Halloween Tricks, Pranks and Accidents: Are You Covered?

By Lesley Green
Grey silver car with long key scratch across the door

Thankfully, Halloween is usually about the treat and not the trick, but unfortunately Halloween hijinks, and even accidents, happen. How will your car insurance or home insurance policy protect you?

A trick-or-treater slips and falls

With all the excited kids running to your door, what happens if one trips and falls on your property? Fortunately, most home insurance policies will cover you if someone accidentally injures themselves in this way. But, you are responsible for taking precautions to avoid a potential injury. For example, play it safe and ensure you:

  • Clear debris and obstacles from your walkway
  • Make sure your property is well lit
  • Keep your pets indoors on the big night

The trick’s on you

With any luck, a homeowner will never experience vandalism on their property; but Halloween often brings out the most ghoulish behaviour in some people. Check your insurance policy, does it cover vandalism? Most do and will cover the cost of any damage in excess of the policy's deductible.

Your car may also be a target, and if vandalized (say your paint job is ruined) you will also be covered, but only if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is optional so not everyone has it, but if you do it provides benefits for situations other than a collision. It can replace broken glass, cover the costs to repair damages from vandalism or fire, and replace your car if it is stolen and not recovered.

Your jack-o'-lantern starts a fire

Jack-o'-lanterns are usually a fairly safe Halloween decoration, but accidents do happen. If your jack-o'-lantern turns fiendish and causes a fire, your home insurance will likely cover any damage caused. There are precautions you should take however, to minimize the risk:

  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick instead of real candle.
  • Never leave a lit jack-o'-lantern unattended.
  • Place the pumpkin well away from anything that is flammable, including other decorations and leaves.

A Halloween party guest drinks too much

So your Halloween party is a hit—but what should you do with that guest who’s over-indulged and wants to drive? The answer is cut them off from alcohol and stop them from getting behind the wheel. If you’re the host, you could be held legally responsible if you continue serving alcohol to someone who has had too much to drink and plans to get behind the wheel. If that person gets in an accident, you could be on the hook for any damage they cause to themselves, others or any property, and your insurance provider won’t likely pick up the tab.

Have a happy (and claim-free) Halloween!

It’s a magical time of year, but the risk of damage and injury to yourself and others can be high at Halloween. Use common sense to avoid an incident and call your insurance provider to make sure you have the coverage against vandalism and liability you need to stay scare-free this holiday.