Scary insurance: what you need to know about your home on Halloween

By: Miranda Marquit on October 26, 2015

For many of us, Halloween is a time to allow the inner child to let loose. Even though I don’t go trick-or-treating, I do enjoy dressing up as I hand out candy to the neighborhood children.

Unfortunately, there are a few pranksters more interested in tricks than in treats. Often, these types of tricks come in the form of vandalism that can create an unsafe environment for you and for those who just want to have an enjoyable evening.

Liability: your home on Halloween

First of all, you want to protect your home and yourself on Halloween. One of the biggest worries you might have is what happens if someone falls on your property. Yes, your homeowners insurance will cover that liability, but it’s better not to need to make a claim.

Here are some steps you can make to ensure that your home is a safe place to approach on Halloween:

  • Keep pathways clear: don’t let debris build up on pathways. Move jack-o-lanterns out of the way, and keep your decorations off the paths. Make sure there is room for trick-or-treaters to get up to your door and return to the sidewalk without tripping.
  • Provide adequate light: if you want your home and Halloween to be free of problems at night, make sure everything is lit up. Turn on your porch light and make sure the pathway can be seen clearly.
  • Anchor decorations: you don’t want your décor falling and landing on a trick-or-treater. Make sure that all of your decorations are anchored, whether they are hanging from your door or standing in the yard.
  • Avoid jump scares: it’s tempting to create an elaborate scene to scare visitors. However, these scenes can lead to injury and confusion, especially for younger children. Keep jump scares to a minimum and rely on your decorations. Better yet, focus more on the fun than on the fear.

By taking the time to keep your home safe for Halloween, you’ll reduce the chances of problems with injury later.

Discourage tricksters on Halloween

While there’s no way to completely avoid determined vandals, you can take steps to discourage tricksters on Halloween, which can be a good way to keep your safe home on Halloween.

One of the best ways to discourage pranksters is to be welcoming. If you are handing out candy,
and there are people coming to and from your home, tricksters are less likely to target your home because there are fewer chances to make a move undetected.

After you have passed out your candy, and it’s time to shut down for the night, you can still use light to your advantage. Outfit your home with motion detectors. These can be used to flood the yard with light when someone approaches. Light is one of the great discouragers of vandals – no matter the time of year.

Another strategy is to put out a sign that says “Beware of Dog.” This might discourage tricksters from hopping your fence and going around back. Alarm company signs can also be helpful. If pranksters think an alarm will be triggered if they enter your property after you’ve gone to bed, they might decide to stay away. Finally, set up cameras on your property. You can be conspicuous about it, or leave up signs warning of cameras. Vandals will be less likely to risk being identified.

Don’t forget about your car; your efforts to do the best for your home on Halloween shouldn’t make you blind to the fact that your car might be vulnerable. First of all, make sure you have comprehensive insurance coverage. Collision and basic liability aren’t designed to pay out in the event of vandalism; comprehensive will bridge this gap.

Avoid parking your car on the street. It’s a more enticing target there. Instead, park in the garage if you can. If the garage isn’t available, at least park in the driveway. Activate the car alarm if you have one.

Halloween can be a fun time, but you don’t want it to be too scary. Protect your home on Halloween and you’ll be more likely to enjoy treats instead of tricks.