BISMARCK, N.D.-The holidays present some unique situations for all of us, including added travel, time spent in the homes of friends and family, and possibly out-of-state travel for extended periods of time.
Does your homeowner's insurance provide coverage if gifts are stolen out of your car? What happens if a guest at your holiday party slips and falls on your icy driveway? North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm offers the following tips on dealing with potential mishaps this holiday season.
What if someone breaks your car window and steals gifts from the back seat?
Standard homeowners and renter's insurance policies provide coverage for this peril, subject to the policy deductible and coverage limits. Some automobile policies also provide coverage. If this happens to you, talk with your insurance agent or company to find out under which policy you should file your claim.
What happens if a guest at your holiday party slips and falls on your icy driveway?
Standard homeowners' insurance policies provide limited medical payments coverage if your guest seeks medical attention. If the guest sues you for additional damages, your standard homeowner's insurance policy should provide liability coverage. Check with your insurance agent or company to be sure you have adequate liability limits.
What if someone steals the holiday decorations in your front yard?
Under a standard homeowner's insurance policy, decorations are generally covered, subject to your policy deductible and coverage limits. These items would also generally be covered if you have a condominium or renter's insurance policy.
What if you take someone else's car to the store because it was the last one in the driveway, and you get into an accident?
The existing auto insurance policy on the borrowed vehicle would provide primary coverage in the event of a claim. If no coverage exists, your auto insurance policy might provide coverage. Talk with your insurance agent or company to find out if your auto insurance coverage will extend to a friend or family member's car you plan on operating.
What if you loan your car to a family member and they get pulled over?
Your automobile coverage will not be affected if another driver is simply ticketed for a driving violation. However, if the person to whom you loaned the vehicle has an accident while intoxicated, the company might non-renew your policy or charge a higher premium.
What if you end up in an out-of -state urgent care clinic?
Most health insurance policies provide coverage for urgent care and emergency room visits while traveling, if they provide for such coverage at home. If you plan to travel, be sure to take your health insurance information for all family members with you. Prior to leaving town, it is a good idea to check with your insurance company about in-network healthcare providers at your destination. If you receive medical care from an out-of-network provider, you might be subject to higher deductibles and/or co-payments.
"Talking to your insurance agent now about these potential mishaps will help you enjoy your holiday season," Hamm said.
For more information about your changing insurance needs and tips for choosing the coverage that is best for you and your family at www.insureUonline.org or call the North Dakota Insurance Department at 1-800-247-0560.