Whether you are enjoying the winter season at home with family and friends or vacationing abroad, it is important to consider the inherent risks around the holiday season. Many of us get caught up in the holiday spirit and do not pause to think about the importance of liability protection when entertaining, the risks of traveling, or the necessity of adding precious new valuables to your insurance policy. With these considerations in mind, Willis Private Client compiled our top insurance tips on how to protect your assets as you enjoy the season.
Holiday Parties and Events
Having a personal umbrella policy is crucial during the time of year when guests are frequently coming and going to your home or property. While parties are a time to enjoy the company of friends and families, they can also expose you to the potential legal liability should someone be injured at your home.
Vendors and employees assisting with events are an often over-looked liability issue which needs to be properly addressed. While domestic employees should already be covered under a Worker’s Compensation policy, it is critical to always check with vendors such as catering and event companies to ensure that they provide adequate insurance for temporary employees.
Though it is hard to imagine that valuables like jewelry might be stolen or that precious art works might be unintentionally damaged by guests, large crowds introduce an element of risk. With the possibility of acquaintances and strangers at a social event you host, take the proper precautions to lock valuable items and seal off rooms that contain personal belongings or fragile items vulnerable to breakage.
When buying an item of value for a household member, it is always advisable to contact your client manager. Purchases such as jewelry and fine art should be protected from the date they are purchased, and, depending on the value, may need to be specifically insured on a valuable articles policy. Always keep applicable receipts and appraisals and discuss the purchase with your client manager in order to ensure that sufficient coverage is in place.
We’ve all enjoyed the movie, Home Alone. Often, the holiday season is a time of travel and while you are away, make sure your home’s security systems and fire alarms are activated and working. Ideally, you have designated a caretaker, friend or neighbor to monitor your home while you are away.
Traveling during the holidays is notoriously challenging as it often entails bad weather, lost luggage and cancelled flights. Your client manager can provide a travel policy which offers year round coverage and responds to circumstances out of your control such as canceled trips, or medical emergencies that requires you to return early. The policy is an annual policy which allows you to avoid purchasing trip by trip.
As the temperature drops, everything from roads to pipes can freeze and cause hazardous situations. During times of winter weather, it is crucial to make sure that your home and vehicles are equipped to handle the colder temperatures. Prior to using traditional fireplaces with vents or chimneys, make sure to schedule the proper cleaning and inspection. And it is good to be reminded that before you hit the road, always be certain that your vehicles’ maintenance is up to date.
Guest blogger Blair Leake is a client manager with Willis Personal Lines, focusing on the unique insurance needs of affluent individuals and multi-generational families and their extensive fine art collections. Before joining Willis, Ms. Leake worked with museums and appraisers including the Gerald Peters Gallery, The Morgan Library, Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and Sotheby’s Drawings Department. She holds a Masters in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and is certified Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), an affiliate member of the Appraisers Association of America.