Six Sizzling Summer Insurance Tips to Help You Keep Your Cool

Posted in: Personal Insurance

As the weather heats up, our guard goes down. It’s finally time to enjoy the weather and spend time with family and friends, but with the dog days of summer come many seasonal risks. Pools are open, grills are fired up, kids are home—if you’re not careful, accidents can occur. Read on to learn about some of the risks you could face, and keep these summer insurance tips in mind as you’re soaking up the sun.

Backyard Fun

  1. Pools
    Did you know that in order to be compliant with insurance requirements, you must have a fence around your in-ground or above-ground swimming pool? Not having a fence is actually considered negligence, and in the event of an accident, it’s likely that your claim will not be paid if you don’t have this safety feature. Additionally, if there should be any type of accident or claim related to a pool incident and you didn’t inform your carrier that you had a pool, they can deny the claim and even refuse to renew your homeowner’s coverage.
  2. Swing sets
    The kids are out of school and home for the summer. That swing set in the backyard is about to get a lot of use and abuse—when’s the last time that you inspected for wood rot or decay? Check for both dry rot and wet rot. If you notice areas of the wood with a lot of fungus growing or cracks, or you find areas of the wood that seem wet and spongey, it’s important to have those pieces of wood replaced. Also, don’t forget to tighten the nuts and bolts holding the swing set together, and check that the chains on any swings are in-tact and secure. For ultimate stability, it’s best that your swing set be cemented into the ground. If this is not an option, test out the equipment to make sure nothing is moving or coming out of the ground when weight is applied.

Fire and Heat

  1. Fireworks
    Certain types of fireworks are not legal in Maryland—in fact, each state has different laws surrounding what is and is not allowed. Be sure to use any fireworks you purchase in the state that you bought them to ensure that you are compliant. Additionally, if you’re going to put on your own legal fireworks show, be sure to stay a safe distance away from people and property. It’s also important to keep fireworks out of the reach of children and to have a bucket of water on hand to douse any accidents.
  2. Barbeques and grills
    Backyard barbeques and cookouts are a summer staple. When using your grill, be sure to keep the grill a safe distance from your home or anything flammable, use proper fire materials for your type of grill, check your propane tank for any leaks or malfunctions, and clean and maintain your grill to avoid fires. Always have a fire extinguisher on hand or close by to quickly and safely extinguish any grilling accidents. Most of all, monitor your grill when it’s in use, remember to turn it off when you’re done, and keep kids and pets away from the fire!

Summer Sports

  1. Boating
    According to a recent study, the Coast Guard found 4,291 accidents that involved 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.” If you’re going to enjoy some time on the water this year, make sure someone who is properly licensed is driving the boat and that the driver isn’t drinking. Before going out on a boat, make sure that the boat is safe and has been properly maintained. Some signs that may indicate a boat is unsafe include any leaks or scrapes on the hull. Also, before setting sail, check that there is proper safety equipment on board, including life jackets, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. While out on the water, follow boating laws, watch for other boaters, and save alcohol consumption for when you’re back on land.
  2. ATVs
    If you already own or are purchasing new ATVs or similar equipment, don’t forget to notify your insurance carrier and make sure everything is properly covered. Be sure that you are properly licensed, avoid reckless driving, and stay safe by wearing a helmet and long sleeves and pants to avoid any burns from the exhaust. Most importantly, make sure that you or your children only ride age-appropriate ATVs—there are different sizes and categories of vehicles with varying speeds and capabilities. The safety label affixed to the ATV will clearly state the age restrictions.

If you have any questions about these summer insurance tips or what to insure for your summer to go smoothly, feel free to contact me at jstarr@psafinancial.com. I’m happy to help you minimize your summer risks so you can maximize the fun. PSA wishes you a safe and relaxing summer!