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Did this guy cause you problems during the holidays?

Santa Claus came to town this year and caused a mess for our customers. We had clients calling because of reindeer hoof-print damage and roof damage caused by the big man’s sleigh as well as calls about stolen cookies. Here is a description of a few of our most memorable claims filed this holiday season.

Mr. O’Brien came downstairs on Christmas Eve to find Santa sprawled out on the floor from tripping over the train set around the tree. The O’Briens’ kids were on the naughty list, so Santa should not have even been at the O’Brien property. Santa told Mr. O’Brien that the train set should not have been there, and now he’s threatening to sue O’Brien for lost wages! Poor Mr. O’Brien was shocked at Santa’s attitude, so he decided to call Ostrander Insurance to ask if his homeowner policy would cover this slip-and-fall claim. We kindly explained to O’Brien that his policy does cover situations like this by using the liability coverage. Even if someone has not been given express authority to be on your property and is then injured, your homeowner policy will traditionally respond. Thankfully, Santa was able to enjoy some hot cocoa and now seems less likely to file suit.

Ms. Black’s youngest daughter, Erin, was given a Nintendo Wii for Christmas. While Erin was playing with the handheld controller, she accidentally let go and the controller smacked and shattered the Blacks’ big-screen TV. Ms. Black called our office to explain the situation and ask if her homeowner policy would cover the loss. We explained that there is no coverage for this type of accident to your personal contents. Although there is an expensive “all-risk contents coverage” endorsement available, we don’t generally recommend it. Poor little Erin will have to be an extra good girl this New Year to ensure that she might help her family get a new big-screen TV from Santa next year.

Mr. Bolte and his wife have a part-time business that they operate from their basement. The Boltes work traditional jobs, but make snowballs during the wintertime for extra money. Some of their best clients are the elves from Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. The Boltes sell extra snowballs to the elves for the elf holiday snowball fight each year. Unfortunately, this year one of the elves was injured by one of the Boltes’ manufactured snowballs. When Mr. and Mrs. Bolte stopped by our office to file a claim, we informed them that their snowball manufacturing business constitutes a business pursuit, for which there is no coverage allowed under their homeowner policy. If only the Boltes had added business pursuits coverage to their homeowner policy, it’s possible that their claim might have been considered. As it is, the Boltes are out of luck and will be paying out of pocket.

Bah humbug!

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