Keeping Your Super Bowl Party Safe

Keeping Your Super Bowl Party Safe

Everyone loves American Football and everyone loves a great party. Super Bowl Sunday is approaching and your favorite team is has skin in the game (#GoPats.) This year, roughly 45% of all Americans plan to host or attend a Super Bowl party and insurance experts advise party-hosting homeowners to anticipate potential liabilities on the chance something unexpected occurs. Should an accident happen, we advise you take the following steps:

  1. Address any injuries first.
  2. Ensure other guests are safe and secure.
  3. Take pictures.
  4. Quickly report the loss to the insurance company.
  5. Be sure to provide the names and contact information for witnesses.
  6. If possible, secure the scene for the insurance company to visit and complete an assessment.

Here are five tips from insurers regarding potential homeowner liabilities when hosting a Super Bowl party, as well as how to address them.

1: Look out for inebriated guests.

Depending on the location, social host liability laws, or the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to guests, are applicable to events such as in-home Super Bowl parties. For those that over-imbibe, ensure they don't drive. There are so many services that are quick and convenient. Go ahead and have an app or phone number handy if you need one for a guest. 

2: Clear icy or obstructed sidewalks.

Many parts of the country are heading into the coldest part of winter. That means anyone hosting a Super Bowl party could be liable should a guest slip and fall on their steps, driveway or walkway.

But that becomes much less likely when a homeowner has taken extra precautions to clear and salt snowy, icy outdoor paths. Farmers Insurance data also indicates that skidding on ice or snow and hitting an object or pedestrian claims both increase by more than 5% on Super Bowl Sunday compared to the three Sundays prior.

3: Responsibly 'fire up the barbie.'

Grilling food is easy, fast and delicious, but it also can be dangerous.

Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and these fires accounted for annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 reported civilian injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage.

Super Bowl party hosts should make sure grills are clean and operational before the party, as well as positioned away from people and property.

4: Minimize pet stress.

Dogs are especially sensitive to crowds and noise (like touchdown cheering), and an agitated animal is more likely to bite. When pets join the party, owners should monitor them for signs of stress such as panting, pacing or hiding. It also may also be wise to keep older or anxious dogs away from Super Bowl party guests altogether.

5: Consider supplemental coverage.

Homeowners policies generally cover a limited amount of liability for injuries that occur at the home so homeowners may want to consider a personal liability umbrella policy as a supplement. Super Bowl party hosts that any intentional act resulting in damage to the home or property may not be covered under a homeowners policy. And there are limits to certain types of homeowner losses, such as theft. To that end, Super Bowl party hosts may want to consult with one of our insurance specialists before Super Sunday to determine whether supplemental insurance, knowns as a floater, may be prudent.