As an insurance agent, you want to make sure you clients are always protected and they know about what their homeonwers insurance covers (and what it doesn’t) especially around the holidays. While some things you or your clients already know about, it might be best to help refresh their memory about their riders and other clauses in their policies. Plus, you can always use it as an excuse to catch up with them this holiday season.
Accidental Damage Isn’t Covered if You’re Under the Influence
The holidays are a time for merrymaking and many people celebrate with a couple of beers or a glass of wine with their dinner. Of course, everyone knows not to drink and drive, and while staying home or taking a cab can help ensure that you stay safe and avoid accidents on the road, that doesn’t mean people should go wild while at parties, or even in their own home. Any accidental damage to a home is covered by insurance, but any type of accident while drunk is not.
You’re Covered While On Vacation, Unless You’re Gone Too Long
Vacations are a normal part of life, and most people like to go away during the holidays, either to get some relief from the cold or to visit family and friends who live far away. If anything were to happen while your clients were away, for example, if their pipes froze or snow were to damage their roof, then insurance should cover it. However, one exception is the vacancy exclusion clause. Many policies have this clause, which states that if the house were to be unoccupied for a period of time (usually 30 days or more) then the insurance company might not have to pay out, since vacant houses are more suceptible to burglarly and damage. Of course, this might be easily mitigated as long as they contact you or the insurance company, so make sure you let them know, especially if they’re going away for a long period of time.
Christmas Decorating Might Not Be Covered
Getting the house all decked out with hollies can be fun, but if your clients don’t know what they’re doing, then they could suffer the consequences. If your clients are looking to do a Clark Griswold on their homes, then they should know that some types of accidental damage (especially DIY projects gone wrong) might not be covered under their policies and they may have to pay out of pocket for repairs.
Guests Are Covered…But Not AirBnB Guests
Many insurance policies take into account that homeowners can have the occasional (invited) guest come over to stay with, especially around the holidays when many people travel far to spend time with loved ones. So, if Uncle Bob were to slip and fall while using the bathroom or if Cousin Nick accidentally broke your windows with one of his signature dance moves, then homeowners insurance should cover hospitalization and repairs, as long as they’ve been invited. Even employees (for example, if they hire a caterer for special events or a cleaning lady to help with the after-party cleanup) can be covered.
However, this does not extend to AirBnB guests or any other type of arrangement where money is exchanged for the use of their home. Insurance companies require homeowners to purchase additional or business insurance to cover such types of guests. Of course, while this may seem annoying, remind your clients that if anything should happen not only are they on the hook for their guests’ safety and property, but that of their own as well.
Yes, Christmas Gifts Can Be Covered
The holidays are a time for giving, but you can’t help it if some people simply want to be Grinches. However, it’s a good thing insurance can help protect your clients if they were to encounter someone whose heart was two sizes too small. If someone were to break into your clients’ home and steal their Christmas gifts, then yes, they can be covered under a standard policy. This also goes for other property in the home if it were stolen during holidays parties by guests.
The holidays can be fun, but they can also be stressful for homeowners. Whether your clients are worrying about hosting guests, parties, or going away for the holidays, you can help them by assuring them that they can be covered by their insurance for many mishaps. However, you should also tell them what’s not covered, to ensure they are prepared and make the right decisions this holiday season.