The fall season is fun, but knowing what insurance claims increase during fall could make fall funner. This is because when you know what injuries and insurance claims are common during the fall, you can take practical steps to avoid them. The reality is that we all wish injuries could be avoided, but there are personal injuries and insurance claims that are specific to the fall season. And our team here at Raynes | Erickson is happy to address these unique injuries and autumnal insurance claims.
- strains and sprains b. slip-and-falls
- animal-related incidences b. fire and smoke c. snow, ice, and water
Strains and sprains — Fall season means fallen leaves covering the ground. As a result, many people experience strains and sprains during this time of the year when trying to clean up the leaves which could possibly lead to an insurance claim during fall. Raking and other basic yard work such as gardening seems like easy enough tasks, but such tasks cause repetitive movement of muscles and are in effect easy ways to strain or sprain due to the twisting, bending, lifting, and reaching that comes along with the raking action. Thus, hundreds of people wind up in the emergency room each year during the autumn season due to sprains and strains caused by yard work.
With this in mind, it’s important to garden safely, use the right tools, and take breaks from uncomfortable positioning as you see fit. This article reminds us that when raking leaves, you should choose a rake that fits your height with ergonomic handles. If you’re cleaning out your eaves-trough of leaves, make sure to have a stable ladder in good repair and make sure to have someone to hold the ladder in place.
Leaves — We mentioned leaves in the previous point, but leaves pose more of a threat than a homeowner’s simple need to rake them. As we know, with leaves comes a lack of visibility. Not only are leaves coating the ground and making it difficult to see what we are walking on, but they can fill holes, dents and divots. Because leaves can hide holes or other damages in the sidewalks or road, people are more susceptible to tripping in unseen holes resulting in slip-and-fall insurance claim increase during the fall.
Take, for example, walking on an unfamiliar sidewalk. Whether walking or running, make sure to avoid spots with large amounts of wet leaves as those can cause a slip and fall. You can do this by carrying a walking stick or some type of pole. Tap the ground in front of you as you walk to find uneven areas so that you can avoid walking over them.
Wet leaves also pose as a danger during the fall season. In fact, wet leaves can be as dangerous as ice and are also difficult to rake. The safest thing you can do is to clear leaves from your walks and driveways as soon as possible…just remember our tips from the first injury (take breaks and choose a rake that fits your height with ergonomic handles) and you should be good to go!
Animal-related incidences — The fall is a peak season for deer and other animals to have more unexpected interactions with us humans, and they are often found hanging out around or passing through the roads. Depending on which state you live in, this hazard can be more prevalent than others on the list. In some parts of California, you might not have to worry about having a run-in with a deer or other large animals but in other parts, that might well be the case.
Deer and moose are no longer confined just to country areas. As development spreads into their natural habitats, these animals can be found in highly populated areas, especially as food becomes scarcer. Hitting a large animal can be just as dangerous as hitting another car, so always wear a seat-belt. Animals tend to be more active at dawn and dusk, so watch for deer, moose, raccoons, foxes and coyotes. Most wildlife-related accidents tend to occur between October and December. Here are the top five states for animal collisions:
Texas ● California ● Missouri ● Minnesota ● Pennsylvania
Fire and smoke — While the summer increases the likelihood of grill-related fires, popular insurance claims during the fall are linked to indoor fires via fireplaces, wood stoves, candles and the like. People are eager to create a warm environment to contrast the cooler temperatures in the fall, so whether its by means of lighting the fireplace or a bonfire, letting candles burn, or something else, fires and smoke pose increased threats during the fall season. In fact, this article emphasizes that fires from candles, cooking, and fireplaces caused over 45 percent of the home fires in the fall months!
When cooking, using basic safety tips will decrease the change of fire. For example, don’t leave food unattended or leave the home while cooking. Also, don’t wear loose clothing while cooking and keep all flammable material away from the stove. Another practical yet helpful piece of advice would be to purchase a fire extinguisher that remains stationed in the kitchen.
Snow, ice, and water — Winter weather, even in warmer parts of the country, creates increased hazards and accidents. In fact, 37 percent of all skidding and snow claims occur between October and December. How can you avoid this type of accident during the fall? Well, before cold weather hits, make sure to check the tread on tires and make sure they are properly inflated. You also want to do well to decrease your speed on wet, icy, or leaf-covered roads, whether you are strolling, exercising, riding a bike, and driving a car.
Kaplansky Insurance gives us practical reminders to help cut down on any risks of skidding or sliding in the snow. During winter months, keep the gas tank at least half full since getting stuck in snow traffic can burn fuel quickly. Also, remember to check your vehicle’s battery, windshield wipers, anti-freeze, and wiper fluid levels. Consider leaving a shovel, blanket, and some non-perishable snacks in the car in case of a breakdown.
Water damage also leads to a large number of common insurance claims in the fall. These claims are the result of heavy rains and freezing pipes. This article reminds us that proactively having a property’s roof checked for leaks or any weak areas, coupled with ensuring gutters are clean, will reduce the chance of damage due to rain water. Additionally, having a property’s plumbing system reviewed by a license plumber, and following his or her recommendations for keeping pipes from freezing and bursting will also reduce the chance of loss due to water.
Autumn Is Here To Stay (At Least For 3 Months)
We understand that fall is the season of chilled nights, dormant everything, and warm earth tones, but don’t let your guard down—fall could still warrant dangerous situations. Just like there are common summer injuries, fall also has it’s fair share of injuries and, thus, autumnal insurance claims.
Although a new season doesn’t mean a stop on insurance claims, each year gives us a fresh start to tackle potential problems before they arise. After considering the common injuries or claims that increase presence during the fall season, we hope you’re able to stay safe and enjoy fall without any falls.