Fireworks are most commonly associated with the Fourth of July in the United States. But many people also set off fireworks on other celebratory occasions such as New Year’s Eve, which is right around the corner.
When handled properly and operated according to instructions, fireworks can be a great way to celebrate the season. As more states around the country have legalized personal usage and purchase of fireworks, the industry is picking up. In fact, last year, fireworks sales topped out at $1.9 billion, which was almost double that of the year before.
Unfortunately, fireworks can cause a lot of damage, too. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks are responsible for more than 19,000 fires on average every year.
If you’re considering celebrating an event with fireworks, or if you are concerned about a neighbor doing so, you might be wondering whether damage from fireworks would be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Here’s some more information about that.
Fireworks Damage is Often Covered
Most home insurance policies will cover damage to your home and property caused by fire. Some policies will specifically lay out the circumstances under which they’ll cover fire damage, though, so make sure to read all the details of your home insurance policy.
One thing that most home insurance policies won’t cover is damage caused by any illegal activity. As such, it’s important to understand the laws of the state where you are setting off fireworks.
In Michigan, people over the age of 18 can purchase and use fireworks. This means you can choose from many popular consumer fireworks such as firecrackers, Roman candles, sparklers, poppers and other types of fireworks.
That being said, local jurisdictions have the right to set certain restrictions on fireworks usage. So, it’s also a good idea to check your local municipality’s laws when it comes to fireworks usage.
State law also prohibits people from setting off fireworks on any public property, which includes sidewalks and streets. You also can’t set off fireworks if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If it is discovered that you broke the law while setting off fireworks, your home insurance policy is unlikely to provide coverage for any damage your property or dwelling sustained as a result.
There May Be Limits
Just because your home insurance policy provides general coverage for fire damage sustained as a result of fireworks doesn’t mean all incidents will be fully covered, though. That’s because fire-related claims are often the most expensive insurance claims.
The Insurance Information Institute reports that insurance claims related to fire damage cost an average of $79,785. Some fire-related claims would total amounts that are much higher than that.
It’s important, then, that you understand what the coverage limits are on your home insurance policy as it relates to fire damage. If you only have $20,000 of coverage, for instance, it may not fully cover damage your home or property sustains from a fireworks accident.
Property damage isn’t the only coverage limit you need to check, though. Fireworks are known to cause injuries to people, too.
If someone else is injured on your property due to a fireworks accident, your home insurance policy will provide liability coverage. This will help pay for their medical bills and any lost wages as a result of the injury, as well as cover any legal expenses you or they may have.
Again, check your home insurance policy for what it covers in terms of liability for injury to others and what the limits are.
You Can Always Increase Coverage
If you set off fireworks often on your property, you might consider adding umbrella liability coverage to your policy. The umbrella liability would add extra coverage in case a claim related to a fireworks accident exceeds your policy’s coverage limits.
If someone is severely injured, for instance, your umbrella coverage would kick in once your policy’s personal injury liability coverage is exceeded. This coverage would also help pay for damage your home or property sustains that’s above and beyond what your regular policy covers.
Since fire-related and personal liability claims are often quite expensive, it may be a good idea to add umbrella liability to your policy to make sure you’re properly covered in case of a fireworks accident.
Trust Signature Insurance with Your Home Coverage
There’s a lot to consider in regard to potential damage that can result from a fireworks accident. Always make sure you’re purchasing and operating fireworks according to state and local laws, and using fireworks with caution and safety in mind.
Sometimes, accidents can occur even when you’re being careful and operating fireworks legally. In times like those, you may need to file a claim with your home insurance policy.
When that happens, it’s important to have a trustworthy insurance company on your side. Signature Insurance is just that company in Michigan.
We have been covering homeowners like yourself for years, and are well-educated on everything related to fire damage and general fireworks damage. We can walk you through all the coverage limits our policies offer, as well as options to increase the limits should you feel you need more.
We are constantly working to keep our customers happy and well protected with all our insurance policies. Contact us today to learn more and to get a free insurance quote.
Get insurance today!
At Signature Insurance we want to help you understand your insurance coverage options so you make the best decision.
Contact us at (586) 274-9600 and we’ll be happy to get quote for you from many of the top auto insurance companies or home insurance companies in Metro Detroit.