The holidays are a happy time but they can be hazardous.
Just how much so is being documented by new data from insuranceQuotes.com.
Begin with what has become a phenomenon in the age of internet shopping and the explosion of home deliveries it has produced. According to insuranceQuotes.com's "Holiday Hazards" study, 26.1 million Americans (8 percent) have had a holiday package stolen from their front porch or doorstep, up from 23.5 million porch thefts reported in 2015.
“The holiday season is a time of year filled with joy as we gather with loved ones — but unfortunately, it’s also a time filled with risk. From car accidents to decorating injuries and home fires, there are many dangers to be aware of in the midst of holiday celebrations -- including porch pirates vying for a chance to swipe unattended deliveries,” said Jason Hargraves, insuranceQuotes analyst.
“Taking preventative steps in advance, like using the Amazon Key, is a simple way to keep burglars at bay while avoiding the headache of losing holiday gifts.”
Among the study’s additional findings:
• Fires: 26.1 million Americans have experienced a holiday-related house fire, with causes ranging from cooking (9.8 million) to candles (6.5 million) to Christmas trees (3.3 million).
• Vandals: 19.6 million have had their holiday decorations stolen or vandalized.
• Injuries: 9.8 million have experienced a holiday decorating-related injury.
• Weather: 107.8 million have slipped on ice, while 45.7 million Americans have experienced a weather-related auto accident during the holidays.
• Protection: 57 percent of those victimized by thieves and vandals (26 million Americans) responded with security measures, including motion detectors on lights (15.1 million), security systems (11 million), automatic timers on lights (10.5 million), video doorbells (7.8 million) and package lock boxes (4.6 million).
“From inspecting holiday lights and using battery-operated candles, to accelerating slowly and avoiding cruise control during inclement weather, there are a number of actions to take to avoid costly accidents,” Hargraves said.
“And whether we’re talking about injuries, fires, or vehicle damage, the winter months are a critical time for Americans to review their auto, home and health care policies. Implementing safety measures and ensuring adequate insurance coverage affords you and your family the most priceless gift of all: peace of mind.”
InsuranceQuotes is in the business of insurance and providing quotes for consumers, so the reminder on reviewing policies is no surprise. It is equally sound advice.
If you haven't done so for this holiday season, make such a review a New Year's resolution -- and thinking safety a year-round priority.