How to Protect Yourself this Halloween
The insurance you need to stay safe and enjoy Halloween.
There’s no denying that Halloween will be different this year thanks to Covid-19 – trick or treating is certainly not recommended, and it’s even being banned in some of the worst-hit areas of the UK.
While most people treat Halloween as a bit of light-hearted fun, a small minority will use it as an excuse to cause trouble, which can sometimes lead to damaged property, vandalism and even harassment.
We know that most Halloween tricks are meant in good faith, but dangerous incidents can occur, whether someone injures themselves on your property, walks in front of your car while trick-or-treating, or deliberately vandalises your home.
Whether you’re having a movie night in, spending time with friends, or taking your kids out for some classic trick-or-treating (if that’s still allowed in your area this year), these five tips will help you stay protected on the spookiest night of the year.
1. Be mindful of the extra pedestrians out and about
Research by Churchill car insurance found that the number of children hit by cars almost doubles every Halloween night.
If you hit a pedestrian while driving and the incident is deemed your fault, you could be held liable for any claims made against you, and it could also be pretty damaging psychologically.
Always stay mindful that there will be more people, especially children, out and about on Halloween night, and ensure that you remain cautious and drive with even more care than usual.
If ever you're involved in a car accident that wasn't your fault, having a good dash cam can help settle any claims more easily, without the 'your word against theirs' hassle.
Note: You should also be aware that driving conditions will be getting worse over the coming months, so be wary when driving during a red weather warning.
2. Park your car away from potential danger
There’s no doubting that a small minority of people will be out on Halloween with bad intentions, and parked cars are some of the easiest targets for those up to no good.
Where you park your car overnight is one of the key factors in calculating the cost of your car insurance, because it can affect how likely your vehicle is to be damaged.
If it’s possible, park your car in a garage or on a private drive to reduce the risk of vandalism or any unpleasant Halloween tricks, but always ensure that it is locked and you make use of any security devices that you have (immobilisers, car trackers, and so on).
Alternatively, if you can’t park your car in a garage or on a private drive, leave it in a well-lit spot, ideally near somewhere with CCTV.
3. Get the right home insurance
Does home insurance cover vandalism on Halloween night?
Vandalism at Halloween will be covered by almost all home insurance policies in the UK, but it wouldn’t hurt to check your policy’s conditions beforehand, just in case.
Unless you find that vandalism is specifically excluded from your policy, chances are that your home insurance will cover the cost of any damages that occur during Halloween.
Whether it’s a broken window, graffiti, or any other type of vandalism, the best home insurance policies will pay out so that you are never left out-of-pocket if ever you need to make a claim.
Remember, there are many things that can invalidate your home insurance, including forgetting to lock your doors or windows, so be extra vigilant during Halloween, as crimes tend to rise.
4. Protect yourself against slips, trips and falls
If you’re an enthusiast that enjoys putting up Halloween decorations to spook trick-or-treaters, or you’re even thinking about hosting a party (which is less likely this year), it’s important that you consider the danger of slips and falls while people are on your property.
Slip hazards are aplenty on Halloween, whether it’s fake gravestones in the garden or cotton spider-webs in your home. If someone trips and injures themselves, you could be held accountable for the cost of damages if they make a claim against you.
This doesn’t mean that you should not decorate your home on Halloween, please do so until your heart’s content, just be sure to leave walkways clear to avoid the distress of an injury claim.
If someone does unfortunately trip on your property, despite all precautions being put in place, your personal liability cover within your home insurance policy should cover the payout.
Accidental fires on Halloween
Flammable costumes and flaming pumpkins are never a good mix, and there are a wide range of fire hazards to keep an eye out for during Halloween.
To stay clear of any accidental fires on Halloween, you should:
- Use specialist Halloween LED candles instead of a naked flame in pumpkins
- Choose a costume that’s flame-resistant and avoid flammable capes
- Keep flammable decorations away from flames, bare wires and loose connections
- Test your smoke alarm before decorating your home
5. Be vigilant and conscious of potential thieves
Statistics show that the number of home invasions and break-ins increase on Halloween, with many opportunist thieves making the most of empty houses as families head out for trick-or-treating.
If you’re thinking about heading out, ensure that you have locked all doors and windows, and make use of any home security devices such as alarms and CCTV cameras. Most importantly, make sure you are aware of your local government’s guidelines regarding Covid-19 before planning to venture out.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you are more likely to open your door to strangers on Halloween, so if you feel uneasy about the person knocking at your door, simply don’t answer it.
If you are ever subject to theft, be sure to claim on your home contents insurance policy to soften the blow and claim back anything that you lost.
Don’t forget to enjoy!
After all, Halloween is all about enjoyment and the thrill of dressing up, decorating, partying (albeit socially distanced or over Zoom this year), and enjoying a few classic films, so try not to lose sight of that.
Is Halloween dangerous? Well, it doesn’t have to be. Stay safe and remain vigilant, but don’t stress yourself out worrying about the possibility of a break-in or an accidental fire. As long as you’re conscious of these five simple safety tips, your Halloween can be just as enjoyable as ever, while also staying safe.