By John D. Doak
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner
Whether watching for the game or for the commercials, many Oklahomans will enjoy the Super Bowl at a party. If you’re hosting an event this year, there are several insurance implications to consider before the celebration begins.
First, it’s a good idea to review the liability section of your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy. It’s important to understand your coverage in case you are sued or deemed liable for an accident involving one of your guests. If you need help understanding your policy, call your insurance agent or insurance company.
Here’s a look at some other top insurance issues when hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Accident Prevention – The weather can cause some hazards for your guests. Make sure sidewalks and stairs are clear of ice and any other trip and fall hazards. Inside your house, move any breakable items away from where you’ll host cheering fans. Be aware that if your friend’s enthusiastic celebration of a touchdown knocks your 60-inch, flat screen TV off its stand, accidental breakage is typically excluded from your homeowners’ or rental policy.
- Food and Fire Safety – Super Bowl food usually involves grilling or frying. Make sure you’re not leaving the grill or kitchen unattended. Also, ensure your fire extinguisher is within reach and your home’s smoke detectors are in working order. To help avoid the possibility of food poisoning, don’t keep food out at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Pets – The noise of a Super Bowl party can get out of control, and some pets don’t handle it well. To keep your guests free of animal bites, and to make sure Fido is calm, designate a quiet area for him to feel safe and secure. Keeping your pet away from guests will also ensure that no one feeds him food that could cause major health problems.
Finally, a big concern this Sunday is driving under the influence of alcohol. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly half of all U.S. traffic fatalities in 2015 were caused by drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday. You can be held responsible if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash. For your Super Bowl party, keep these tips in mind:
- Offer non-alcoholic drinks to reduce the chance of impaired driving
- Serve a lot of food
- Consider hiring a professional bartender
- Limit how much your guests drink
- Stop serving alcohol toward the end of the evening and begin to serve coffee and dessert
- Select a non-drinking designated driver before the partying starts
- Encourage your guests to not drink and drive. Offer them a bed or couch to sleep on or pay for a ride-sharing service to take them home.
The Super Bowl is an annual tradition that can be fun when you take the right steps to protect you, your property and your guests.