Insurance and Finance

A National Lampoon Guide to Holiday Hazards

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 12.1.16

The Griswold family has brought us so much joy and laughter, probably because they’re so relatable. I mean, come on — who hasn’t wanted to put their boot straight through a holiday decoration when things won’t light up like they should? (By the way, insurance won’t cover that.) 

From accident-prone Clark’s unfortunate mishaps to poor Fluffy’s run-in with a plugged-in light strand, there’s a lot the Griswolds can teach us about keeping our homes safe during the holidays.

Here are a few lessons from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. 

1. Don’t Forget You’re Cooking

Don’t be a Cousin Catherine. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that leaving cooking unattended is the leading cause of kitchen fires. Avoid distractions when prepping holiday meals or baking treats for family and friends. As a fail-safe, it’s always best to set a timer (if you can keep it in your pocket, that’s best) whenever you’re using the oven. 

2. Don’t Let Guests Get Injured

After Uncle Lewis went up in flames, there were bound to be some medical bills. Depending on Clark’s insurance coverage, he could have been responsible for any injuries sustained by his guest.

From icy front steps that can cause falls to poolside soirees, where a guest may fall into the water, dangers in your home may require insurance coverage to protect you against liability. Guests may even hold you liable if food and beverages they consume at your home result in accidents. 

3. Get Liability Coverage 

The Insurance Information Institute has details about social host liability on its website, so brush up before your next shindig and talk to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent about adding umbrella insurance to your policy for an extra layer of protection.

4. Decorate Safely 

Uncle Lewis may have burned down the Griswolds’ tree with his cigar, but according to the NFPA, there are plenty more common causes of tree-related fires, including electrical failures and malfunctions, decorative lights, wiring, and cords and plugs. Here’s a complete guide for safely decorating your home for the holidays

If you take these precautions, you can ensure you and your family will have just as merry a Christmas as the Chevy Chase and co eventually had — even if someone sings the Star-Spangled Banner instead of Silent Night at the end of it.

Until then, consider the Griswolds a cautionary tale and check in with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent about the liability coverage on your property insurance policy.

Learn more here about what you are liable for when guests come into your home.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2016 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance