4th of July, Jacksonville Beach Summer, one of the best “seasons” in Florida. It has officially begun and people all over the country are gearing up for Fourth of July celebrations. You can feel the excitement building, especially at the beaches. Every resident knows that the 4th of July celebrations at the Jacksonville Beaches are one of the biggest spectacles in the state. With the weekend festivities about to kickoff, and before you dust off the fireworks, slip-n-slides, and party supplies let’s make sure you are planning a safe, claims free holiday.
Reduce your exposure and risk this holiday weekend. Here are the top four 4th of July insurance claims to avoid.
Fireworks laws vary from state to state, so know what you are and aren’t allowed to light off. Here is a helpful link to which fireworks are approved in Florida. Legal fireworks can be a lot of fun, but no matter how big or small, they can be dangerous. The CPSC reports that in 2014, over 10,500 people were treated for firework-related injuries in emergency rooms around the country. In other words, try not to blow your hand off, ok?
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking fires are the leading cause of structure fires. If you are lighting up the grill for some good ol’ American flare this holiday, make sure that you if you are cooking outdoors. Seems silly to say that, but people do attempt to grill indoors or in unventilated areas. Make sure you place the grill far enough away from your house or other structures so sparks and flames can’t ignite your siding. If your outdoor grill has a grease or ash trap, make sure to empty it. These can easily catch fire because the contents are so easy to ignite.
It’s easy to get distracted with an impromptu pickup football game or fifty visitors dropping by on beach cruisers, so make sure someone is always tending to the grill. Never leave a fire burning unattended.
And, make sure children and pets steer clear of the hot surface. Nothing would ruin a barbecue like a trip to the emergency room or vet.
Holidays, especially those where drinking is a center-point, always pose a higher risk for auto accidents. An increased volume of traffic near the festivities and a greater chance of drinking and driving make the 4th of July especially dangerous. If you are having guests at your home that might be consuming alcohol, be sure to keep an eye on everyone and don’t let anyone drive after consuming alcohol. Even if you aren’t drinking, try to avoid being on the roads as much as possible. Even the safest drivers can be injured by drunk drivers.
Thinking of hosting one of the many stopping-point parties over the holiday? New social host laws can now hold homeowners and your homeowners insurance responsible for car accidents that occur after a driver has consumed alcohol on their property.
Walking, riding a bike (responsibly) or catching a ride share or taxi are always a better choice.
Since the weather around the 4th of July is typically perfect boating weather, many areas around our coast see a spike in boating accidents in the days surrounding this holiday. If you plan on boating this 4th of July avoid alcohol and remember that Boating Under the Influence is just as dangerous as a DUI.
Make sure you are familiar with all U.S. Coast Guard rules and regulations.
Unusual Insurance Coverages to Consider for the 4th
While we hope your 4th of July holiday goes smoothly, there tends to be an increased level of missteps during this long holiday weekend. While the following are unusual and a bit silly, you may want to consider these coverages.
Drunk guest insurance
Officially known as “social host liquor liability coverage,” this insurance covers expenses in the event an intoxicated guest at a party you throw causes costly damage to property or to another individual. Note: If you throw the party in your own home, your homeowners’ insurance usually includes this.
Do you have planned, or perhaps think there is a possibility of unplanned overnight guests for your holiday weekend? You may want to consider this coverage. You may be out of luck if you discover a bed bug infestation at home: Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance typically doesn’t cover the estimated $1,000-plus costs to rid yourself of this invasion.
Body parts insurance
Notable body parts, including Bette Davis’ waist, Bruce Springsteen’s voice, Julia Roberts’ smile and Troy Polamalu’s hair have all notoriously been insured. If you have a defining feature, you may want to consider insuring it. Can you imagine the horror if Shad Khan accidentally singed his mustache off in a firework accident? There’s insurance for that!
Cold Feet Insurance
Perhaps you’ve known your fiancee for quite some time, or maybe you are in a love at first sight type of situation. Either way, something could happen during the holiday weekend that gets you second-guessing your coming marriage. As the cost of a wedding grows, interest in insurance that covers a couple’s nuptials is also on the rise. There are companies that offer a policy that will cover costs in the event the bride or groom has a “change of heart” and calls off the event.
Every year over 800 children drown accidentally and over 3,000 are injured in near-drowning incidents. Roughly 90 percent of these accidents happen between May and Labor Day.
- Never leave children unsupervised
- Children should stay away from “swimmies” or other floatation devices as they give the child a false sense of security
- Use kid pool fences
- When at the beach, swim near lifeguards. If there are no lifeguards do not go deeper than ankle deep.
- Watch out for rip currents in the ocean
- While boating always wear a life vest
- Do not consume alcohol while operating a boat
- Be aware of others in the water at all times
- Take boaters safety courses
This is the time of year we are outdoors more with barbecues and cookouts. Be aware of summer heat and food. Bacteria grows much faster in the heat. You wouldn’t want that queso dip and chips that’s been sitting in the sun all day.
- Always use clean utensils and wash hands when prepping if not available because you are outdoors use one of those hand sanitizers. It is better than nothing.
- Make sure you keep raw meat separated from other food and utensils
- Keep all food in coolers or refrigerated and not left out in the heat for more than two hours
- Keep cold food cold and hot food hot
- Drink plenty of water and keep kids hydrated. Be wary of sugary drinks and alcohol it will not keep you hydrated. You should drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water to keep properly hydrated.
- Cook chicken to 165F, Steaks 145F, Burgers 160F, Hotdogs/Sausage 160F
Holiday Safety 4th of July
This is one of the best days of the year celebrating our Declaration of Independence. Let’s make sure we keep it safe.
- Never allow kids to use Fireworks
- Sparklers burn at nearly 2,000 F
- Never relight a dud
- Never point or throw fireworks at anyone or anything
- If you go to a fireworks event leave your pet at home. Pets go missing on the 4th of July more than any other day of the year. They become scared and disoriented.
Have a fun & safe holiday weekend. God Bless America!
Pablo Beach Insurance
Home Insurance Experts
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