We all know and love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The calamity that ensues from scene to scene makes us glad our families are not this tragic. Now some of you may argue that your family makes the Griswolds look like The Flanders on a good day but despite our crazy families, it is still our job to ensure the family’s safety even during “the most wonderful time of year”.
We often wonder; was Clark Griswold properly insured during these insurance nightmares? Are any of those scenarios possible for our clients? Let’s take an Insurance Architect look at the Griswold’s famous Christmas meltdown.
1. Your Uncle Burns Down The Tree While Lighting His Cigar
Standard homeowners policies cover damage due to fire. Make sure, though, that your policy will cover the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing all of your belongings.
If your policy limit is based on your mortgage amount, it might not be enough.
Use Allstate’s Digital Locker® to create an inventory of your home’s items and store your information securely in the cloud
Tell your uncle to take his victory cigar outside.
2. Your Outdoor Illuminations Set Your Bushes And Plastic Santa Aflame
Trees, plants and shrubs are covered under standard homeowners insurance when damaged by fire, whether by accident or a 1960’s christmas bulb.
Most policies limit coverage to 5% of your dwelling coverage up to about $500 per item so keep the lights to a reasonable amount, Clark.
3. Your Brother Decides To Dump His RV Sewage In Your Septic Tank
It actually doesn’t matter how your sewer backs up. Most homeowners policies do not cover damage caused by sewage backup.
You typically have to purchase this coverage separately for an additional $40 to $50 a year. Ask your brother to leave his RV at home this year or take advantage of more rest stops
4. A Squirrel Stows Away In Your Freshly Cut Christmas Tree; Havoc Ensues.
A standard policy won’t cover damage caused by rodents and domestic animals such as dogs, cats or even feisty squirrel.
You can add additional coverage specifically for rodents and animals. It will provide protection even if a wild animal like a bobcat decides to stow away in your tree. Not sure you could miss a bobcat in your tree, but we have seen worse.
5. A Grinch Literally Stole Your Christmas
Ok, so maybe a Grinch didn’t steal the Griswold’s Christmas but theft is high during the giving season. Most homeowners’ policies provide coverage for possessions at 50% to 70% of the dwelling’s coverage. So if your home is insured for $200,000, you’ll have $100,000 to $140,000 worth of coverage for your belongings. There are limits on some luxury items, so be sure to talk to your Insurance Architect about supplemental coverage. Stay away from people whose heart is two sizes too small
Don’t wait for your tree to catch fire or your ignited Christmas lights to illuminate the entire neighborhood before finding out if your covered. Talk to one of our Insurance Architects today and leave the destructive comedy to Clark and Eddie.