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6 Holiday Gifts That Could Increase Your Insurance

It’s still the most wonderful time of the year! The halls are still decked so you are thinking about when to “undecorate”, you have plenty of extra food leftover that you don’t want, and you’re ready for some extended family members to consider going home…

At least Santa was good! Perhaps now you have some of the coolest and most enticing gadgets, toys, tools, and sparkly trinkets. And who knew that Amazon could ship something that big?!

After the gifts are unwrapped and bellies are full of figgy pudding and roast beast, your attention is turned to constructing elaborate toys and searching for the elusive lithium polymer battery (that is not included), the festivity frenzy subsides and you may be left with the dark truth of your increased liability exposures of your holidays. Like too many hot toddies at the office holiday party, these fabulous and popular holiday gifts just might leave you with a throbbing liability headache.

But never fear, Covered is here! As your expert insurance advisor, we also understand potential liabilities lurking behind every gift that you now own and are responsible for. Here’s a short list of new holiday gifts that deserve extra attention:

  1. A four legged furry family member: Nothing brings joy and lights up the face of your favorite tiny human like a new puppy with a bright red bow tied around its neck. Aside from the obvious commitment and responsibility that goes along with that adorable fur ball, certain breeds of dogs may be difficult to get covered by your homeowners insurance policy. German Shepherds, Pitbulls, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, and Akitas are all on the list of “vicious dog breeds” that most insurance companies exclude. Injuries sustained from dog bites are one of the leading homeowners insurance claims. Although many of these precious pups may be great additions to the family, save yourself the insurance hassle and call your agent before you sign the adoption papers.
  2. Trampolines: Nothing conjures up images of hours of family fun than the good ol’ trampoline. Every kid in the neighborhood loves to go to the house with the trampoline for endless hours of jumping, flipping, and stunts galore. Unfortunately, these awesome acrobatics sometimes result in serious injuries, putting the trampoline at the top of the homeowner’s insurance underwriter’s naughty list.
  3. Motorized Kid Cars: We’ve all seen those cool motorized toy cars that are the envy of every pint sized automotive aficionado. Kids can hop in and cruise around, just like their parents. Although undeniably awesome and sure to make this holiday one of the best childhood memories EVER, these toys can be a major liability issue. Mini-Richard Petty’s and Danica Patrick’s flying around the neighborhood pose all kinds of risks, both to themselves and others. Not to mention that some of these toy cars exceed 15 miles per hour, disqualifying them from coverage on your homeowners insurance policy. Do your research and call your agent before you race out of the store with this gift.
  4. Drones: Ahhh, drones. These fantastic flying objects are fun for the whole family and increasingly functional too! Drones run the gamut from (relatively) inexpensive remote control toys for the kiddos to extremely high tech, high dollar, and far reaching aircraft that even the big kids want to get their hands on. Drones are a fairly new and ever-evolving technology that insurance hasn’t yet caught up to. Although some homeowners insurance policies do now provide coverage for some drones, many policies do not cover drones for liability or damage to the drone itself. Be sure to check your policy before jumping on the drone train (or is it plane?).
  5. Jewelry: Everyone loves the twinkle in the eye of your most favorite person as the Christmas lights reflect off that beautiful, sparkly bauble from yours truly. Jewelry is a beautiful expression of your love that often becomes prized possessions passed on to family members for years to come. Protect your investment and valuable family heirloom by ensuring that you have adequate insurance coverage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies limit coverage for jewelry, so, depending on the value, you may need a “valuable articles” floater policy – and an appraisal is always recommended.
  6. Cars: The big daddy of them all; a brand new car for the holidays! BOOM. End of year discounts can make the holidays the ideal time for purchasing that new ride you’ve been eyeing all year long. Before you drive off the lot, over the river and through the woods, stop, take a deep breath and call your insurance agent!! Despite what your overly friendly automotive expert salesperson says, you likely do not have physical damage coverage on your beautiful new ride for more than a few days.

So have fun this holiday season and especially in the aftermath, think ahead to protect your new assets from becoming liabilities, and gain further peace of mind with a free Covered consultation to make sure you aren’t on your insurance company’s naughty list next year.