Are you properly covered for holiday hazards?

AAA experts have advice for checking insurance during holidays


With the hustle and bustle of shopping, parties and events during the holiday season, many consumers are likely not concerned with making sure they have the proper insurance coverage.

But the season brings hazards that should give consumers pause, and AAA experts encourage checking to make sure insurance coverage is up-to-date.

“Making sure you have selected the proper insurance coverage is key to mitigating any issues that may arise during this time of year," said Tony Alberton, Florida field vice president for AAA.

When looking to make an expensive or unique gift purchase, AAA recommends consumers speak with their insurance agent to determine if the item needs to be scheduled on their home, condo or renters policy.

According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey, only one in four Florida home insurance policyholders actually have scheduled personal property coverage.

Another common hazard that occurs throughout the holiday season is theft. Around this time of year, theft can come in many forms, including home break-ins, packages stolen from porches, vehicle thefts and even vehicles being broken into.

If valuables, such as shopping bags and gifts, are left in plain sight, they can be attractive to smash-and-grab burglars.

“When leaving your vehicle in a parking lot, make sure shopping bags and gifts are not visible through the car window,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida public affairs director for AAA. “Putting your bags in the trunk or another place where they are not visible can help prevent vehicle break-ins.”

Consumers should also make sure they have the proper coverage for this type of incident. A vehicle break-in is typically covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto policy, but it does not cover any personal items that may have been stolen from the vehicle. A claim for those items can be filed on a home, renters or condo policy.

Coverage is subject to all policy terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations.

Some other common Holiday Hazards include:

  • Fire Hazards – The holiday season can hold several different types of fire hazards. From holiday lights and decorations, to Christmas trees and fireplace hazards, this time of year can greatly increase fire risk. AAA recommends checking your holiday lights for frayed wires, broken bulbs or loose connections and making sure your tree is not placed near the fireplace or another heat source.
  • Heavy Holiday Traffic – Busy parking lots are another holiday hazard. It’s important to be aware and focused while traveling through parking lots to help avoid collisions. Also, traffic on the roadways is more likely to increase during this time of year, whether it’s running holiday errands or traveling on the highway to visit family and loved ones. AAA recommends limiting distractions when driving in heavy traffic or congested areas.

Along with speaking to an agent about the coverage for certain holiday hazards, it’s important to also discuss the deductibles on auto and home policies and whether they would apply in certain situations.

AAA has a comprehensive household coverage review called AAA Triple Check. AAA’s agents will conduct a free review of a consumer’s current auto and/or home insurance policy, assess any changes in their lifestyles and advise if they are getting the best rate and all the available discounts.

For more information about AAA Select Auto, AAA members and consumers should talk to a AAA Insurance agent at their nearest AAA branch or visit aaa.com/insurance.

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