Insurance

Ask an agent: Home for the holidays

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It’s that time of year again! Gatherings with families from far away…and having to drive on snowy roads to get to them. Lots of food being made in kitchens by home chefs…who may or may not remember to turn off the oven afterward. Holiday festivities for one and all…and drivers on the road intoxicated by them. 

All told, the holiday season brings with it lots of joy and merriment and quite a few insurance claims. As you keep an eye out for winter perils, our insurance experts are here to answer your holiday-related home and auto insurance questions.

Question 1: I bought my kids a trampoline for Christmas, do I need to tell my insurance company?

My kids have been bugging me for a trampoline for months now. I’m finally relenting and making their Christmas dreams come true. It’s a Christmas miracle! Except…I’m still pretty worried about it. Aside from the danger and the potential for them to hurt themselves, I'm also worried that having a trampoline will make my homeowners policy increase. Is this true?

-Magic in Missouri

While that’s an amazing gift; unfortunately, it is definitely possible that having a trampoline will cause your homeowners insurance rate to increase. It's even possible that having a trampoline could cause your insurance company to cancel or non-renew your policy altogether. The impact to your rate or the acceptability of the risk in general is up to your specific insurance company. 

Your best bet would be to review your policy contract first. If you can't find specific details or have trouble understanding the terminology in your contract, it would be best to contact your agent before deciding to purchase a trampoline.

Question 2: Is my car still covered if I drive it in a parade?

My town has a wonderful parade for the holidays, and this year I’d like to drive my car in it. I won't be hauling a float and will have no passengers. Will I still be covered?

-Inspired in Indiana 

Yes, you should be insured while driving in a parade under the mentioned circumstances. Many people who drive in parades tend to have classic or modified vehicles which often require different types of insurance coverage. 

You may want to check with your specific insurance company just to be sure. Every company has different rules and stipulations. Good luck and hope you enjoy the parade!

Question 3: Does car insurance cover trailers?

I’m going home to visit my family for the holidays for the first time in years. I want to bring a lot of stuff including some pretty large gifts. I have a single axle trailer that I pull behind my truck to haul camping gear and I was going to bring that to take everything. Since I’ll be traveling a lot farther than I usually do on a camping trip though, it got me thinking: Does the policy I have on my truck also cover the trailer?

-Mobilizing in Missouri

Great question! It would depend on the coverage on your policy, but the liability portion of your policy normally extends to cover injury or damage that was caused to someone else by your trailer. 

If your auto policy also includes comprehensive and collision (full) coverage then your trailer may also be covered for damage. The amount is normally up to about $500 in value, but not all policies are exactly the same so you would need to check your policy or call your insurance company just to be sure. 

It's also important to specify that the size and type of the trailer does matter. Many companies offer coverage specifically for travel and livestock trailers.

Question 4: Do I need to report a DUI to my insurance?

I had a bit too much fun at my company holiday party, and it was going to be a long wait for an Uber, so I thought I would be fine to drive home. Big mistake! I got into an accident with my vehicle and was ticketed for a DUI. I will probably sell the vehicle so I'm going to tell my insurance company that, but do I need to tell them it was damaged in an accident and that I was ticketed? 

-Contrite in California

If you're planning on selling the vehicle and have no intention of filing a claim for the damage, you don't need to tell your insurance company about the incident. You can just remove it from your policy. 

In terms of the DUI ticket, you're not technically required to tell your insurance company. That said, if your insurance company re-runs your driving report (unlikely but not impossible) at your renewal, you will be rated and charged for a DUI. See our guide, Cheap Car Insurance After a DUI for more information.

Do you have a question you'd like to annoymously ask one of our agents? Shoot us a message here, and we'll get back to you shortly! 

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