Allstate Poll Reveals Burst Pipes, Fire and Theft Top Home Holiday Hazards

Festive, joyful and togetherness are just a few words that come to mind when thinking about the holidays. However, a new Allstate poll – released just in time for the 2016 holiday season – shows “hazardous” should be at the top of the list, too.

Christmas tree with giftsAllstate’s fourth annual national holiday home hazards survey also reveals first-time homeowners are often slightly ahead of their more experienced counterparts, as well as renters, when it comes to preparing their homes for potential holiday hazards. Still, each group has room for improvement, especially since more than half of adults say their home is one of their most important possessions.

Deck the Halls to Prevent Hazards

First-time homeowners are particularly excited about showing off their new homes, as nearly 90 percent expect to host holiday celebrations, compared to 62 percent of experienced homeowners and fewer than half of renters. A few precautionary measures can better protect the hosts and their guests. Allstate’s survey found:

Not taking proper precautions can lead to costly damage. Allstate claims data show the following are among the hazards that strike more often during the holiday season:

Increase During Holidays Most Costly Holiday Claim Median Cost of Holiday Claim

Burst Pipes From Freezing
396% $1,199,173 $5,500

Fireplace-Related Fires
133% $849,705 $10,149

Candle Fires
68% $388,381 $12,915

Electrical Fires
22% $1,067,456 $22,683

Weight of Ice and Snow
6% $338,694 $1,854
‘Tis the Season for Theft

Nearly 60 percent of consumers will do their holiday shopping online, with the majority taking advantage of free delivery, according to the National Retail Federation. Allowing those packages to be left out on the porch makes them easier to steal. More than 20 million Americans have had deliveries swiped from their doorsteps, according to a study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Allstate found that, when ordering items online or by telephone during the holiday season:

Holiday trips also may become holiday home hazards. While travelers take some precautions before departing, they may also leave behind opportunities for theft:

Think no one will notice you’re not home? Think again – and don’t risk making your home and valuables easy targets, especially since Allstate found the following happens more frequently during the holidays:

Increase During Holidays Most Costly Holiday Claim Median Cost of Holiday Claim

Missing Property from Garage
37% $5,919 $1,697

6% $153,505 $2,911

Theft From Unlocked Vehicle
2% $24,002 $1,177
Social Media Oversharing

Social media also can unlock opportunities for holiday home hazards. First-time homeowners – about three-quarters of those surveyed are millennials – are more likely to take risks on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other popular sites over the holidays.

Forty percent of first-time homeowners spend more time on social media during the holiday season, compared to the rest of the year. This is the case for only a quarter of experienced homeowners and 24 percent of renters. Those who post may provide very personal details:

Oversharing on social media can send a message to criminals that a home may be unoccupied – information holiday travelers should keep confidential. Allstate found:

Increase During Holidays Most Costly Holiday Claim Median Cost of Holiday Claim

Theft of Silverware, Flatware
64% $15,462 $3,216

Theft from Locked Vehicle
7% $35,021 $1,408

Jewelry Missing From Home
5% $25,000 $1,712

Source: Allstate