As summer quickly approaches, most people welcome the change in pace and increase in activities and family gatherings, including road trips, boating on the lake, waterskiing, campfires, and more. Unfortunately, with all these fun summer activities comes all kinds of risks. Here are some of the most common claims that come in over the summer months and what to anticipate over the summer months of 2023.
Top Claims Over The Summer Months
Each summer, people break up their usual routines and seek out different places and experiences. Unfortunately, sometimes those adventures lead to injuries and damage. Some of these mishaps are avoidable, and some are not. A healthy fear of storm damage is a good reason people have insurance.
As the weather stirs up, and there are increases in hailstorms, tornados, hurricanes, and floods, storm damage claims start pouring in (pardon the pun). Storm damage is the top summertime insurance claim and the most costly. Depending on the type of storm or disaster, claims can cost insurers millions of dollars.
In 2022, there were 18 weather-related disasters that totaled $1 billion or more. Ten of them occurred from May through September and included severe weather, hail storms, flooding, and a hurricane.
Boats, Motorcycles, ATV Accidents
These recreational vehicles can all be driven way too fast, increasing the risk of injury and death as well as damage to property. According to the United States Coast Guard, the number of boating accidents was 4,040 in 2022, with 2,222 non-fatal injured patients. The death count from boating accidents in 2022 was 636, a slight (3.3%) decrease from 2021. Property damage from boating accidents totaled $63 million.
Motorcycle accidents also increase in the summer due to more people on the road, an increase in road construction activity, and increased drinking and driving –especially over holidays like Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in collisions in 2019, and 5,014 were killed due to accidents.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) also have an increase in claims over the summer. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), specialty vehicles like ATVs and off-road vehicles aren’t covered under auto insurance policies. Since ATVs are generally used on the owner’s property, they are often covered under a homeowners insurance policy. Insurers should make sure their clients have the right type of coverage for ATVs
Renting Out Vacation Homes or Cabins
Vacation homes and cabins are another common category of claims that come in during the summer months. Rentals via Airbnb, VRBO, and other platforms can experience property damage from tenants. But simply owning a second home can also be risky, as the owner isn’t necessarily checking on things regularly.
Property owners may arrive at their cabin up north, only to find there was a leaky roof that caused mold to accumulate or a frozen water pipe that broke and caused flooding. Burglaries and thefts may also occur while the property is vacant, so it’s essential for property owners to install a security system to reduce the risk of break-ins.
Swimming pools are so much fun to have in the backyard, but deep water is also risky when you have family and friends around. The most common claim around swimming pools is personal liability due to drowning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 11 people die each day in the United States due to non-boating related drownings.
Missing or ineffective fences around pools increase the risk of drowning, especially for children, and drinking alcohol increases the risk in adolescents and adults. The use of drugs and prescription meds, especially psychotropic drugs, can also increase the risk of drowning, as they can interfere with clear thinking and motor skills.
Fire Insurance From Grills and Fire Pits
Firing up the grill or making a fire in the fire pit also have risks. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), approximately 3,800 Americans are injured by grill fires each year. Over half of grill fires on residential properties occur in the months of May, June, July, and August, and almost half occur in the evening hours, from 5 to 8 pm.
How to Prepare
To prepare for an increase in claims over the summer, it may be prudent to implement more digital technologies to make the claims process more efficient and require less hands-on work. Here are a few ideas:
- Rolling out straight-through processing can help with low-complexity claims.
- Making good use of chatbots, texting, and apps can help provide a hassle-free claims experience for customers.
- Providing risk management advice, such as storm alerts and hazardous road warnings, can help customers avoid accidents and losses. This can be done via apps, Facebook, email newsletters, or mailings.
- Encouraging the use of apps can help customers track safe driving habits and protect their insured properties.
Streamlining the claims process while encouraging safe habits and choices can help take the stress off the increase in summer claims.
While summer activities can bring plenty of joy and excitement, they can also turn sour if someone isn’t paying attention to their surroundings. Play the offense by sending helpful advice and reminders to your policyholders, but do it in a positive, helpful way. A few colorful and fun graphics can go a long way in reminding people to take precautions and enjoy the warm, summer months safely. As a result, you’ll process fewer claims, and they’ll have a fun and relaxing summer, free of pain and drama.