One of the fun things you can do to celebrate Halloween is visit one of those local haunted house attractions set up by a group in your community. For most people, this is good, scary, fun. For insurance underwriters though, it’s a whole lot more scary than it is fun. Where the rest of us see a good time, an underwriter sees potential insurance claims, waiting to happen.
Let’s face it, Halloween is a truly bizarre holiday. The things we do to celebrate Halloween are not things that most of us would even consider doing at other times of the year. Children, often unattended, knock on the doors of the houses of people that they do not know, hoping to get candy from a stranger. Costumes can be hard to walk around in, and may come with a mask that obstructs one’s view. It is these unique kinds of circumstances that make Halloween a tricky holiday for insurance underwriters to deal with.
What does an insurance underwriter see when looking at a Halloween carnival, haunted house, or pumpkin patch? They see liability. Basically, the underwriter is noticing all the ways that someone could potentially get hurt from participating in these activities. The main liabilities include slips, falls, and bumping into things in the dark. If children are present, there is more potential for an accident to happen, especially if the children are not going to be supervised by their parents or guardians. A basic pumpkin patch, where you go into a field and pick your very own pumpkin may be considered minimal risk. But, if that same event has a petting zoo, hayrides, or a carnival going on, the risk increases. If there will be alcohol served, then the risk of liability just got higher.
The companies who run the haunted house, pumpkin patch, etc., will need to get insurance to cover the cost of medical care in case of an accident, and also to cover the cost of a lawsuit if a person gets hurt and then decides to sue. Most will need general liability, volunteer accident coverage, and insurance on their equipment. Last year, Market Financial Group started offering an accidental death insurance policy to owners of haunted house attractions.
Not every Halloween event is going to have the same kind of coverage, so it is important that you take steps to ensure your own safety at these kinds of events. Make sure you supervise your children. If you are going to drink, make sure you are drinking responsibly, and have a designated driver.
Image by Robyn B on Flickr