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Here’s how Super Bowl party hosts can enjoy the game — and their guests — while avoiding a possible insurance claim.
JAN 29, 2018 | BY ELANA ASHANTI JEFFERSON
Despite the fact that not everyone loves American football — particularly in light of its recent politicization via the “Take a Knee” campaign — most everyone loves a party.
That makes the ad hoc holiday known as Super Sunday a time for football fans and foes to come together to eat, drink and play armchair TV critic.
This year, roughly 45% of Americans plan to host or attend a Super Bowl party, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
“As a favorite American past-time, the Super Bowl is a great chance for viewers to reconnect with friends and family,” says NRF Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Even though the number of viewers is slightly down this year, plenty are still planning to enjoy the day by watching it at their favorite bar or friend’s place.”
Insurance experts advise homeowners who choose to host a Super Bowl party to anticipate potential liabilities — on the chance something unexpected occurs that results in an insurance claim.
“Parties and holidays are times to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company,” says Heather Bolyard, vice president of Claims for American Modern. “Unfortunately, guests on your property are also a risk for which you may be held responsible.”
Should an accident happen, she advises taking the following steps:
- Address any injuries first.
- Ensure other guests are safe and secure.
- Take pictures.
- Quickly report the loss to the insurance company.
- Be sure to provide the names and contact information for witnesses.
- If possible, secure the scene for the insurance company to visit and complete an assessment.
“You put a lot of work into hosting a party,” Bolyard continues. “Do your best to be prepared… Then, enjoy the party knowing that you are insured in case an accident occurs.”
Here are six tips from insurers regarding potential homeowner liabilities when hosting a Super Bowl party, as well as how to address them.
Food and drink account for nearly 80% of the purchases made specifically for Super Bowl parties, according to the National Retail Federation. (Photo: iStock)
No. 6: Look out for inebriated guests.
Depending on the location, social host liability laws, or the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to guests, are applicable to events such as in-home Super Bowl parties, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
American Modern’s Heather Bolyard notes that hosts can be liable for guests who over-imbibe and then drive home while intoxicated:
“There have been some very sad claims where after leaving a party with family and friends the guest drove drunk causing an accident, injuries, and even death. A Super Bowl party with friends and family is going to be a great event. If you’re serving alcohol, do so early in the game and be sure to serve food as well; put the alcohol away before the end of the game and switch to coffee and dessert.
For those that over-imbibe ensure they don’t drive; consider asking another guest to give the person a ride or order a ride from a local taxi or ride-sharing service. There are so many services that are quick and convenient. Go ahead and have an app or phone number handy if you need one for a guest. You want to remember the great party, not the results of car accident.”
In the United States, emergency rooms see nearly 8 million slip-and-fall accident cases each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. (Photo: iStock)
No. 5: Clear icy or obstructed sidewalks.
Many parts of the country are heading into the coldest, snowiest part of winter. That means anyone hosting a Super Bowl party could be liable should a guest slip and fall on their steps, driveway or walkway.
But that becomes much less likely when a homeowner has taken extra precautions to clear and salt snowy, icy outdoor paths.
Farmers Insurance data also indicates that skidding on ice or snow and hitting an object or pedestrian claims both increase by more than 5% on Super Bowl Sunday compared to the three Sundays prior.
Five out of six (83%) grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used charcoal or other solid fuel, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Photo: Shutterstock)
No. 4: Responsibly ‘fire up the barbie.’
Grilling food is easy, fast and delicious, but it also can be dangerous.
Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and these fires accounted for annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 reported civilian injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage.
Super Bowl party hosts should make sure grills are clean and operational before the party, as well as positioned away from people and property.
Keep fire safety tools on hand, just in case.
Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest food consumption day of the year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Photo: iStock)
No. 3: Ward off foodborne illness.
Popular party foods containing dairy, such as dips or potato salad, can quickly sour once they come to room temperature, and Super Bowl party hosts could be liable should a guest become sick from something served at the event.
