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Insurance tips during the holiday season

For many, the holiday season could mean shopping online for gifts, leaving home for a vacation or hosting a holiday house party. While festive, these scenarios have opportunities for the “unexpected” to happen –such as identity theft when shopping online. We outline how insurance can help when it comes to hosting a holiday house party, purchasing gifts online and leaving for a vacation. 

Holiday parties: liability insurance and guest safety 

Hosts are responsible for the safety of their guests. If a guest is injured on the homeowner’s property, the homeowner could be sued. Also, if alcohol is served to a minor who may be at the homeowner’s party, and they drove home impaired, the homeowner could also be liable for any resulting damages – such as a car accident. If these events occurred, the homeowner’s personal liability insurance could help with legal expenses. An MCT Insurance broker can review home insurance policies to explain the limitations of a home owner’s personal liability insurance, their amount of liability insurance and suggest ways to improve the coverage.

To keep guests safe, it’s important hosts take the following measures:

  • Clear snow and ice from the walkway of their home.
  • Decorate in a way so there are no tripping hazards and the guests are able to safely move in the home.
  • Ensure guests have a safe ride home if they consume alcohol.  This could include the guest staying overnight or calling the guest a taxi.
  • Do not serve alcohol to minors; it’s a criminal offence. If this occurred, a homeowner’s personal liability insurance may not cover legal fees.

Holiday vacations: check home insurance

If a homeowner plans to leave for a holiday vacation, it’s important they contact a MCT Insurance broker to review their coverage. In particular, they will need to know how often their home needs to be checked, which a MCT Insurance broker can determine by reviewing their home insurance policy. If a homeowner does not adhere to this timing, damages which could occur while they’re away (such as a flood) may not be covered by insurance.

It’s recommended homeowners ask a friend or family me ever to check their property on a daily basis while they’re away. This would involve checking the inside of the property, removing mail and shovelling snow from the walkway to the home.

Shopping online: safety tips and insurance   

While it can be a quick-and-easy way to shop for gifts, purchasing gifts online could result in identity-theft scams. Identify theft scams occur when someone’s personal information, such as their credit card number, is used for financial gain. Here are some tips on how to safely shop online:

  • Purchase on a secure network; it’s best to avoid public WiFi.
  • Ensure antivirus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date.
  • Shop on secure websites, which have “https” at the start of the website address.
  • Never provide personal information or click on a link which asks for such information. This could appear in an email message after a purchase is made.

Should a person’s identity be stolen, there could be costs to restore it, such as legal fees.  Identity theft insurance could help; an MCT Insurance broker can explain the amount of coverage it provides along with limitations.

More tips for the holidays

Fireplace safety

For homeowner’s who have wood-burning fireplaces, regular maintenance is important. Learn why regular maintenance is important and other fireplace-safety tips, such as installing carbon monoxide detectors.

Vacations and social media sharing 

For homeowners who use social media networks, they may share photos while they’re away on vacation. However, this could present an opportunity for a break-in, as the homeowner has shared they’re away. Here are ways homeowners can safely share updates about their vacation on social media.

Call MCT Insurance: plan ahead

Whether homeowner’s are purchasing gifts online or need to understand their home insurance coverage before heading on a vacation, MCT Insurance brokers can help. Our brokers can help homeowners understand any limitations of their coverage and suggest improvements. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.