Every year, the fun of Independence Day activities turns into accidental tragedy for hundreds of people across the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks accounted for:
- 17,800 fires in 2011, including 1,200 building or structure fires and 400 vehicle fires
- $32 million in direct property damage in 2011
- 11,400 emergency room visits for fireworks-related injuries in 2013
In fact, the NFPA states that more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, with approximately two out of five of them caused by fireworks.
While there are many ways to protect yourself and your property when using fireworks, serious fires during Independence Day celebrations continue to rob people of their homes and cause costly losses. If you plan to celebrate the holiday with anything that booms, sparkles, whizzes, or crackles, here are some things you should know about fireworks accidents and property insurance.
Property Insurance Issues in Fireworks-Related Accidents
Generally speaking, most renters’ and homeowners’ policies cover property damage caused by fireworks, sparklers, and other popular Fourth of July combustibles. Many farm or business insurance policies will as well. However, there can be important limits and exclusions, including:
- Areas where fireworks are illegal. In many states, counties, and cities, fireworks are illegal. If fireworks are illegal in your area, your insurance policy may not cover the damages.
- Liability coverage. Make sure you know how your insurance coverage handles damage to other homes. If you set off fireworks in your yard that damage your neighbor’s house, you and your insurance company could be liable for the repair bill.
- Cause of the accident. While your individual policy may cover damage from fireworks that others have set off, it might not cover damage caused by your setting off fireworks in your backyard.
If you aren’t sure if your home or business is covered for losses caused by fireworks, carefully familiarize yourself with your current property insurance policy. Fireworks may not be specifically mentioned in your policy, so it’s a good idea to also call your insurance company directly with questions about your coverage in such a situation.
Keep in mind, too, that even claims for fireworks damages that should be covered aren’t always paid fairly. If you’re having trouble getting your insurance company to pay for your fireworks-related losses, don’t hesitate to contact the Voss Law Firm today at 1-888-614-7730. Our experienced attorneys have helped policyholders in Texas and across the United States fight unfair delays, underpayments, and denials, and we would be happy to answer your questions about a fire insurance claim.