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Don’t Rely on the Luck of the Irish: Make Sure Your Property is Protected on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States, with roughly 97% of the population planning to celebrate each year, according to Survey Analytics and PR Newswire. Ranked as the second most popular drinking day of the year by Time magazine, the excessive alcohol consumption involved with the holiday’s festivities can result in poor decisions and questionable behavior by many of those who choose to celebrate.

Because this is one of the country’s wilder holidays, many people who live in cities known for raucous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations – think Savannah, Boston, Chicago – choose to rent out their residences for the weekend to make some extra cash. If you’re one of these residents and don’t have adequate insurance for mishaps that may ensue, getting covered as soon as possible is a must.

Protection for the unexpected

Short-term home rental services, such as Airbnb and VRBO, offer property protection that could help replace your wood floors in certain instances – such as your guests getting too inebriated and deciding to turn your hallway into a slip ‘n slide. Although this is an extreme scenario, you wouldn’t want to be caught without insurance if a renter damages your property. If additional coverage would make you feel more comfortable, consider adding an endorsement or rider – a separate policy that provides additional liability or another specified coverage – to your existing homeowners or renters policy for an extra layer of protection.

It’s better to be safe than sorry if you’re planning on opening your home to strangers. Crime, including theft and vandalism, spikes during this holiday. Keep all valuables in your home or car locked away and out of sight to deter thieves. You should also consider getting a floater policy to insure high-value items, as standard home insurance policies typically wouldn’t cover the replacement of expensive jewelry or works of art.

Most importantly, follow your instincts—if you’re feeling uneasy about a possible guest, chances are your gut is probably right. And if you live in one of the aforementioned cities that people flock to for St. Patrick’s Day, you can be picky about who stays in your residence for a few days.

If your town is a hotspot for St. Patrick’s Day festivities and you’d rather head out of town to avoid the inevitable drunk crowds and chaos, make sure your insurance can protect you no matter what traveling nightmare may be thrown your way. Purchasing travelers insurance may be a wise choice, as it can protect your assets, including your luggage and airline tickets, and may help you maintain peace of mind.

Planning on celebrating with a brew? Drink responsibly.

With 13 million pints of Guinness traditionally consumed during this Irish holiday, St. Paddy’s can be dangerous if participants are not committed to drinking responsibly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 276 lives were lost in drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day from 2009 – 2013. What’s worse? Eighty percent of drivers involved in these collisions had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) amounting to two times more than the legal limit (.08).

If you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by imbibing, please keep yourself and others safe by not getting behind the wheel under any circumstances. Instead, have a designated driver in place, call a cab or use a ride share service, such as Uber or Lyft. If you choose to drink and drive and are convicted of a DUI – even if you don’t harm another party – auto insurers will see you as a high risk. When you become a high-risk policyholder, you could see your premium costs increase tremendously – that is if your auto insurer is still willing to cover you.

May the road rise up to meet you, and may you always be properly insured.

The chaos of St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just limited to crime, vandalism or automobile-related incidents. When alcohol and large crowds are combined, mishaps can—and sometimes will—occur. Unless you’re confident you’ll find the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day, you probably won’t want to pay out-of-pocket to cover any mishaps to your property.

Be sure to speak with your insurance provider to analyze your coverage and purchase additional protection if needed so you can travel, or simply celebrate, worry-free. Most importantly, may the blessing of the Irish be upon you, and may you have a memorable and safe holiday.


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