Haunted House Owners: Ward Off Costly Accidents with Insurance
Each fall, Halloween haunted houses thrill excited spectators with jump scares and creepy entertainment, but what happens when the horrors become real? Unfortunately, there are several instances of haunted house injuries and damages in the United States each year—some, tragically, even resulting in death.
Although overall these haunted house incidents are rare, if you’re considering setting up your own scary attraction, you should think about the potential risks involved. Even in something that’s supposed to be fun, accidents happen.
The good news is that where there’s risk, there’s insurance. Here’s a look at the types of events that can occur and how owners of haunted houses can insure themselves against accidents.
Just like in any home or building, there are several ways in which haunted attraction visitors can suffer injuries. Here are a few common scenarios haunted house insurance may cover:
- Slips and falls.Haunted houses are dark and often include tight spaces and corners to set a scary mood. A visitor might slip and fall trying to move around the attraction, especially if equipment or props are left lying in places where people are meant to walk. While many haunted houses tell staff not to chase people, falls are more likely when someone is running.
- Cuts and broken bones.Depending on what’s used to build the haunted house, there may be exposed nails, screws, or other materials that could scratch or injure visitors. Again, if visitors are running, this type of bodily injury is more likely.
- Fire. All buildings carry some risk of fire, but haunted houses may be at a greater risk if they include lots of electrical wiring, props, or flammable materials. If there’s open flame, all it takes is one thing being knocked over.
- Carbon monoxide. Tight spaces and inadequate ventilation could increase the risk of carbon monoxide build-up, a potentially lethal poisoning risk.
- Dog bites. A potential problem for haunted house owners who build their attractions on their own property, visitors may be at risk for dog bites if canines (or wolves!) roam the same area.
With these scary incidents posing a potentially disastrous (and costly) threat, what should haunted house owners do to protect themselves? Fortunately, there are certain types of insurance that can protect providers of thrilling attractions.
Can Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover A Haunted House on Your Property?
If you plan to build a temporary haunted house on your own property, making sure you have strong, reliable home or homeowners insurance may be all you need. This is especially true if you’re just running it for family and close friends. Events like falls, broken bones, fire, and dog bites are usually covered under home liability insurance. But an umbrella policy may provide more coverage to give you peace of mind.
Check with your insurance agent or company to find out the details of your home or renters policy, or get a quote if you need stronger coverage. Learn more about what’s covered by checking out our frequently asked questions about home, liability, and umbrella insurance.
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What Coverage Do You Need for A Larger Haunted House?
For owners of haunted houses, corn mazes, and other Halloween-themed attractions, several companies offer specially tailored insurance coverage. Some are meant to cater to the general public, and they’re on commercial property. In these instances, commercial policies including commercial auto insurance may be appropriate.
These policies are sometimes called “haunted house insurance” or just special event coverage. These short-term policies are designed especially for attractions and will cover more than homeowner’s insurance, typically for 90 days. So you’re not paying for coverage you don’t need throughout the rest of the year. Haunted house insurance may provide coverage for:
- General liability
- Medical payments for participants and visitors
- Vehicles and equipment
- Third-party or rented property
- Special liability (liquor, legal, etc.)
These unique policies are usually tailored to the specific type and needs of the attraction. So cost and coverage limits will depend on what’s included. To get haunted house insurance, you may need to find an agent or company that specializes in short-term policies.
Should You Talk to An Insurance Agent about Haunted House Insurance?
You can always talk to an Obrella-approved agent at [mapi-phone /]. Sometimes, it’s best to let an expert explain what you’re shopping for. Then they can run quotes and find an insurance provider that meets your needs. This is true whether you run another business outside of Halloween months or if you only operate at that time of year.
One more thing—although many scary haunted house incidents can be covered by insurance, there’s one thing it won’t cover: damage from ghosts, ghouls, witches and other supernatural forces. For that, you’ll need to look elsewhere—perhaps an exorcist or vampire slayer.
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