We’ve all had close calls so it’s worth asking: does homeowners insurance cover fireworks damage? Whether you are responsible for the damage yourself or someone else is causing the chaos on your property, we’ll break down all you need to know about protecting yourself from any upcoming unexpected costs due to accidents caused by lighting up those colorful sky rockets.
Homeowners Insurance and Fireworks Damage
Home is where the heart is, but can also be a place of unexpected occurrences – such as fireworks gone wrong. This is where homeowners insurance policies provide peace of mind and financial protection for homeowners.
Understandably, fireworks can be dangerous and cause unwanted damage to one’s property as well as personal injury.
According to the National Fire Protection Association there was an estimated 19,500 fires started by fireworks in 2018. These fires caused $105 million in property damage.
Let’s get into what is covered and what is not covered.
Fireworks Damage You Cause to Someone Else
In general, homeowners insurance typically covers fireworks damage you cause to someone else’s property as well as personal injury. So, if your fireworks caused a fire and damaged your neighbor’s home, garage, shed or even vehicles, you’ll have coverage for the repairs.
Example of property damage
You shoot off a super cool rocket and everyone watches it explode in the air while screaming, “Merica”. But then it’s hot embers come down and land in your neighbors shrubs and catch them on fire which spreads to the home.
Example of personal injury
Your neighbor is out minding his own business grilling some delicious steaks when he is struck in the arm by your errant firework. It causes burns to his arm requiring an emergency room visit and a few days off work.
This type of damage is covered under the Personal Liability section of your homeowners insurance policy. $300,000 is a common limit however some will have $100,000 or $500,000.
If you have an Umbrella policy, this limit is extended by the coverage amount on that policy. For example if you have a $300,000 Personal Liability limit on your homeowners policy and a $1,000,000 on your Umbrella policy, you have a total of $1,300,000.
Fireworks Damage to You by Someone Else
If someone else causes property damage or personal injury to you, their homeowners insurance policy would be responsible. You would need to file a claim with their company to get the process started.
If they caused property damage but don’t have homeowners insurance, you would need to sue them to recover your costs. The same goes for personal injuries but at least your health insurance would help cover medical bills.
What is Not Covered?
Homeowners insurance policy coverage can vary with enhancements and exclusions being added or removed. Don’t assume anything until you consult with your insurance agent.
Not in all scenarios will your homeowners insurance cover fireworks damage.
Illegal activity is a common exclusion. So, if fireworks are illegal where you live, you may not have insurance coverage should something happen.
Negligence is also often excluded. For example, if you get into a firework fight with your neighbor and something gets damaged or someone gets hurt, you’re likely not going to have coverage.
In conclusion, it’s important to understand your homeowners insurance policy and know what you’re covered for in case of fireworks-related damage. While fireworks can be a fun way to celebrate special occasions, they also come with risks. Be sure that you are aware of your state laws governing the use of fireworks and make sure that you plan ahead before setting off any at home.