Insuring a Safe and Festive Holiday Season

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By Dustyne Bryant, MBA, CIC, CISR
By Dustyne Bryant, MBA, CIC, CISR

Dustyne Bryant is the Personal Lines Academic Director for The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research. In her role, Dustyne collaborates with National Alliance faculty and industry colleagues to research and analyze Personal Lines segment trends, data, and coverage in an effort to deliver relevant and quality educational content to growing insurance professionals.

As industry leaders in risk management and insurance education, we believe that safe and responsible holiday celebrations are not just a matter of personal well-being, but a critical aspect of community and social responsibility. 

From emergency preparedness to fire safety, cooking and food safety, social alcohol responsibility, slip and fall prevention, pet safety, cyber and shopping safety, to homeowner’s, renter’sautomobile, and personal umbrella liability insurance considerations, these recommended tips and best practices are designed to help you and your clients reduce potential hazards and minimize risks.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday celebration consider the following tips:

Emergency Preparedness:

  • Have a first aid kit on hand and know the location of the nearest hospital or urgent care center.

  • Understand and practice your home exit plan with all family members.

  • Create a list of emergency contacts and share it with any visiting guests.

  • Post poison control numbers in areas where medications and household chemicals are stored.

Fire Safety:

  • Test smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.

  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets or using damaged extension cords.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher in cooking areas and areas where fuel is stored. Ensure everyone knows how to use it.

  • Do not throw water on an oil or grease fire.

Learn more about fire safety: U.S. Fire Administration

Cooking/Food Safety:

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the range. Stay in the house when the oven is on.

  • Keep flammable items, like kitchen towels and paper towels, away from the stove.

  • Properly store and handle food to prevent foodborne illnesses, which could lead to insurance claims or medical expenses.

  • Clearly mark and/or secure any edible cannabis items, prescriptions, and over the counter medications.

  • To safely fry a turkey, never attempt it while frozen, ensure the fryer is not overfilled, and conduct the process outdoors with a 10-foot clearance from buildings or flammable materials.

Learn more about safely frying a turkey: FEMA Turkey Fryer Safety Infographic

Social Alcohol Responsibility:

  • If you're serving or consuming alcohol, do so responsibly and monitor guests’ alcohol consumption.

  • Arrange designated drivers or alternative transportation options for guests who have been drinking.

  • Make sure to offer a non-alcoholic alternative.

Slip and Fall Prevention:

  • Secure electrical cords used with holiday decorations.

  • Ensure good lighting in and around your home to prevent slip and fall accidents.

  • Clear walkways and driveways of ice and snow if you live in a cold climate.

Pets:

  • If you have pets, keep them away from the kitchen and guests to avoid accidents or injuries.

  • Make sure your pet is secure and comfortable to prevent stress-related incidents.

  • Online shopping and digital transactions increase during the holidays. Verify websites and protect yourself from identity theft, online fraud, and data breaches.

  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication measures whenever possible.

  • Monitor financial statements for unauthorized transactions.

Learn more about personal cyber risk and safety: CISA Holiday Online Shopping Tips Even more Holiday Online Safety tips: CISA Online Holiday Safety Infographic

Homeowners Insurance:

  • Review your Homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage for damage to your home or property.

  • When hosting or housing guests, talk to your insurance professional about liability limits to protect against potential claims for accidents or injuries.

Renter's Insurance:

  • Persons renting an apartment or dwelling should purchase a Renter’s insurance policy.

  • The landlord’s insurance does not provide coverage for damage to property of renters/tenants or accidents or injuries to their guests.

  • When the Renter/Tenant becomes liable for injury or property damage to others (at their residence or elsewhere), a Renter’s insurance policy may provide them with liability coverage.

Automobile Insurance:

  • Place a copy of your insurance ID card in your vehicle along with contact numbers for your insurance company and roadside service.

  • Drive cautiously and be aware of increased traffic during the holiday.

  • If you're traveling for the Holidays, review your auto insurance coverage with your insurance professional to ensure it's up to date and includes adequate coverage.

  • Before renting an automobile, discuss your Personal Auto Insurance and the coverage offered by rental car companies with your insurance professional.

Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance:

  • Consider an umbrella insurance policy for extra liability protection.

By following these Holiday safety tips and considering insurance and risk management, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for you and your loved ones. Taking preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of accidents and minimize potential insurance claims.

Learn more about protecting your clients this holiday season with our CE-approved Insuring the Holidays Self-Paced course!

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