowners are also susceptible to bodily injury claims if guests are injured while on their property or in their homes. Thankfully, most of these claims are covered under their homeowners’ insurance policy, but it’s still important to ensure that they are aware of this increased risk.
Fire and Smoke Claims
With the cooler weather comes the need to keep warm, of course. Candles, heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, electrical overloads and holiday cooking and baking can increase the risk of fire and smoke related claims for homeowners.