As the weather starts cooling down and the seasons change, new perils arise for everyone, particularly the risk of some types of auto accidents as well as potential homeowner’s insurance claims.
Fall is actually the time of year where the claims for a number of incidents increase compared to the rest of the year. With fall now here, pay attention to the following heightened risks.
With the colder weather comes more rain and potentially icy conditions in some parts of the country.
Auto insurers report an uptick in rear-end collisions in the last three months of the year from the harsher conditions as well as from more distracted drivers, particularly as the holiday shopping season nears.
Advice: When driving, keep a three-second distance between your vehicle and the one in front if you are moving at 45 miles an hour or less. At higher speeds, in rainy conditions or reduced visibility, leave more space. If you are in a cold weather environment, be even more mindful in icy or snowy conditions.
Collisions with wildlife
Deer, elk and moose are on the move and migrating in the autumn, which is also mating season for these creatures. That means they are more likely to wander onto roadways than at other times of the year.
Advice: When driving in or near woodland areas, drive more slowly and be alert for wildlife – including smaller animals like raccoons, foxes and coyotes – venturing across the road. All of these woodland denizens are most active at dawn and dusk.
Parking lot incidents
As the busiest shopping time of the year unfolds, there are more people at the malls and other shopping centers. This results in an increase in parking lot claims such as fender-benders in tight parking spaces, damage from shopping carts, and car thefts.
Advice: If possible, park further away from the mall where parking may be less chaotic. Avoid tight parking spaces and parking next to cart returns.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, home break-ins and thefts jump 25% in autumn from the summer months. The increase is especially profound in December as Christmas nears and thieves stalk neighborhoods, knowing that many people have newly purchased expensive gifts in the closets.
Advice: Take precautions to reduce the chances of a break-in by keeping some interior and exterior lights on a timer. There are also a number of apps that allow you to monitor your home and that send alerts if there is movement or efforts to open a door or window when you are away from the property.
Fire officials say they see an increase of household fires during the holiday season, and there are four main culprits:
- Christmas tree-related fires
- Kitchen fires
- Space heaters
Advice: Consider the following:
- Don’t leave candles lit in unoccupied rooms, and don’t leave them where someone or a pet can knock them over.
- Don’t leave pots or pans cooking unattended on the stove.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets with appliances.