AAA Western and Central New York offers insurance tips for seasonal accidents
By AAA of Western and Central New York
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 (CPSC), on average, there are about 160 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with almost half of the incidents involving falls. In the 2019 holiday season, about 14,800 people were treated in emergency rooms due to holiday decorating-related injuries.
Holiday fires are especially dangerous. From 2016-18, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires in November and December each year, according to the CPSC, resulting in 30 deaths, 180 injuries, and nearly $56 million in property loss per year.
“While the holidays are a time for cheer and goodwill, an accident can quickly spoil the spirit,” said Stacey McConnell, vice president of insurance at AAA Western and Central New York. “Making sure you have proper 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:
√ Up on the rooftop: 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.
√ Candy cane pain: Should a visitor chip a tooth on a candy cane or peanut brittle, dental repairs may be covered.
√ 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 taillights, door dings and hail damage may be covered by your auto policy.
√ Down through the chimney: The chimney may be famous for gift delivery, but 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 guests or other invitees slip and fall 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. 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 collisions 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, go to www.AAA.com/Insurance.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.