Halloween conjures up visions of ghosts, goblins, and jack-o-lanterns, but usually not insurance claims. However, Halloween increases risk of vehicular and property damage.
According to data from the Highway Loss Data Institute personal vehicles are almost twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween compared to an average day. Additionally, a report from Travelers insurance found property crime-related claims increase 24 percent on October 31st.
Luckily, you can do many things to reduce risk and the likelihood of a claim and to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm.
Protect Your Vehicle
When possible, park in a garage or an area equipped with motion detectors. If you must park on the street, position your vehicle under a streetlamp in a busy area to deter thieves and vandals. Remove valuables from inside your car and activate your alarm.
Protect Your Home
A well-lit walkway deters vandals and thieves and reduces the chances of a trip or fall. The chances of a mishap are much higher for visitors in costumes as they often have restricted visibility. No one wants to deal with an unnecessary lawsuit.
Consider installing surveillance cameras in the darker, less traveled areas of your home such as along the sides or by the back door. Cameras are inexpensive and easy to install and some can be monitored via your smartphone.
A UNC Charlotte of Criminal Justice report found that 60% of convicted burglars check for a security camera and many look for an easier target if they see one.
Talk to you neighbors and consider setting up a neighborhood watch for the evening too. The National Crime Prevention Council suggests it is one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country.
Protect Your Pets
Keep your pets indoors too. They are often spooked by the comings and goings of strangers and even a friendly animal can bite when they’re edgy. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 800,000 dog bites result in medical care annually. Why risk it?
Plenty of little people are out for the night, so it’s very important to pay close attention when driving. Kids can dart out between cars, jaywalk, and ignore traffic lights.
Additionally, black is Halloween’s color which makes some of these children almost impossible to see. Slow down, avoid distractions, and focus on your driving.
When choosing a costume for your own child, ensure it fits well and does not obscure their vision. Avoid sharp plastic props such as swords. If they’re wearing dark colors, have them carry glow sticks or flashlights so they’re easily seen.
Accompany young children and lay down rules for older ones that want to go out alone. Discuss their route and set a time for them to return. If they want to bring their smartphone along photos, ensure they shoot in safe locations and then store away their phone. Distracted walking can lead to an accident and uploads can wait until later.