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Homeowners Insurance Tips for Super Bowl Party Hosts
Not everyone might love football, but most everyone loves a party. That makes Super Bowl Sunday a perfect time for friends and family to come together to eat, drink and have fun. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), roughly 45% of Americans plan to host or attend a Super Bowl party this year.

Insurance experts advise homeowners who choose to host a Super Bowl party to anticipate potential liabilities — on the chance something unexpected occurs that results in an insurance claim.

Should an accident happen, some good steps to take are:

  1. Address any injuries first.
  2. Ensure other guests are safe and secure.
  3. Take pictures.
  4. Quickly report the loss to the insurance company.
  5. Be sure to provide the names and contact information for witnesses.
  6. If possible, secure the scene for the insurance company to visit and complete an assessment.

Here are six tips highlighting potential homeowner liabilities that could arise while hosting a Super Bowl party, as well as how to address them.

No. 1: Look out for inebriated guests.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, social host liability laws, or the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to guests, are applicable to events such as in-home Super Bowl parties depending on the location.

For those that over-imbibe ensure they don’t drive; consider asking another guest to give the person a ride or order a ride from a local taxi or ride-sharing service. You want to remember the great party, not the results of car accident.

No. 2: Clear icy or blocked sidewalks.

Many parts of the country are heading into the coldest, snowiest part of winter. That means anyone hosting a Super Bowl party could be liable should a guest slip and fall on their steps, driveway or walkway.

Luckily the chance of that happening becomes much less likely when a homeowner has taken extra precautions to clear and salt snowy, icy outdoor paths.

No. 3: Fire up the grill responsibly.

Grilling food is easy, fast and delicious, but it also can be dangerous.

Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and these fires accounted for annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 reported civilian injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage.

Super Bowl party hosts should make sure grills are clean and operational before the party, as well as positioned away from people and property.

No. 4: Ward off foodborne illness.

Popular party foods containing dairy, such as dips or potato salad, can quickly sour once they come to room temperature. Super Bowl party hosts could be liable should a guest become sick from something served at the event.

These food storage tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help you avoid the spread of foodborne illness:

  • It is vital to keep foods out of the “Danger Zone,” which is the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F.
  • When foods are left in the “Danger Zone,” bacteria can multiply rapidly, causing a single bacterium to multiply to 17 million in 12 hours.
  • Avoid serving Super Bowl favorites, such as pizza and chicken wings, at room temperature for the entire game.
  • If warm takeout foods are to be served immediately, keep them at 140°F or above by placing in chafing dishes, preheated warming trays or slow cookers.
  • If take-out foods will not be served immediately, either keep them warm in a preheated oven, or divide the food into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers, and refrigerate. At serving time, reheat to 165°F.
  • Cold foods that are served should be kept at 40°F or below, which can be done by nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice. Avoid storing food outside, where the sun can quickly warm foods in plastic storage containers and animals can get into them.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure foods being served to guests are not in the “Danger Zone.”

No. 5: Minimize pet stress.

Dogs are especially sensitive to crowds and noise, and an agitated animal is more likely to bite.

When pets join the party, owners should monitor them for signs of stress such as panting, pacing or hiding. It also may also be wise to keep older or anxious dogs away from Super Bowl party guests altogether.

No. 6: Consider supplemental coverage.

Homeowners’ policies generally cover a limited amount of liability for injuries that occur at the home. So homeowners may want to consider a personal liability umbrella policy as a supplement. Any intentional act resulting in damage to home or property may not be covered under a homeowners policy. And there are limits to certain types of homeowner losses, such as theft.

To that end, Super Bowl party hosts may want to consult with their insurance specialist before Super Bowl Sunday to determine whether supplemental insurance, known as a floater, may be beneficial.

If you have any questions about insurance coverage, our homeowners insurance experts are ready to help you today.

Super Bowl Party Insurance Tips from Boynton & Boynton in NJ

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