In celebrating our Independence Day, things can get a little out of control. What was supposed to be a delightful nighttime firework show turned into a firestorm. Who knew one little sparkler could cause so much mayhem? As you take pictures of the damages to your home, you’re probably wondering: will my homeowners insurance cover this?
“Baby, Don’t Mishandle Fireworks”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that close to half of all fires reported on July 4th were caused by fireworks. Looked at in a different way, we can say that one in four fires that occur on the 4th of July are directly caused by a firework show. 1,300 of these fires were structure fires. We know that homeowners insurance covers theft, loss and fire damage, but does it cover firework damage?
More than likely, you are going to be filing a claim under both your homeowners insurance and health insurance policies. If you or a family member is injured during the firework show or in trying to put out the ensuing fire, you will use your health insurance to pay for the medical costs.
For damages done to your property and any injuries sustained by your guests, your homeowners insurance policy will cover the expenses under one of two sections: property liability and bodily injury liability.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there was a reported 10,500 firework-related injuries in 2014. Medical bills to treat burns can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the burn.
Under your homeowners insurance protection is liability coverage. Liability coverage pays for the medical property expenses of your home and of your guests. This means that if someone other than you or a family member should suffer injury in your home or on your property, your insurance policy will cover their medical expenses. Remember, your health insurance will cover any injuries you or a family member may have sustained in the firework accident.
The liability section of your homeowners insurance policy also protects you against lawsuits and pays the cost of litigation fees should the person suing you succeed in getting the lawsuit to court. The Insurance Information Institute (III) has found that the typical homeowners insurance policy has a liability limit of $100,000. Considering the average cost of damages in a house fire costs over $45,000, it’s advised that homeowners get more coverage than the prerequisite amount.
Fireworks and State Laws
Unsurprisingly, there is a catch to getting coverage for a house fire caused by a firework mishap, and rightly so. If your state or county has made firework shows illegal in your area, and you put on a private show anyway, your insurance company is not responsible to pay for any damages that may incur as a result of a firework caused fire or injury. Because the use of fireworks was illegal, you should not have been using them. If a fire or injury results, you are directly responsible for paying out the damages and medical bills yourself. There will also be fines and penalties to pay to your county (and maybe even jail time) for hosting an illegal firework show. When you consider all this, it’s probably a better idea to go and see a firework show than it is to have your own.
To make sure you get a homeowners insurance plan that has your back, contact CoverHound today.