No one expects disasters like theft or vandalism during holidays such as Thanksgiving, but it still happens every year to countless victims. The key to preparing for unforeseen nightmares is to have the proper insurance to cover financial losses.

Thanksgiving Disaster Statistics

Even though Americans continue to travel in the millions during holidays, travel has declined over the past decade, even more so during the pandemic. AAA estimates holiday travel to involve 43.4 million Americans who use a car 50 miles or more on Thanksgiving. In addition, the National Safety Council estimates there are 380 to 599 Thanksgiving Day traffic deaths per year.

Various types of accidents happen on holidays that could’ve been prevented with more careful preparation. For example, about 11,000 house fires each year start from candles, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Basic homeowners insurance, however, doesn’t cover such negligence. Fires are also commonly begun by leaving a deep fryer or failure to clean lint out of a dryer.

Thanksgiving is also the most popular day of the year for thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). About 1,600 cars across American have been stolen on Thanksgiving in recent years.

Tips for Safe Thanksgiving Day Travel

The most resourceful tip to remember about Thanksgiving travel is to carry appropriate insurance to protect your belongings. Filing an insurance claim can pay for damage or losses from unfortunate events covered in a homeowners insurance plan. Nonetheless, it’s best to avoid these disasters in the first place by following these tips:

  1. Turn off electronic appliances: Turn off your washer, dryer, television, lights, and computers. Any other item that doesn’t need to be on, like a coffee pot, should be turned off as well.
  2. Shut your outdoor water valve off: Turn off the water to your outdoor hoses so that no one can steal water, which can be expensive if stolen in large amounts. Shut off the water to your washer as well, to be safe.
  3. Set security alarms: If your home is equipped with security alarms, make sure you set them on before leaving. Consider investing in innovative technology that monitors your home for fires and suspicious activity.
  4. Check doors and windows: All your doors should have locks, so test them to make sure they work. The windows can be wired with alarms. You can also use a piece of wood as a barrier at the base of a horizontally sliding window.
  5. Set light timers: Smart technology includes light timers that you can control with your smartphone remotely. Use these timers to ensure your home is well-lit each night.
  6. Keep vacation plans private: Be aware that burglars have used social media to spy on victims. That’s why you should avoid mentioning vacations on Facebook and other social networks until after you return.
  7. Protect pipes: Freezing temperatures can cause severe damage if they are not wrapped with cloth or foam. In addition, when pipes crack, they can be expensive to repair.
  8. Lock up confidential documentation: Any content you consider to be private should be securely locked so that only the person with the correct key can access it.

Holidays are meant to be a time of celebration, but sometimes you may need to file an insurance claim when things go wrong. With proper risk management, you can mitigate disasters and choose the right insurance plans to cover your prized possessions. Contact us at Tompkins Insurance Agencies to learn more about how we can help you customize your insurance to protect your assets.