Insurance tips for Halloween – Protect yourself, your car and your home
Zombies, skeletons, spiders and vampires are all quite frightening, but when Halloween comes around, there are a few potentially scary scenarios that you might not be expecting to jump out at you – such as a fire started by an unoccupied pumpkin, an exploitative burglar or hordes of dressed-up children running out onto the road.
Whether you’re lighting your freshly-carved pumpkin or dressing up to scare the living daylights out of unsuspecting trick-or-treaters (or even just closing the curtains and pretending you aren’t home), there are a few things to keep in mind to help keep you safe this Halloween.
Did you know?
More than £1.3 BILLION was paid out in home insurance claims made following damage caused by accidental fires in 2018.
Pumpkin safety – Can pumpkins catch fire?
Pumpkins themselves are unlikely to catch fire, but by lighting them up with an open flame, you’re always risking potential damage – either to your property or a child’s wandering hands!
Some hazardous decorations and Halloween costumes are made of relatively cheap material and are extremely flammable – our advice would be to opt for an alternative flame, like a glowstick or artificial candle, which will have the same effect but without the hazard!
Don’t over-clutter your doorway to prevent slips and falls
If somebody trips and falls over your novelty gravestones, fake spider webs or spooky battery-powered skeleton while on your property, you could be held liable for any injuries they sustain.
The victim may be within their right to claim against you and, while the potential payout would hopefully be settled under the personal liability insurance on your home insurance policy, this is still an avoidable and potentially traumatic scenario.
By all means, spook-up your property as much as you please – just make sure you aren’t compromising safety in doing so!
More than just sweets – Does crime increase on Halloween?
The sad truth is that, while 99% of your visitors on October 31st will be hoping for a fun-sized Mars bar or packet of Haribo, some will be after much more.
With all of the excitement surrounding Halloween, it is easy for homeowners to be lulled into a false sense of security – for example, some keep their doors unlocked as they’re back-and-forth handing out goodies. Burglars will take advantage of this and, while you’re hidden behind the sofa watching a scary movie, something much more frightening could be happening in the next room as a complete stranger bundles your belongings into a sack.
Make sure that you don’t leave your front door unlocked, and don’t leave valuables like phones or car keys near the entrance of your home – it may be convenient for you, but it’s also convenient for burglars!
Did you know?
The average cost of a damage claim following a break-in is almost £600, with a further a £2,200 on average lost in stolen goods.
Be security-smart – How can I improve my home security?
Sometimes there isn’t much you can do to prevent burglars or vandals from attacking your property – but if you’ve got it all caught on camera, then you can at least rest easy knowing that there’s a good chance they’ll face some sort of justice.
Nowadays, you can pick up CCTV cameras that stream footage directly to your smartphone and trigger warnings when they pick up suspicious activity – perfect for while you’re out trick-or-treating with the kids.
There are many cameras to choose from, but our favourite (and relatively cheap) option is the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery security camera – it can be mounted both inside and out and can be powered either by battery or solar energy (depending on which one you choose).
Does home insurance cover vandalism? Yes – under most policies, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you against vandalism (however, policy restrictions might apply).
Keep your eyes on the road – What should I watch out for on Halloween?
Whether you’re driving home from work or heading out to pick up some popcorn, you’ll notice that the roads are particularly busy on Halloween night – not with cars, though, with pedestrians!
The clocks hop back a few days before October 31st, meaning that the evenings become a lot darker all of a sudden – pair that with the fact that (besides the glow-in-the-dark skeletons) most Halloween costumes aren’t particularly bright and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. People also tend to take their dogs trick-or-treating with them so watch out for them, too.
Always pay close attention to speed limits and be extra vigilant whilst driving around rural areas.
Did you know?
According to Churchill Car Insurance, the number of children hit by cars almost doubles on the night of Halloween.
Costume safety – What should you avoid when buying a costume?
One of the biggest parts of Halloween for children and adults alike is the dressing up, with everything from makeshift bedsheet ghost costumes to pricey witches, wizards and werewolves roaming around the streets of Britain.
But when kitting yourself or your children out in the scariest costume on the high-street, be sure to check the label to see that it is flame-resistant – this means that, if it should come into contact with fire, it will resist burning and be easy to extinguish.
Hide your car away when possible to prevent a Halloween headache
Halloween is supposed to be a fun-filled evening for all but is not uncommon for some to take Halloween pranks too far, getting caught up in the moment and inflicting damage on the cars of innocent people.
The best way to prevent this – particularly if you know that this kind of scenario is likely to occur in your neighbourhood – is to lock your car inside a garage overnight. If you don’t have access to a garage then don’t tempt fate by leaving valuables in direct view; store them safely inside your home instead.
Did you know?
If your car is vandalised, it is sometimes cheaper not to claim on your car insurance policy – you will likely have to pay your pre-agreed excess, which could exceed the cost of having the vehicle repaired yourself.
Insurance advice with Bobatoo
Here at Bobatoo, we hope you have a thrilling Halloween filled with spooks and scares – all while staying safe!
For more information on which insurance products are required to ensure that you, your car and your home are never at risk, why not check out our range of insurance guides? You’ll find everything from home insurance tips for first time buyers to an overview of the best car insurance comparison sites.