The frightening costs of Halloween and Bonfire night

Make sure your home is insured this halloweenWith Halloween creeping up (literally) on us at the end of the month, many people across the UK live in fear and dread of potential vandalism against their homes.

The traditionally North American phenomenon of ‘Trick or Treat’ has crossed the pond and is now a regular feature of Halloween in the UK.

Whilst Halloween is intended to offer family-friendly, good-natured and harmless fun, it can be the catalyst for mischief and anti-social behaviour.  Surveys have also indicated a sharp rise in petty crimes and threatening behaviour during this period.

So beware!

The ‘treat’ bit: Halloween spending estimates that household spending in the UK on Halloween in 2018 was over £419 million. The figures is double what was spent in 2013, with most of the money spent on chocolate and sweets, as well as pumpkins. Although plenty of homes with (or without) children will spend money on fancy dress and Halloween decorations, total UK spending on these items was less than half that spent on ‘treat’ food products.

The ‘trick’ bit: Check your house insurance

Current financial pressures and the number of families on low incomes means that many homes are either not insured or are under-insured.  One large home insurance provider estimated that the collective damage done during Halloween and Bonfire nights through anti-social behaviour is somewhere in the region of £1.5 billion. That’s an average of almost £300 per household in repair costs.

Around 21% of householders in the UK reported damage to their homes as a result of such ‘tricks’ as thrown raw eggs, or, alarmingly, rubbish bins being set alight.

People breaking fences or stealing gates, plants and other outside equipment or fittings accounted for 6% of reported damage, whilst damage from fireworks and sparklers caused 3% of homeowner’s claims.

Here are a few tips to help minimise the opportunities for mischievous ‘Tricksters’ to wreak havoc this Halloween:

  • Check – and renew if necessary –  your household insurance;
  • Remove temptation by taking in rubbish bins, garden furniture, outdoor equipment and potted plants overnight or hide them out of sight;
  • If you have security lights, put them on for the evenings of Halloween and Bonfire Night to act as a deterrent;
  • And finally, it is recommended you have lots and lots of sweeties available!

Happy (and safe) Halloween.

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