You Better Watch Out: Insuring Against Holiday Mishaps

You Better Watch Out: Insuring Against Holiday Mishaps

AAA Western and Central New York offers insurance tips for seasonal accidents
Lindsay Kensy

The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but many serious household accidents occur in December. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, holiday decoration-related accidents sent nearly 15,000 people to emergency rooms last year.

“While the holidays are a time for cheer and goodwill, an accident can quickly spoil the spirit,” said David Hodge, vice president of insurance at AAA Western and Central New York. “Being aware of your insurance coverage can offer peace of mind and a measure of reassurance at the holidays.”


Here are some of the typical – and not so typical – situations your AAA insurance policy might cover:

  • O’ Christmas Tree: You thought you tied it down securely, but a glance in the rearview mirror reveals your Douglas fir atop the hood of a following vehicle. Windshield damage and body panel dents may be covered by your automobile policy.
     
  • Up on the Rooftop: Festive lighting is one of the most important parts of the holidays. However, traversing wet roofs and icy stepladders can be dangerous. Should a guest slip and fall while helping hang the holiday lights, your insurance policy may cover associated medical bills.
     
  • Lighting the Menorah: Nine candles burning atop the mantel is an inspirational sight, but poses a fire hazard. Costs to repair burned walls or damaged flooring may be covered. Check your renters or homeowners policy to be sure.
     
  • Santa’s Four-Wheeled Sleigh: While you’re battling it out inside the mall, your car is at the mercy of careless drivers, runaway shopping carts and the elements. Broken tail lights and door dings may be covered.

  • Down Through the Chimney: While the chimney is famous for gift delivery, unlocked doors and windows are often to blame for unwanted gift removal. While theft is a covered loss, it’s a good idea to maintain an up-to-date inventory of existing and new purchases to ensure all your possessions are safely documented.
     
  • Ice Follies: Winter wonderlands are great for songs, but terrible for sidewalks. If the mail carrier slips and falls on your property, protection for medical payments and legal fees may be covered.
     
  • Eat, Drink and Be Responsibly Merry: Most states have social host liability laws, which may hold you responsible for accidents or injuries caused by your inebriated guests. Policies do not provide coverage for this situation, so be sure to monitor your guests’ alcohol intake and designate drivers.
     
  • Runaway Reindeer: Crowded roadways and inclement weather can make it difficult to see and avoid animals that dart across the road. Animal strikes can cause significant vehicle damage, but the associated repair costs are usually covered with comprehensive coverage.


The holidays offer a reminder to cherish and protect what is most important. To find out more about home or auto insurance, call your AAA agent or
(888) 671-7044 to see what discounts you may be eligible for and what type of coverage you might need.