As we approach September, it’s the time of year we get excited for the fall season has to offer. We look forward to the crisp weather and stunning foliage. However, these same things we look forward to can also be the culprits behind the uptick in certain kinds of insurance claims. How can you prepare for and prevent upcoming fall season insurance claims?
- Parking Lots – As the holiday season approaches, parking lots become crowded. This busier time of year means more drivers and a greater number of car accidents. Distracted pedestrians, shopping carts, and road rage are hazards that contribute to motor vehicle accidents in the fall. Parking away from cart returns and further away from other vehicles can help prevent such parking lot accidents.
- Animals – Pennsylvania is one of the top five states with the most vehicular animal collisions. Most wildlife accidents happen in the latter half of the year. Hitting a large animal is especially dangerous, so make sure to drive slowly and always wear a seatbelt. Animals, such as deer, raccoons and fox, are most likely to be in the road at dusk and dawn, so be especially cautious at those times of day when driving.
- Leaves – Similar to hydroplaning, falling and wet leaves cause a lack of traction for tires. Be sure to be wary of leaves and drive a reasonable speed and safe distance behind other vehicles.
- Frost – Before driving, defrost your windshield, side windows and rear window entirely so your view of the road is not obstructed.
- Technology – Distracted driving is a problem year-round and creates additional risk when drivers already facing the risks mentioned above. Remember that PA law states: Pennsylvania’s distracted driving law prohibits motorists from using an “interactive wireless communication device” to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving. And it comes with a $50 fine along with additional fees, surcharges, and court costs.
Fire and Smoke
- Heat – With the weather getting colder, the likelihood of indoor fires increases due to space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves. Make sure to keep anything flammable a safe distance from space heaters to prevent a fire. Before you start cozying up near your fireplace, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected. Also, be sure the flue is open before starting a fire. Annual furnace cleaning is also advised, as soot back up or malfunctions could lead to a claim that way too. And, of course, check your fire/smoke alarm to be sure it’s functioning properly.
- Décor – Plugging in electronic autumn or Halloween decorations can overload electrical outlets and spark a fire. Be sure to not overload the outlets and consider using surge strips. This is also a time of year to light candles, which should also be kept away from flammable materials such as curtains or clothing. They should also be in a place where children or pets won’t knock them over.
- Cars – Thieves prey on vehicles that have shopping bags and gifts in them, so keep your doors and windows locked. Try to park your car in well-lit areas as well.
- Homes – Homes are susceptible to theft because of packages of gifts being left at the front door. Burglar alarms, motion-sensor lights and security cameras can be helpful in preventing or proving theft. Try to get deliveries in the house as soon as possible, especially if you’re away from your home for an extended period of time. It’s not a bad idea to take photos of any valuables, as well as keeping receipts for proof of purchase.
Not only will preventing such insurance claims give you peace of mind, but taking these measures could save you money. In addition to avoiding paying deductibles, you may be eligible for a discount on your policy for taking some of these measures. Contact us today to make sure you’re properly covered and if you could be saving more money.