4th of July fireworks – health and safety come first

If you’re planning to entertain family and friends with a fireworks display on Tuesday to mark the 4th of July then it’s worth listening to what our in-house insurance agent, Jay Davis of Country Financial, has to say about making sure you’re covered. 

Independence Day is typically one of the busiest of the year for the fire department with two of every five structure fires caused by fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. So, will your home insurance cover fireworks injuries and damages? What you need to do in order to find out the answer to this question is check with your insurance agent. Mostly, the answer is yes, however there are different types of protection and these have different payment limits. If fireworks are illegal where you live then that’s a whole other ball game – most policies exclude damage resulting from illegal acts. 

One of the most effective forms of coverage is an umbrella policy. A personal umbrella liability policy will protect you after you reach the limits of your standard policy. This does not just pertain to someone getting injured from the use of fireworks; it will cover any accidents around the pool (as long as you have a fence etc.), in your garden and the home, for example. 

The most important thing is to be safe, even if you’re covered by your homeowners policy or have secured additional coverage following a conversation with your agent. Remember to keep fireworks away from children – even sparklers, which burn at 2,000 degrees, never point fireworks at others, always use fireworks outside, when setting off fireworks ensure you keep everyone at least 30 feet away, avoid lighting fireworks on grass or in containers – use a flat, hard, surface such as a driveway, wear goggles when lighting fireworks, have a fire extinguisher handy and a bucket of water and do not drink alcohol when handling fireworks.

If you’re organizing a party, with or without fireworks, on Tuesday you may also want to consider a special event certificate, which is an extension of your homeowners policy. Special event certificates are available for all types of private events or celebrations including wedding receptions, graduation parties, retirement parties and of course 4th of July celebrations. These certificates are even valid when alcohol is “provided,” but not sold. In many instances, these certificates are issued at a nominal fee or no charge at all. Recently I issued a three-day special event certificate at no charge to a client in Carbondale, IL providing campsites on his personal property for the viewing of the August 21st total eclipse. 

At the end of the day, as well as celebrating safely, you want to make sure that you’re covered for all, or as many as possible, eventualities so it’s definitely worth checking with your insurance agent today. 

If, in reading the above, you have questions about your personal liability, policies, and coverage please feel free to give me a call on 217 698-3480 or email jay.davis@countryfinancial.com. Happy Fourth of July!