Halloween Tips & The Modern Day Side Hustle (Uber & VRBO)

October 22, 2019

Halloween Tips for the Season

The #1 way to have a safe Halloween is if you must drive when Trick or Treaters are out, drive as cautiously as possible. With limited sight from costumes and excited little ones running throughout the neighborhood, the possibility of them running into the street without looking is extremely high. The burden is on YOU to be cautious and keep others safe while out and about! Here are some other tips for a successful Halloween.

- Keep walkways cleared, and well-lit for Trick or Treaters to have a direct path free of trip hazards to your door.

- Use LED candles instead of traditional candles inside of Jack O' lanterns to avoid fire hazards to your home and to flammable costumes. Halloween is the #1 night of the year for household fires.

- Place furry friends in a closed inside room. With so many Trick or Treaters coming to your door, animals may be frightened of what they see and hear. In all the excitement of the holiday, they may be tempted to run with how frequent the door is opened. You should also take into account visitors that may be scared or allergic of animals.

- Speaking of allergies, if possible, purchase some non-food treats for Trick or Treaters and keep them in a separate container for those that may have wide ranges of allergies. Nuts are not the only allergies to be concerned with anymore, gluten, food dyes and dairy are now major concerns for those with food sensitivities.

- Finally, keep your cars in the garage and protect yourself. With so many people walking up and back to your home and through your driveway, the chances of a prop or something scratching your car or possibly denting it are quite high. Also, after little ghouls and goblins go to bed, the older tricksters may come out to play! Make sure before going to bed to turn back on security systems, and ensure motion lights are back on as well to deter any pranksters from targeting your home.

Do you Drive for a Ride Share Company?

If you do, you know you are provided coverage under Uber & Lyft's Insurance. But did you know there are certain periods where they may not cover you and neither will your current standard auto policy? There are some insurance companies that will even cancel policies if they learn that their insured is a rideshare driver. Scary thought, right? However you can add an additional coverage endorsement to your personal auto policy that will step in to provide coverage where the ridesharing companies' ends. Each insurance company offer's different levels of coverage, but all are usually under $30 per month. Some companies offer deductible gap coverage, where if your personal policy deductible is $500, but the major commercial policy deductible is $2500; you would pay $500, and your personal auto policy would cover the remaining $2000 to the commercial policy deductible. It's best to check with your agent to ensure you are covered in a manner that you are comfortable with as each insurance company provides different levels of coverage. At Wilson Insurance Brokers we have the ability to shop from many different companies to provide you with multiple options that suit your needs.

Do you have a Short-Term Vacation Rental?

Are you renting out a room or your home for extra money on one of the popular vacation rental sites like Airbnb, VRBO, or Homeaway? Did you know that your home may not be fully covered if you are solely relying on the coverage available through their standard host policies. In fact, in the state of California a few of the major home insurance carriers exclude any claims resulting from short-term rentals, and will cancel any home policies that are believed to be utilizing the popular short-term rental services. In a day and age where modern trends are occurring faster than insurance companies can keep up with, it's important to check with your insurance agent to make sure you really are covered in the chance that a claim occurs. We have seen some of our clients who are using their 2^nd homes as additional income when they aren't using that residence. It's a great opportunity, but more and more we are seeing insurance companies excluding coverage through their standard policies. Leaving their insureds unprotected in the event of a loss. Though we are actively communicating with underwriting teams from the varying companies we work with to understand who provides coverage, and to what extent. If you are currently renting out your home, or are thinking about it, check with your agent to make sure your current policy will provide you adequate coverage in conjunction with the policy provided through the short-term vacation rental company.

Tips for Short-Term Rental Hosts:

  1. Have "House Rules" to protect yourself, your home, and your neighbors, make sure you post them on your listing and within plain sight in the home.
  2. Create a Guide Book for your guests, put helpful notes about the house, noise limits, tips for dining, shopping, sightseeing, etc.
  3. Leave a gift for each guest, maybe a bottle of local wine, basket of fruit, something that will make your guests feel welcome and encourage better online reviews which in turn will generate more bookings.