Summer is a time of fun and adventure
Summer is also a time when insurance claims spike due to accidents, injuries, and burglaries. Even a backyard barbecue can lead to unintended consequences. We review five common insurance claims and how you can take steps to avoid disaster.
Caution #1: Backyard BBQs
We mentioned this in the opening, so why not start with why outdoor barbecues can lead to a bad outcome. It all comes down to fire.
There are about 8,900 home fires every year because of grills, hibachis, and barbecues, according to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report. That equals about $18 million in property damage.
The propane used for gas grills is the main culprit (83%), with accidents occurring because of leaks or breaks. Other causes include putting the grill too close to flammable objects and not cleaning the grill properly after each use.
How to protect yourself
It’s important to inspect the propane tank before each use. Make sure there is no obvious wear or tears in the hoses or damage to the tank itself.
Never place a grill near an object that can catch on fire. You should never leave a grill unintended.
Caution #2: Car accidents
Memorial Day is the “official” start of summer. It’s also a time when more people hit the road for vacation. More cars on the highway equal an uptick in accidents. AAA refers to the summer season as the “100 Deadliest Days.” particularly when it comes to teen drivers.
Distractions are a major cause of accidents, including talking on the phone, other passengers in the car, and looking away from the road for things like adjusting the stereo or texting. Other things can lead to accidents such as debris in the road, road construction, overheating, and blown tires.
How to protect yourself
Talk to teenagers about the importance of staying vigilant and reducing distractions. It might be a good idea to limit how many people are allowed in the car. You should also think about enrolling your teen in a certified driver safety course.
It’s also essential to have your car thoroughly inspected before going on a road trip to ensure everything is in good condition.
Caution #3: Drowning
We all love getting in the pool or heading to the beach. Unfortunately, drowning is an all too real risk, particularly for young children.
Look at these statistics from SafeKids.org:
- Two-thirds of drownings occur each year between May and August
- More than half of drowning fatalities happen to children under age 5
- Drowning is the leading cause of death of children aged 1-4 and the second leading cause for children aged 5-14
Of course, adults are not immune to drowning. Nonfatal injuries can lead to severe brain damage and long-term disabilities.
Tips to remember:
- Keep your eyes on your children at all times
- Keep young children within arm’s reach
- Assign a “water watcher” when you’re at a party or near any large body of water
- Enroll your child in swimming classes
Make sure your child has mastered these 5 water skills:
- Step or jump into water over their heads
- Return to the surface and float/tread water for 1 minute
- Turn in a full circle and find an exit from the water
- Swim 25 yards to the exit
- Exit from the water (including from the pool ladder)
Caution #4: Boating accidents
Boating is popular in some states all year round, but there’s no question that boating accidents increase during the summer months. There was an estimated $42 million in property damage, over 600 deaths, and over 2,600 injuries according to 2015 statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Drowning is the #1 cause of boating-related deaths, and 85% of victims were not wearing a life jacket. Deaths most frequently occur when the operator didn’t have proper boating safety training.
Top reasons for boating accidents include:
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Improper lookout
- Mechanical failure
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol or other impairments
Tips to protect your family:
- Enroll in a boating safety class
- Inspect your boat before heading out
- Always pay attention to where you’re going
- Stay alert to other boats or objects in the water
- Avoid alcohol or other substances when operating a boat
- Obey lane designation and speed limit signs
- Require everyone to wear a life jacket, especially children
Caution #5: Home burglaries
You know who else likes it when you go away on vacation? Thieves. Home burglaries and assaults generally go up during the summer months, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. An empty home represents easy pickings for an experienced thief.
How to protect yourself
The best thing you can do is to install a home security system. It’s also a good idea to install motion detection lights and automatic timers inside and outside so your lights turn, even if you’re not home.
If you’re going on vacation, put a hold on your mail/newspapers, or have a friend/neighbor pick them up every day. A pile of newspapers scattered across the lawn is a sure sign that you are away.
Ask us About your insurance needs
Summer is all fun and games until someone has to make an insurance claim. Make sure you have the proper coverage and take steps to protect your property and your family.
Avante Insurance can take care of your insurance needs, including homeowners, auto, and boat insurance. If you have multiple insurance needs, think about bundling policies to save money.
If you have questions about your insurance coverage or you’re interested in a quote, contact us today.
This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state.