The holidays can be a joyous occasion, especially if you’re a new homeowner. The season can be marred by disaster, however, if insurance considerations are not taken. Having the right insurance coverage as a homeowner can greatly reduce these hazards, say the experts at the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
December, for example, is the peak month for fires caused by candles. Christmas tree-related fires, while not as common as candle fires, are much more likely, as well. Fire, smoke and water damage are covered under homeowners and renters insurance policies. To avoid incident, take care when decorating for the holidays not to put decorations too close to a heat source, and never leave the stove unattended while cooking. Always be sure to have smoke alarms in working condition.
December is also one of the most common months in which burglaries occur. Personal possessions are covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies—even holiday gifts stored in your car!
If you're traveling over the holidays, have mail and packages picked up or held by the post office, use automatic timers to turn lights on and off at appropriate times and have a dependable neighbor check on the house periodically to help mitigate the chance of disaster. Additionally, consider making your home more secure with dead-bolt locks, window grates and smoke/fire/burglar alarms. Keep in mind most insurers provide discounts for devices that make a home safer.
Online shopping can also present danger in the form of identity theft. Many standard homeowners insurance policies now include identity theft coverage, and most homeowners and renters policies provide some coverage for stolen cash or unauthorized use of your credit card.
To protect yourself, shop at reputable stores and check your credit card statements regularly, and if you find anything unusual, report it to your credit card company immediately. If your wallet is either lost or stolen, contact the police and your credit card company as soon as you can.
Published with permission from RISMedia.