Holiday Cheer & Seasonal Risks: the Fun at Home (pt.2)

Seasonal Risks

You’re in the home stretch of enjoying the holiday season- and we mean, home stretch. 

You’re home from running the errands, gathering the gifts and the goodies to share with those gathered under one roof. 

You’ve made it through all the prep without any bumps or brushes with seasonal risks. 

After reading our last entry, taking in the statistics and gauging how present these seasonal risks truly are, you might be actually wondering, but how?

There’s a fairly simple safety tactic that helped along the way (be it icy or not):


And that’s to say, awareness not just by you, but by the local businesses you visited as well. 

A Recap: Businesses & Seasonal Risks

Those local businesses that you love enough to buy from and share their goodness? They love you too! Enough to put that awareness and public frontage maintenance and accountability of seasonal risks in action. 

They kept their eyes on the passages that surround their business, and ensured they were cleared of excessive snow, with any ice that came with the ebb and flow of thaw and freeze being mitigated properly. 

They ensured the community that uses those walkways and passages, whether to enter their own store or not, were clearly marked to guide the excited, and potentially distracted, shoppers away from the slips, falls, and other seasonal risks that decorate this time of year. 

You also did your part with those Seasonal Risks! 

In the bit of perspective you gained in reading our last entry, you applied safe practices to make sure you were just wrapping up gifts this year– not wrists, or ankles, in a brace or a cast. 

You watched where you were walking with a set of keen eyes on the elements and supports along your path- the path you were walking slowly, deliberately,and while wearing the right footwear. 

Good Job!

What’s Next?

And now is the time for Aunt Kathy and all the friends, family, and neighbors to truly come together to celebrate! 

But, just because you are on the other side of those seasonal risks we pointed out to you in front of stores, does that mean none exist at home?

Remember, of the most common seasonal risks that lead to those holiday injuries and accidents, a number of them happen both out in the wintery wonderland beyond your doorstep, AND at home as well. 

Homeowners & Seasonal Risks: Icy Conditions

Ice doesn’t just form on the sidewalks, walkways, and steps of businesses- ice forms at home too! Theres a reason the statistics around slips and falls at this time of year swell. Just as more seasonal risks arrive, so too does the probability of icy conditions resulting in a fall. 

And these falls arent the silly, comical dance we often see in the cartoons playing on the television. To put the severity of these seasonal risks in perspective, know this: the majority of traumatic brain injuries are actually caused by falls. Unmitigated icy conditions cause more falls

Just as a business is called to maintain the frontages around the building used by the public, its a civic duty to offer the same care for the community that uses the walkways around your own home. If the seasonal risks around icy conditions can be properly, and reasonably, reduced, homeowners and renters are called to do so. If the risk cannot be prevented, do your part to notify those entering the space with signage or pre-emptive notification. 

Consider this: The standard Oregon homeowners policy provides protection for guests at the home. i.e.: family, friends, neighbors, permitted carolers, Santa Claus, etc. “Coverage” normally means guest medical for anyone that does not live or work in the home to payments directly to healthcare transport and healthcare providers for injuries on premises without admitting negligence and require no deductible to be paid.

Homeowners & Seasonal Risks: Party Hosting

Icy conditions and the outside seasonal risks are one thing, but what about when the hugs and “Happy Holidays!” are done being shared on the front steps, and the guests come inside?

Cheer, joy, and jolly smiles fill the air alongside the clinking of glasses. Every holiday party holds its unique traditions, but there are some staples that tend to show up regardless of the place, the holiday, or the demographic.

One of those staples? Drinking with those in attendance. 

Seasonal Risks

In one study, it revealed the average American admits they drink 27% more during the festive season.

Holding a drink up to the holidays is one thing- and not inherently a bad thing- but, as the night carries on, it can become one of the seasonal risks to be the utmost aware of. In the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there are an estimated 25,000 injuries that occur from alcohol related crashes

In knowing that, are you wondering yet how all of that lines up with liability, responsibility, and what to do when you’re hosting a holiday party?

We hope you are. 

Unusual risks like liquor liability are usually addressed in the host’s homeowners policy. “host liquor” liability typically means that if a host is giving alcohol to a guest that the liability portion of the home policy will respond if something unforeseen happens regarding an alcoholic incident for which the homeowner is culpable. 

However, if some sort of fundraising were to be taking place, for example,  and alcohol were to be sold to guests or prospective donors as an incentive to donate, then liability insurance that applies to the homeowners policy would not be expected to respond in defense or settlement with respect to public liability.

So, what does all of that mean for you as you are preparing all the dips and pies that will bring your guests around the kitchen table and for those seasonal risks as well?

  • – Follow the exterior care to the elements that were mentioned above: make sure the walkways up to your front door are clear of the hazards that can result in an undesirable visit to the doctor. 
  • – Start the dialogue of safe transportation: ask your guests, who is the designated driver, or what taxi service they may be using. Setting the standard of safety removes those little outs guests can create, telling themselves, “but I’ve only had a few drinks…”
  • – Remove hazards that compound seasonal risks inside and outside the home: much like mitigating the slip risk associated with icy conditions out front, remove the dangers that can compound to bigger issues-  for example trip hazards common with toys; or open flame risks from uncaged fireplaces, or candles too close to flammable materials.
  • – Know your coverage and chat with your insurance agent: knowing your policy can help you to navigate the coming and going of friends, family, and the very real seasonal risks. 

Insurance and contract language can be confusing! If any or all of this confuses you then please call your agent on the telephone, ask questions, ask for real life examples, and come to a comfortable, yet respectable, understanding of how your policy can cover you.

As another insurance agent once taught:

“You don’t know much until you come to know what you don’t know”.

Ashland Insurance is just a call away, and here to answer any of your questions regarding the changing seasons, and the seasonal risks that come with

541.482.0831 Ashland

541.857.0679 Medford