’Twas a Not-So-Silent Night: Are You Covered If a Holiday Party Goes Wrong?
In the weeks before the holidays, there are parties a-plenty. Whether you’re catching up with old friends or getting together with coworkers, you’re bound to attend at least a few of these soirees and maybe even host one yourself. You might even think, at some point, are you covered If a holiday party goes wrong?
If you’ve ever thrown a party before, then you’ll know how much planning goes into the process. For days, your brain will be buzzing with thoughts of invitations, decorations, and all the snacks you need to grab from the store. But rarely do we consider what to do if something unplanned happens, like someone getting injured from slipping on your walkway or an intoxicated guest knocking your Christmas tree into your fireplace.
The next time you plan a holiday party, stop and consider: Am I covered if one of my guests causes damage in my home?
To better answer this question, we have asked Rockingham Insurance property claims supervisor, Grace Mills, what it looks like to be covered under our policy when it comes to holiday parties.
Please keep in mind that these are “what-if” scenarios, and until an actual claim is made and has been investigated, Rockingham Insurance cannot provide an accurate reflection of each customer’s unique coverage policy.
Q: Are you liable if someone is injured on your property due to weather-related factors, such as ice or snow?
A: The first reaction that people might have when someone is hurt on their property is, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Or, “Let me cover your medical bills!” However, the injured party must first prove that you were negligent, and that your negligence was what caused them to be hurt, in order for your policy to cover their medical bills. Essentially, the injured party must prove that you were intending for them to get hurt.
Q: What does Rockingham Insurance cover if a guest breaks something in your home?
A: What Rockingham Insurance covers will depend on your individual policy. You must make sure your insurance has enough coverage for the home to also cover the personal property that is within the home. Touch base with your agent to make sure you’re adequately covered to replace the everyday items in your home, as well as the more expensive pieces, such as artwork or electronics.
Q: Are you covered if one of your guests brings a strange friend to the party and they make off with some of the presents under the tree?
A: If the presents under the tree were purchased by you, then most likely, yes, you would be covered as theft is a covered peril of most homeowners’ insurance. I recommend reaching out to your Rockingham Insurance agent to check whether theft is covered under your policy.
Q: What happens if someone brings their pet to the party and they knock over candles and start a house fire? Is the coverage different when damage is caused by furry friends?
A: While it is possible that a guest could be found liable for being negligent with their pet, this is hard to prove. In this specific scenario, Rockingham Insurance would cover the damages caused by fire, if that is a part of your policy. Afterwards, we would seek recovery from the other party if they have liability insurance.
Once again, the above are fictional examples, and we cannot say that any scenario is covered for certain without looking at the individual claim, evidence and your personal policy. If you’re not sure whether you are covered in a specific instance, now is a good time to reach out to your Rockingham Insurance agent to review your policy and clarify any parts that are unclear to you.
We wish you a happy holiday season, free from slippery walkways, broken vases, and present thieves.