The Fourth of July can be an exciting time to celebrate our nation’s history. On Monday, many of us will get off work and celebrate with friends and family – grilling burgers and brats, hosting parties, and lighting fireworks. Unfortunately, this holiday can also be dangerous and should be treated with caution. There are a variety of insurance claims that occur on July 4th, some obvious and some that may just surprise you!
And Several Texas Sized Claims That Recently Happened
1. Cooking Fires
The most common insurance claim on July 4th is cooking fires. The U.S. Fire Administration estimated $77 million in damage occurred on July 4th and 5th in 2015. Cooking fires caused by grills and smokers are hazardous on July 4th, but so are charcoal ashes, children playing with fire, bonfires or other open fires that quickly get out of control.
These claims often hit an individual’s homeowners policy, but can also cause injuries, requiring health insurance.
2. Car Accidents
Independence Day is also a prime time for car crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has deemed July 4th as the deadliest day to drive for the year, “…between 2007 and 2011, over 670 people were killed in automobile accidents on July 4th.”
2016 could be one of the worst years on record. Our record low gas prices is sure to entice more families to travel longer distances, putting more cars on the roads and in danger of accidents.
It’s a morbid statistic, but more people will die in a car crash on July 4th than any other day of the year. The increase for July 4th is attributed to drunk drivers and distracted teen drivers. For example, last year there was a car crash on July 4th in Aubrey, Texas that injured five people (3 adults and 2 children) after a woman swerved over the center lane. The driver was distracted, but luckily there were no casualties in this collision.
The third most common insurance claim for the 4th is from firework related incidents. Even professional pyrotechnics can cause accidents, and especially for a backyard low budget fireworks display without necessary precautions.
During an independence day celebration in 2015, a Texas man on the Colorado River died after igniting a firework on his chest.
The U.S. Fire Administration states, “Each year, between 8,000 and 9,000 individuals require emergency room treatment for fireworks-related injuries.” Therefore fireworks can be costly and even deadly, so extreme caution should be used during festivities.
Lastly, boating accidents are a typical claim on Independence Day. Every year there are around 8,000 boating accidents on July 4th. Common boating accidents occur from intoxicated drivers and firework mishaps off of boats or docks. Be prepared for this weekend and ensure your boat insurance policy is up to date.
During July 4th 2015, a five year old girl from Taylor, TX died after her family’s boat hit a rogue wave and she was knocked in the head with a ski pole.
Be cautious this year on Independence Day and stay safe. Be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers, make sure you have a permit for professionals and it is legal to light fireworks in your area, and be careful when grilling and using open flames.