Hey there, Midland-Odessa! Summer is here, and we all know what that means – plenty of sunshine, road trips, barbecues, and outdoor fun. But did you know that summer also brings a rise in insurance claims? As the temperature goes up, so do certain risks. At Mike Lively Agency, we want to help you enjoy your summer while keeping you informed about the potential hazards that come with the season. Here’s what you need to know about the most common summer insurance claims and how you can protect yourself.

Auto Accidents

Summer is prime time for road trips. Whether you’re heading out to Big Bend, cruising to the Gulf Coast, or just exploring the scenic routes around West Texas, the roads are busier than usual. Increased traffic means a higher chance of accidents. Here are a few tips to stay safe:

  • Stay Alert: With more vehicles on the road, it’s crucial to keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions like texting or fiddling with the radio.
  • Plan Ahead: Know your route, check traffic conditions, and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. This can help reduce stress and the urge to speed.
  • Regular Maintenance: Make sure your car is in good condition before hitting the road. Check your tires, brakes, and fluid levels.

Despite our best efforts, accidents can still happen. If you’re involved in a collision, having comprehensive auto insurance can help cover the costs of repairs and medical expenses.

Homeowners Claims

We find these homeowners claims to top the list during the summer months.

Storm Damage and Water Woes

West Texas is no stranger to summer storms. From hail to heavy rains, the weather can wreak havoc on your home. Storm damage is a common claim during the summer months. Here’s how you can prepare:

  • Inspect Your Roof: Check for loose or missing shingles and repair them before the storm season hits.
  • Clean Gutters: Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris to prevent water damage.
  • Secure Outdoor Items: Bring in or secure outdoor furniture, grills, and decorations to prevent them from becoming projectiles during high winds.

Water damage is another biggie. Whether it’s from a sudden downpour or a burst pipe, water can cause serious issues. To minimize the risk:

  • Check for Leaks: Inspect your plumbing and fix any leaks promptly.
  • Install a Sump Pump: If your home is prone to flooding, a sump pump can help keep your basement dry.
  • Elevate Electrical Systems: Keep electrical appliances and systems off the ground to avoid damage in case of flooding.

Fire Hazards

Sparking up the grill or just having fun can bring potential fire hazards a little closer to home.

Grilling and Fireworks Fun

What’s summer without a backyard barbecue or a fireworks display? While these activities are fun, they also come with risks. Fire-related claims often spike during the summer. Here’s how to keep the flames under control:

  • Grill Safely: Always grill outdoors, away from your home, deck railings, and overhanging branches. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
  • Handle Fireworks with Care: Only use fireworks outdoors and keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby. Never relight a dud firework, and keep a safe distance after lighting them.
  • Supervise Campfires: If you’re enjoying a campfire, never leave it unattended. Make sure it’s fully extinguished before leaving the area.

Boating Accidents

As you float your boat (or other personal watercraft), you’ll want to reduce risk as much as possible. Keep these things in mind.

Smooth Sailing and Safety

With lakes and reservoirs like Lake Nasworthy and O.C. Fisher Lake nearby, boating is a popular summer activity. But increased boating traffic can lead to more accidents on the water. Here’s how to stay safe:

  • Wear Life Jackets: Ensure everyone on board wears a life jacket, even if they’re good swimmers.
  • Follow Boating Laws: Know and follow all boating regulations, including speed limits and no-wake zones.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Just like driving, operating a boat under the influence is dangerous and illegal.

Boating insurance can help cover damages and liability in case of an accident, so make sure your policy is up to date before you hit the water.

Personal Injury Claims

Although made throughout the year, we see a spike in personal injury claims as people have more time to get together and be active.

Sports, Recreation, and Injuries

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities like swimming, biking, and hiking. While these activities are great for staying active, they can also lead to injuries. Here are some tips to stay safe:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Helmets, pads, and proper footwear can prevent many injuries.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially during intense physical activity in the heat.
  • Know Your Limits: Don’t push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and take breaks when needed.

If you’re hosting an event or have people over to use your pool, make sure your homeowners insurance covers potential liabilities.

Dog Bites

Even a good dog can have a bad day. More people around pets tends to increase the likelihood of a mishap.

Pets and People

Summer means more people and pets outdoors, increasing the chances of dog bites. To prevent incidents:

  • Supervise Pets: Keep an eye on your dog when they’re around unfamiliar people or other animals.
  • Teach Proper Behavior: Train your dog to respond to basic commands and socialize them from a young age.
  • Know Your Dog’s Limits: If your pet is anxious or aggressive, keep them on a leash or in a secure area.

Rental Property Claims

With more people traveling and renting homes, condos, and apartments, the risk factor increases for vacation property owners.

Vacation Rentals and Wear and Tear

If you own rental properties, summer can be a busy time with short-term rentals. With more tenants, the risk of damage increases. Here’s how to protect your property:

  • Screen Tenants: Conduct thorough background checks and verify references.
  • Set Clear Rules: Provide tenants with guidelines to minimize damage and ensure they know what’s expected.
  • Regular Inspections: Perform regular inspections to catch any issues early.

Swimming Pool Accidents

More people in the pool during the summer months equals more water risk.

Safety First in the Water

Pools are a summer staple, but they also come with risks. Here’s how to keep everyone safe:

  • Supervise Swimmers: Always watch children and inexperienced swimmers. Never leave them unattended.
  • Install Safety Features: Use pool covers, fences, and alarms to prevent accidents.
  • Educate on Safety: Teach children how to swim and ensure everyone knows pool safety rules.

Know Your Agency

Summer in Midland-Odessa is all about enjoying the great outdoors, but it’s also a time to be cautious and prepared. By understanding the most common insurance claims and taking proactive steps, you can protect yourself, your family, and your property. At Mike Lively Agency, we’re here to help you stay covered and enjoy a worry-free summer. If you have any questions about your insurance needs or want to review your policies, give us a call. Let’s make this summer safe, fun, and memorable!