Personal Liability with Guests During Holidays

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving season if we didn’t open our doors to family and friends. But with generosity comes personal liability risk, even from people you know well. It’s no time to let your guard down about your insurance coverage. Any accident that’s considered your fault (or not) could make you vulnerable. Here are helpful tips to help protect yourself.

Take Preventative Measures

Candles light up the holiday, but also can light your home on fire. Thanksgiving season is a high-risk time for fire deaths and injuries. Practicing proper candle safety is critical for keeping your home and everyone in it safe. The National Fire Protection Association has a full list of safety tips for the season, including1:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove top.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave children alone with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

During the holidays, there are all sorts of other emergencies that occur outside a bustling kitchen or dining room. It’s important to be prepared for anything. Every adult in your household should be aware of your emergency escape plan before you teach it to every child or elderly adult under your care. The Red Cross recommends practicing your plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes.2

Prevent Food Poisoning

Foodborne illnesses can really put a damper on an otherwise fun holiday. While some types of food poisonings are mild inconveniences, others can result in hospitalization or worse. The CDC offers helpful advice to avoid food poisoning during the holidays.3 Here’s a partial list of considerations:

  • Separate foods. Keep meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery store and in the refrigerator. Prevent juices from meat, chicken, turkey, and seafood from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags. Store eggs in their original carton in the main compartment of the refrigerator.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Keep foods out of the “danger zone.” Bacteria can grow rapidly in the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F. After food is prepared, keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour if food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F, such as in a hot car).

Update Your Home or Renters Policy

Fires and accidents can occur even if you play it safe, so before the holidays is a great time to update home insurance coverage. By making adjustments to your coverage, you’ll be able to enjoy the season with fewer worries.

Both homeowners and renters insurance offer basic liability protection. This part of your policy can protect you if a claim or lawsuit is brought against you for bodily injury or property damage that occurred on the covered property. But pay close attention to how much liability coverage your policy covers. Ask yourself whether you’re comfortable with that level of protection.

Add Umbrella Insurance

If you feel like your basic home insurance liability coverage is not adequate, you can purchase an umbrella liability policy with between $1 million and $3 million in coverage. Those with significant savings and potential hazards in the home such as trampolines, swimming pools, and animals can be good candidates for this type of insurance.

Who is Answer Financial?

The holidays ought to be a time of peace and calm, but if things get hectic, the right insurance quickly becomes crucial. That’s why it’s important to have the right policies in place before festivities begin. Answer Financial lets you quickly compare rates and customize coverages from 40+ top-rated companies. Or simply call 1-800-258-5101 to speak with one of our experts.