This is Halloween
Halloween is so fun. The colours of the trees, the darkness of the nights, and the originality of costumes all combine to make Halloween an incredibly enjoyable night. If you’ve taken a look at our facebook feed, you’ve probably seen our offices getting into the celebrations themselves!
But of course, we are in the insurance industry, so its practically our job to do some buzz-killing. Of course you should have fun on this Hallow’s Eve, but you should make sure to do it safely! Every year this nightmarish holiday turns into an actual nightmare for people across Canada – and it is not at all for pretend.
So read this article to avoid tricks while you enjoy your treats, and have a fantastic Halloween!
Nasty Scares Can Get You in Trouble
Part of Halloween is being scary right? There is nothing more fun then dressing up as a goblin or ghoul, and terrorizing your friends, neighbours and co-workers. But before you start put the final touches on your disguise, you should probably be very aware of how badly these tricks can go, and how you can be held liable for them.
Intentional Infliction of Nervous Shock is the name of a Civil Charge, which can be made against you if you badly frighten someone and they suffer ill affects. Additionally, if you so badly frighten a child or an elderly person that they have a heart attack, you can be held liable for homicide.
House Insurance does protect you with personal liability, but it will do nothing if you are charged with culpable homicide. Additionally, you never want to go through the court system. So if you are planning on being scary, make sure that you are smart about it. Stay away from children or the elderly, get consent and make sure that what you are doing wouldn’t cause anyone to do something dangerous.
Because also scary is fun, it can also be deadly.
Trick-or-Treaters are Owed a Duty of Care
Trick-or-treating is an essential part of the Halloween experience, and you have probably spent your fair share of time distributing candy to costumed children. You’ve probably spent some time thinking about them, how good their costumes are, how adorable that little one looked, and how your pretty sure that one is 20 and your not sure why he is still looking for candy.
But have you thought about if your house can be dangerous to them? As soon as you allow trick-or-treaters onto your property, you owe them whats known as a “Duty of Care”, meaning you can’t do anything or omit to do something that causes a substantial risk of harm. That is lawyer speak for making sure your house is safe. Broken patio steps, a falling tree branch, even a slippery walkway (something that seems likely given the terrible weather for Halloween this year) can land you in a lot of hot water.
However, no one can make their house accident proof, and your home insurance does protect you with liability coverage (with a $2,000,000 limit if you’ve been listening to us!). But that doesn’t mean you can be careless. So check your house to make sure visitors will be safe, get some salt or anti-freeze ready, and be prepared for a fun night of candy distribution!
Speaking of candy, check expiry dates! If you give bad food to a young kid, you are super liable, and will also certainly get sued. The myth of children being murdered by poisoned halloween candy is an urban legend, but many get sick every year from bad candy. So check those dates!
Driving en-coustume is a Terrible Idea
So maybe you are a bit older than the used to be, and trick-or-treating isn’t really your thing. Maybe you are now driving your little ones around, or going to a workplace halloween bonanza, or perhaps a late night costume party. You will probably consider driving around with a costume at some point, and we beg you, please don’t do it.
Costumes are often poor fitting, vision obstructing and are easily caught on different parts of automobiles. Driving a car is hard enough without dealing with all this extra work, so get someone else to drive you, suit up once you arrive, or use public transportation. You’ll be glad you did.
We hope these tips will keep you safe as you enjoy a great night! Happy Halloween!