Up Your Game Against These 4 Super Bowl-Related Claims

Think you're safe watching the big game at home? Think again.

Think you’re safe watching the big game at home? Think again.

As one of the largest sporting events of the year, most everyone is aware that Super Bowl XLIX will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz., this Sunday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. EST. But what does the Super Bowl have to do with insurance claims? A lot, actually. If you’re planning on celebrating the big game at home or in person, make sure to watch out for these hidden dangers that could potentially turn into insurance claims.

Auto incidents

The Super Bowl is one of the busiest days of the year for pizza delivery chains, with nearly 4 million pizzas sold by restaurants in 2012. Delivery giant Domino’s Pizza sees a nearly 80 percent increase in business compared to a typical Sunday. But with increased sales comes the possibility of increased auto accidents as delivery drivers rush to meet demand. Over the past few years, insurance company Fireman’s Fund has seen an average of three claims per day on the day of the Super Bowl, which is 9.4 percent higher than the average. Additionally, the severity of claims is slightly higher on Super Bowl Sunday, with the average claim coming in at $14,799 versus $12,409 on other days, according to an article published in Claims Journal. Avoid auto claims by staying put this Sunday, and exercise extreme caution if you must drive.

Winter weather

Winter weather has hit hard so far. So much so that New York-based insurance broker Dewitt Stern has introduced coverage that would pay policyholders in the event bad weather or something else causes the Super Bowl to get cancelled or moved. If you’re planning to watch the big match-up in person at University of Phoenix Stadium, be prepared for the possibility of temperamental winter weather. Wear layered lightweight clothing to keep warm, along with gloves and a hat to prevent loss of body heat. Walk carefully on icy or snowy sidewalks, and wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry. Even if you’re watching the game at home, tell your guests to drive carefully when navigating icy or snowy conditions to and from the party. Protect your home from bursting pipes by letting faucets drip and keeping your thermostat set to a consistent temperature. Follow these additional tips to prevent a winter weather-related claim.

Fires

Super Bowl Sunday is the most popular grilling day of the winter. Avoid a fire insurance claim by taking precautions.

Super Bowl Sunday is the most popular grilling day of the winter. Avoid a fire insurance claim by taking precautions.

Super Bowl Sunday is more than just football; it’s the most popular grilling day of the winter. In fact, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s State of the Barbecue Industry Report, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the top 10 most popular grilling days of the year, with 62 percent of grill owners barbecuing on the day of the big game. Yet between 2006 and 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, causing an annual average of $75 million in direct property damage, says the National Fire Protection Association. So if you’re sparking up the grill this Sunday, make sure you take the proper precautions to avoid a costly fire insurance claim.

Property and casualty

When it comes to watching the big game, nine out of 10 viewers are watching at home. While you may feel safe and sound at home, a number of factors can contribute to claims. Any party has the potential to get out of hand, putting you at risk for property damage. Additionally, Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest food consumption day of the year, and as chicken wings and dips sit out over the course of the game, the risk of food-borne illnesses increases. As a party host, you could be liable if your guests get food poisoning. Follow proper food handling and storage instructions to avoid a claim.

If you’re hosting or attending a Super Bowl party where alcohol is being served, it’s more important than ever to be responsible. The Insurance Information Institute reports that “37 states have enacted laws or have case law that permit social hosts who serve liquor to people who subsequently are involved in crashes to be held liable for any injury or death.” In 2011 on Super Bowl Sunday alone, 36 percent of fatalities from motor vehicle crashes were connected to drunk driving, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, alcohol was a factor in a fatal accident every 53 minutes. If you’re going to imbibe, designate a sober driver to get you home safely, or keep phone numbers of local cab companies handy. As a host, monitor your guest’s intake of alcohol and don’t allow intoxicated guests to get behind the wheel.

Prevention is key to avoiding costly claims. What are you doing to be safe this Super Bowl Sunday?

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