Scary Halloween Decorations Could be a Liability

Your home’s exterior Halloween decorations could prove to be a hazard.

As the homeowner, you need to consider “premises liability,” meaning if a trick-or-treater trips on an extension cord or other holiday decoration and injures themselves, you’ll be held accountable for the injury or legal expenses if they have medical bills or decide to sue you.

Pay attention to the types of decorations you have and make sure they’re safe for everyone. Strobe lights can cause seizures for people with epilepsy, and fog machines can cause asthma attacks for people who have asthma. Be aware of food safety hazards as well. If you’re handing out a treat that contains nuts, explain that to the eager candy recipients or have a sign on your front door that lists its ingredients. Taking that extra bit of safety precaution, along with keeping the walkway to your home clear and leashing your dog will make your Halloween less nightmarish.

If an injury on your property was an accident, it will likely be covered by personal liability coverage in your homeowners policy. If you only have the minimum $100,000 in coverage, consider raising the liability limits from anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000 to protect all of your assets in the event of a lawsuit. You may also consider a separate umbrella policy for extra liability coverage.