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The holiday season is almost here again! Don’t let one of the most common holiday mishaps dull the cheer – taking just a few steps to prepare before the hustle and bustle of the season begins can help you stay stress-free through the new year.

Stay safe on winter road trips

For many of us, the holiday season means traveling to see friends and family. Whether you’re driving across town or across the country, winter weather can make your trip hazardous. First, make sure your car is ready. Make sure your maintenance is up to date and check your fluid levels, windshield wipers and your tires – they can make a big difference on wet or snowy roads.

Next, pack an emergency kit to keep in the car in case you get stranded. Include jumper cables, a blanket, a flashlight, food and water, and a first aid kit. A shovel and sand might come in handy as well if you get stuck in the snow. And don’t forget your ice scraper!

Before you go, make sure your auto insurance policy is up to date and you have the coverage you need. Accidents are more likely to happen during the winter months, and the right auto insurance policy can alleviate some of the stress and financial burden that comes from getting in one.

Once you’re on the road, take it slow in winter weather conditions and stop if a storm gets too dangerous. Safety comes first – those Christmas cookies aren’t going anywhere!

Keep safety in mind while decorating your home

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that during the months of November and December, about 12,000 people are treated in emergency rooms nationwide due to holiday-related decorating accidents!

One of the biggest holiday decorating hazards is a Christmas tree fire. If you decide to get a real tree for your home this year, make sure to check that it’s fresh and not dried out. The tree should be green and the needles should be difficult to pull off. Make sure the tree gets plenty of water – a heated room can dry it out fast. If you’re going for an artificial tree, make sure to buy one that’s labeled as fire-resistant. Keep your try away from the fireplace, portable heaters, and radiators.

Only use fire-resistant materials to trim your tree, and never use candles to decorate it. Check all of your lights before hanging them on the tree as well as outside. Look for burnt-out bulbs and frayed wires. Make sure the lights you use outdoors are labeled for outdoor use, and don’t forget to turn the lights off before going to bed.

Accidents happen even when you’ve done your best to prepare safely – that’s where a homeowners or renters insurance policy comes in. Structural damage to your home is covered by your homeowners insurance. Renters and home insurance cover damage to furniture, clothing and other belongings. Your policy will also cover things like hotel bills if you’re not able to stay in your home while the damage is being repaired.

Avoid holiday hosting mishaps

‘Tis the season for inviting guests into your home, and even if you’re keeping gatherings small this year, more people in one space means more opportunities for accidents and injuries. Keep the holidays happy by staying alert and aware of safety even during the holiday hosting craze.

First, make sure your appliances are all in good condition as they’ll be working overtime just like you to prepare for holiday parties and dinners. Unattended cooking is the primary cause of kitchen fires, so focus on the food you’re preparing and do the cleaning up after. Keep flammable items – including your sleeves – away from the stove while it’s lit.

Next, watch out for tripping and slipping hazards around the house. Make sure to place mats at each door for guests to dry wet feet, and place anti-slip rug pads under all rugs.

Lastly, prepare your food the right way – wash your hands, avoid leaving food out that should be refrigerated, and thaw meat in the refrigerator or cold water. Consider having a plan in place should anyone have a few too many drinks.

If someone does end up getting sick or injured in your home, a home or renters insurance policy with medical payments coverage would pay their medical expenses, up to your policy’s limits. The policy will also include liability coverage to cover the costs that would come up if you were to get sued by a guest. Make sure to check your policy to be sure you have the right coverage.

While we’re wishing you a happy, safe and stress-free holiday season, it’s always good to have a plan in place in case something goes wrong. The right coverage can prevent a mishap from ruining the most wonderful time of the year.

Think it might be time to check your coverage? Call us today or fill out the form below – we’ll make sure you have the protection you need at a price you can afford.