Thanksgiving is a time for food, family, and friends. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of fires, home robberies, or even food poisoning. While there is no such thing as “Thanksgiving Insurance,” there is homeowners and renter’s insurance! Unlike Halloween, holiday insurance claims tend to be caused by the homeowners themselves. So, before you head out to buy your turkey, take a minute to review your homeowners insurance policy to make sure you are covered from some of the most common Thanksgiving Turkey Day Terrors.

Turkey Fires: The National Fire Protection Association says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year. It’s important to review your homeowners or renters insurance policy to ensure you at least have HO-2 or Broad Form coverage – to cover you for fire damage. While your insurance policy may offer protection against fire damage, prevention is usually better than having to file a claim with your insurance company. This year, make sure to practice safe cooking methods to keep you, your family, and your home safe.

Online Shopping: If you’re like me and don’t want to hit the shopping malls with everyone and their mother on Black Friday, you may find yourself doing your holiday shopping online. Many homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for cyber exposure, also referred to as identity theft coverage. This provides financial reimbursement for the costs associated with the theft of digital information and assets up to your policy’s limit. If your homeowners insurance doesn’t include coverage for cyber exposure, there may be optional coverage that you can add on.

Theft: Unfortunately, the holiday season can see an uptick in home robberies. Thieves know homes are often empty for days at a time and take advantage of this. Your home insurance policy may help recover costs in the instance of a break-in. Hopefully, you’ll never be the victim of a home burglary. Still, you should be aware of what your homeowners policy covers and be sure to document your home inventory in advance to expedite the claims process.

Here are a few tips to keep your home safe while you’re away:

  • Keep your travel plans off social media. This can be difficult in an age where we share everything on social media, but consider waiting until you’re back in town so the wrong person doesn’t become aware of your absence. Trust me! Your followers will truly be ok if they don’t know what your mom’s Thanksgiving spread looks like till the Sunday after.
  • Put your lights on a timer and use motion detectors for outdoor lights.
  • Ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your home and pick up any mail, so it doesn’t pile up and tip off burglars.
  • As an added precaution, invest in an outdoor security camera that you can monitor from anywhere.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of the year where we gather with friends and family to celebrate. As with any major holiday or life event, it’s a good idea to review your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy to fully understand what is or isn’t covered.

I’m thankful to have the privilege to represent policyholders and their interests here at Merlin Law Group. May you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Thought of the day: “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – Oscar Wilde