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Business : Protect yourself from these common Fourth of July claims

by Scott Stueber


The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday because it means getting together with family and friends. Independence Day celebrations often include parties, grilling, fireworks, swimming, and boating. When the sun goes down, magnificent fireworks displays can be seen for miles. While these activities can be fun and create many great memories, they can also be dangerous.

Here are some common claim scenarios that can happen to you and your family.

1. Firework injuries. While fireworks are fun to see, they can be dangerous to handle.

You decide to launch fireworks into the air to provide a spectacular show for your family and friends. Everyone is having a great time, but suddenly one of them misfires and shoots awkwardly toward your spectators hitting your best friend and causing injury. Do you have insurance coverage to pay for the injuries? If you have a homeowners policy, it does provide liability coverage for medical expenses if someone is injured on your property. However, if fireworks are illegal in your state, you may not have coverage. In addition, if you intentionally injure someone, your insurance policy may deny coverage as well. If that's the case, you'll be responsible for paying for the injuries sustained.

2. Grill fires. If you're like me, you enjoy grilling year round, especially on the Fourth of July.

This year you've decided to host a party at your home. Everyone is having a good time and enjoying the food you prepared on your grill. With all the commotion and excitement, you close the lid and push the grill back to its spot near your home. Several minutes later you realize your home is on fire. You call 9-1-1 and firefighters quickly put out the fire. While they save the home, you do have some fire damage. Do you have insurance coverage to pay for the damage? Your homeowners policy provides coverage to covered structures. However, you'll be responsible for paying your insurance deductible.

3. Boating accidents. The Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous holidays for boaters.

After a great day on the water, you decide it's time to call it a day. As you're speeding back to the boat launch, a person on a personal watercraft darts in front of you. While you swerve and miss hitting the person, you realize you're moving too fast and you're going to crash into the dock. Do you have insurance coverage for the damages caused? A homeowners policy may provide some very basic coverage which is probably not enough. It's in your best interest to have boat insurance. Talk to an independent insurance agent to learn more about the following coverages:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Property damage liability
  • Bodily injury liability
  • Uninsured motorist
  • Underinsured motorist
  • Medical payments coverage

4. Pool injuries and accidents. Accidental drownings increase between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you plan to spend time with your kids near a pool, spa, or lake, keep a watchful eye.

This Fourth of July you decide to host a pool party. It's a beautiful, warm, summer day. While you've told the kids a million times to stop running, they keep doing it. Unfortunately, one of them trips and falls and goes headfirst into the pool. Luckily, the guest child isn't significantly injured, but the kid does have a cut that requires stiches. Do you have insurance coverage for the injury? Your homeowners liability coverage would cover the child's medical bills up to the policy limit. However, if you own a pool, buying a personal umbrella insurance policy is a really good idea. It provides coverage where your basic home coverage ends by giving you a large additional layer of liability insurance over and above the liability insurance on your home. It may also provide extra coverage for your auto, boat, and other personal exposures.

5. Car accidents. It's a good idea to be extra cautious while driving on holidays.

After a fun day at the lake with family and friends, you decide it's time to go home. On your way home, you feel a bit drowsy. Suddenly you awake to the sound of glass breaking. You realize you must've dozed off and hit a tree. Thankfully, no one is injured, but your car is damaged. Do you have insurance coverage for the damages caused? If you have collision coverage on your personal auto policy, coverage would be provided. However, you'll be responsible for paying your insurance deductible. Collision means the upset of your covered auto or its impact with another vehicle or object. For instance:

  • Running a stop light and hitting another car.
  • Swerving to avoid a deer and hitting a tree.
  • Hitting a parked car, mailbox, or building.

While buying insurance isn't fun, it's a good way to protect what's important to you. In addition, proper planning and safety precautions can help prevent injuries.

Additional Resources

15 safety tips to help you enjoy the Fourth of July

Grilling tips to keep you and your family safe

15 pool safety tips to keep you and your family safe

Critical boating safety tips

The dangers of drowsy driving

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them; please share them in the box below.

This article is intended for general educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be construed to communicate legal or professional advice. Further, this article is not an offer to sell insurance. Please consult with your licensed insurance agent for specific coverage details and your insurance eligibility. All policies are subject to the terms, conditions, limitations, definitions, and exclusions contained therein.


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