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Gregg mentioned that the biggest risk for party hosts surrounds liability. When a homeowner invites guests into their homes, there are major exposures to consider once the drinks start flowing.
“Guests can potentially fall down the stairs, trip on something, or worse, get in their car to drive home under the influence,” he said. “Many homeowners don’t consider their exposures when hosting a party.”
When it comes to the home itself, there are very minimal property exposures, according to Gregg. If there is a fire or if a window breaks, the damage would likely not get to the level to file a claim, which is why brokers and agents should be focusing on communicating liability risk mitigation strategies.
Homeowners should have a robust understanding of their coverage, what their limits are, and if there are any exclusions, so that there are no surprises in the event of a liability claim.
“It’s looking at every policy limit and what the exclusions of policies are,” he noted. “The industry has done a wonderful job leveling the play field between insurance companies, but every policy is different.
“I would advise brokers to make sure they review coverage, limits and deductibles because a homeowner can assume they have protection that is beyond the scope of their policy.”
The landscape of limits has shifted over the past few years. Gregg mentioned that while there have not been many changes to coverage, there have been changes to coverage limits and deductibles for certain risks based on the recent impacts of catastrophic events.
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With COVID cases on the decline, Gregg agreed that there will likely be an increase in Super Bowl parties this year compared to 2020 and 2021, with homeowners more comfortable welcoming friends and families over.
Brokers and agents should be thinking proactively and communicating risk mitigation strategies to avoid the excitement coming to an abrupt halt.
“The ultimate mitigation strategies for clients are being cognizant if anyone is drinking too much, asking if guests are planning to drive, and limiting people to a specific location in the house like a deck,” Gregg added. “Also, if a party is on an elevated outside deck, [it’s important to ensure] railings are up and secure. These are all things clients should be focused on to avoid a liability issue.”
To avoid an uptick in claims, brokers should be doing their due diligence to ensure homeowners are aware of guests’ safety, and to ensure they know what their insurance will cover, so that Super Bowl parties can be enjoyed to the fullest.
“Reach out prior to a renewal and make sure if clients are hosting parties or making changes to their home to accommodate guests, that all bases are covered,” he said.
The Super Bowl is being hosted in Los Angeles this year and some homeowners in the area may want to take advantage of this time and rent their homes out for a week. If so, Gregg explained the situation then goes from being a homeowner policy to a rental property and may be excluded in coverage.
“Homeowners need to review their coverage and make sure if they’re doing something that deviates from the policy, they have time to add additional protection,” he said. “The most important thing is to be careful and advise clients to not open homes to unnecessary risk.”