These food storage tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will go a long way toward avoiding the spread of foodborne illness:
— It is vital to keep foods out of the “Danger Zone,” which is the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F.
— When foods are left in the “Danger Zone,” bacteria can multiply rapidly, causing a single bacterium to multiply to 17 million in 12 hours.
— Avoid serving Super Bowl favorites, such as pizza and chicken wings, at room temperature for the entire game.
— If warm takeout foods are to be served immediately, keep them at 140°F or above by placing in chafing dishes, preheated warming trays or slow cookers.
— If take-out foods will not be served immediately, either keep them warm in a preheated oven, or divide the food into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers, and refrigerate. At serving time, reheat to 165°F.
— Cold foods that are served should be kept at 40°F or below, which can be done by nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice. Avoid storing food outside, where the sun can quickly warm foods in plastic storage containers and animals can get into them.
— Use a food thermometer to ensure foods being served to guests are not in the “Danger Zone.”
More than four million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo: iStock)
No. 2: Minimize pet stress.
Dogs are especially sensitive to crowds and noise (like touchdown cheering), and an agitated animal is more likely to bite.
When pets join the party, owners should monitor them for signs of stress such as panting, pacing or hiding. It also may also be wise to keep older or anxious dogs away from Super Bowl party guests altogether.
Related: 8 tips for preventing dog bites
Property damage, including theft, accounts for more than 97% of homeowners insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute. (Photo: iStock)
No. 1: Consider supplemental coverage.
Farmers Insurance warns that homeowners’ policies generally cover a limited amount of liability for injuries that occur at the home. So homeowners may want to consider a personal liability umbrella policy as a supplement.
Farmers also advises Super Bowl party hosts that any intentional act resulting in damage to home or property may not be covered under a homeowners policy. And there are limits to certain types of homeowner losses, such as theft.
To that end, Super Bowl party hosts may want to consult with their insurance specialist before Super Sunday to determine whether supplemental insurance, knowns as a floater, may be prudent.
“Parties and holidays are times to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company,” says American Modern’s Heather Bolyard. “After doing your best to prepare for an entertaining event, insurance can help you have peace of mind and enjoy the time with your friends and family.”
For your home insurance review, call us at (317) 886-0081 or visit our website: Scott Lynch Agency
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There’s almost nothing more convenient than online ordering. But when your work hours don’t align with the delivery schedule, it can leave a nice crime of opportunity for package thieves. One study by InsuranceQuotes.com estimates that 23 million Americans have had a package swiped from their doorstep before they could retrieve it. With two-thirds of Americans reporting they shop online at least once a month, the problem is likely to stick around. Here are a few steps to protect your deliveries from so-called “porch pirates.”
Go-go gadget. Various smart gadgets on the market can be helpful devices when it comes to securing packages. A video doorbell could let you view and speak to the delivery person at your door through your mobile device, so you can simply request they leave the package in a less conspicuous spot — or you can activate your smart lock and have them leave it inside your door.
Contact your carrier. Do a little detective work, and you may uncover some options through the delivery service. Many carriers now offer flexible options that let you schedule or reroute deliveries. For example, you could have them dropped off and held at a retailer near you, or deposited in a secure locker. Before you order, check the alternative offerings from the carrier.
Check your credit card policies. Some credit card companies offer protection against package theft to help you recover your losses. For specifics, get in touch with your credit card company to find out if this protection is available and for how much.
Alternative deliveries. Avoid the unwanted situation altogether and send the deliveries where swiping is far less likely. Your workplace, if your employer allows it, is one excellent option. You can also ask neighbors or family members who are home during the day to accept your deliveries and have your packages routed to their place. Just be sure to give them a little something for their trouble.
Finally, read about holiday burglaries.
To review your home insurance, call us at (317) 886-0081 or visit www.lynchagency.com.
To ensure that your family is properly protected this Holiday Season, call us at (317) 886-0081 or (317) 420-2867. You can also visit us online at: Lynch Insurance Agency
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State