Summer can be one of the best times of year to get outdoors. Unfortunately, some of that extra activity can lead to accidents and possibly more insurance claims. With some caution and adequate coverage in place, summer risks can be managed easily to make way for summer fun!

Here are some of the most common types of insurance claims related to summer, along with some tips on how to avoid them:

 

Outdoor fires

Barbecuing on a grill and sitting around a fire pit are enjoyable on a summer evening, but they can quickly turn into disaster if you’re not careful.

U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,900 home fires per year in 2014-2018 involving grills, hibachis or barbecues, according to a report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  July tends to be the peak month for grill fires coming in at about 18% of the year’s total grill fires, while May, June and August are close behind.[1]

Leaks or breaks tend to be the main causes of gas grill fires. Other causes can be failure to clean the grill, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire, and leaving the grill unattended.

The best solutions? Don’t leave a grill near flammables and don’t leave it unattended. If you have a charcoal grill, make sure the embers are out before leaving it. You’ll want to double check on your liability and personal property coverage, should you cause damage with grill flames.

For more information about what causes a gas grill to catch on fire click here

 

Car accidents

The summer driving season, Memorial Day through Labor Day, is often referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days,” for teen drivers. Between 2010-2019, over 7,000 people died nationwide in a teen related crash during the summer period.[2]

Some distractions for teen drivers include using their cellphones while driving, whether it be for texting or looking at social media. Having peers in the vehicle as well can also prove to be distracting, more so for inexperienced drivers. [3]. Talking to your teenager a before they get behind the wheel or ride with another teen driver can help with awareness and preparedness.

There are other summer driving hazards that affect people of all ages. They include increased road construction, flash floods, overheated vehicles, and glare.

Do a maintenance checkup on your car before a summer trip, and check with your insurance agent to make sure you have enough coverage.

 

Drownings

High temperatures get more people outside to swim, or attempt to swim, leading to more drownings during the summer.

If you have a pool, you want to make sure that the gates around it are locked to reduce the risk of children either sneaking into the pool area or accidentally falling in. Without a fence around a pool, your insurance rates could rise, coverage may be rejected, and you’d have to make an insurance claim if someone fell into your pool and injured themselves or drowned. It is also recommended that you check with your state and local municipality to determine if a fence is required by law.

An average of 3,957 unintentional drowning deaths occurred each year from 2010-2019 , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[4]. Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death for children between the ages of 1 and 14, with children between the ages of 1 and 4 having the highest drowning rate.[5]. There’s also a risk for nonfatal injuries which can cause severe brain damage and long-term disabilities such as memory problems and learning disabilities.

 

Boating accidents

 According to the Coast Guard, in 2020 there were 5,265 accidents where 767 deaths were reported, and 3,191 injuries were reported as results of recreational boating accidents.[6]The top factors contributing to accidents were operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure and excessive speed.

To avoid boating accidents, take a boating safety class, make sure your boat is in good running order, and require everyone on board to wear a personal floatation device.

For more information on personal watercraft safety click here

 

Home burglaries

With more people away from home on vacation and more people outside soaking up the summer sun, home burglaries and thefts can be higher.

Although losses experienced because of burglary may be covered by homeowners’ insurance, the risk can be reduced by installing a security alarm system, motion detection lights or by having neighbors collect your mail, packages and newspapers if you are away.

There are many reasons you might need to file a claim during the summer, but making sure you’re properly protected with security systems, fenced in pools, and being prepared and aware of how to prevent grilling fires, boating accidents, and potential drownings can help lower your risk. Get an insurance quote today with InsuraMatch to make sure you’re adequately insured!