Allstate Data Shows Holiday Hazards Hit Close to Home for Texas Residents

  Allstate Data Shows Holiday Hazards Hit Close to Home for Texas Residents

New Texas Poll Reveals Changes in Activities and Routines that Can Increase
Home Security Risk

PR Newswire

IRVING, Texas, Nov. 19, 2013

IRVING, Texas, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --New insurance claims data[i] from
the Allstate Insurance Company shows that fires and theft pose as threats to
home security and safety for Texas residents during the holiday season. A new
survey also highlights how holiday pressures and changes in activities,
behaviors and routines can leave Texas homeowners vulnerable to home perils.

"Breaking out of our routines and making the most of our time with family and
friends is what the holidays are all about," said Diana Wickman, an Allstate
agent in Dallas. "It's easy to get caught up in the festivities, so Allstate
is reminding homeowners to use caution and remember to think through potential
safety hazards in the home this holiday season."

The claims information indicates that holiday-related activities can cause
losses for Texas homeowners:

  oDuring the holidays, fire claims increase by 23 percent for Texas
    homeowners and theft claims increase by 9 percent.
  oTexas homeowners are most likely to experience a theft claim over the
    holiday season.
  oCompared to the national average, Texas theft claims are 12 percent more
    likely to occur.
  oCandles are the most likely to cause a holiday-related fire. In fact,
    Christmas week is among the top three weeks for candle-related claims. The
    median cost for candle-related claims is almost $50,000.
  oOn average, there are three times more turkey fryer claims during the
    holiday season than any other time of the year. The median cost for turkey
    fryer-related claims is almost $29,000.
  oAround New Year's Eve, (last week of December through first week in
    January) there are nearly twice as many claims caused by fireworks. The
    median cost for fireworks-related claims is nearly $14,000.
  oChristmas trees are another holiday-related hazard that may result in
    costly damages. The median cost for Christmas tree-related claims is more
    than $100,000.
  oSince 2008, the most costly holiday fire claim involved an artificial
    Christmas tree in the homeowners' living room. The total loss amount cost
    nearly $2.4 million.

Changes in Routine Increase Risk

New Texas survey data shows that holiday pressures and changes in activities,
behaviors and routines can leave homeowners more susceptible to home perils.
According to the survey…

  o50 percent of Texas consumers they are trying to do too many things at one
    time during the holidays.
  o54 percent of Texas consumers are trying new techniques for cooking and
    decorating.
  o51 percent of Texas respondents who drink alcohol say they drink more
    during the holidays than they usually do throughout the year.
  o54 percent of Texas consumers revealed that their daily schedule and
    routine changes during the holidays.
  o69 percent consumers leave delivered packages outside their home, drawing
    attention to valuable gifts and holiday spending.
  o52 percent of Texas respondents are traveling overnight during the
    holidays – leaving their homes more susceptible to risk.

Helpful Tips

Advance planning and precaution can protect your home and help make the
holidays hazard-free. Allstate offers these tips to secure your home during
the holidays:

Holiday Cooking

  oBefore the holidays, install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon
    monoxide detectors. Make sure that family members can locate and operate
    fire extinguishers. Test all fire prevention devices to make sure they
    function properly.
  oBe careful in the kitchen. The incorrect disposal of cooking grease,
    overuse of garbage disposals and improper or excessive disposal of waste
    can result in clogged drains and can cause sewer problems during this time
    of year.

Holiday Decorating

  oNever leave burning candles unattended, and always place them out of reach
    of children. Make it a part of your routine to check that all candles are
    extinguished before you go to bed each night.
  oMake a smart tree purchase. If buying a natural tree, make sure it's fresh
    so it will be less of a fire hazard. Artificial trees should be labeled as
    fire resistant. Keep your tree away from heat sources, and trim trees with
    flame‐resistant materials. Never use lit candles to decorate trees.
  oCheck your holiday lights, throwing away any that are broken and don't
    overload the outlets. Only lights and extension cords specified for
    outdoor use should be used outside.

Holiday Security

  oWhen shopping, don't leave purchases in the passenger compartment of your
    unattended vehicle. Store them out of sight, in the trunk.
  oWhen in plain view, piled gifts around a Christmas tree serve as an
    invitation to burglars. Close the shades or drapes if you're going to be
    away.
  oDon't advertise shopping trips or gift purchases on social media. Whether
    it's "check-ins" using geo-location services, travel plan updates, or even
    photos uploaded while at a holiday party, people may be unknowingly giving
    today's "digital thieves" greater insight into the contents of your car's
    trunk, times you're away from home and even the holiday gifts hiding in
    your closet.

"According to our poll, celebrating the holidays is important to majority of
Texas consumers," Wickman continued. "It's natural to get excited and go the
extra mile to make this time special for your loved ones, but also beware of
potential mishaps and protect your holiday home with these simple tips to make
the very most of this season."

For more home protection tips and to learn about Allstate's homeowners
offerings, visit www.goodlife.allstate.com.

Survey Methodology
The survey of 9,880 American adults age 18+ was conducted October 25 –
November 5, 2013 via an online survey using a sample panel. 200 interviews
were conducted in each state with the exception of AK: n = 104, WY: n = 140,
ND: n = 174, SD: n = 181, VT: n = 176, and DC:n = 105. Analyses for each
state were weighted to match its demographic profile. In addition, analyses of
the overall findings were weighted by the national population parameters. The
survey was conducted by FTI Consulting, Inc. (FTI) for Allstate.

About Allstate
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held
personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through
its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and
Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products
(auto, home, life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate
agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial
representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com, www.allstate.com/financial
and 1-800 Allstate^®, and are widely known through the slogan "You're In Good
Hands With Allstate^®." As part of Allstate's commitment to strengthen local
communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and
the corporation provided $29 million in 2012 to thousands of nonprofit
organizations and important causes across the United States.

[i]  Allstate actuaries conducted an in-depth analysis of company claims data
to determine the likelihood homeowners across the country will experience a
homeowners claims around the holiday season (mid-November through mid-January)
compared to the entire year. Internal claims were analyzed over a four-year
period (from January 2009 through December 2012) and excluded catastrophic
events to ensure the findings would not be impacted by external influences
such as weather events. Seasonal perils such as wind or hail that naturally
occur during the holiday season are not attributed as "holiday-related"
whereas perils such as theft are attributed as "holiday-related." Allstate's
homeowners' policies represent about 9 percent of all U.S. home policies,
making this report a realistic snapshot of what's happening in America's
homes.

SOURCE The Allstate Corporation

Contact: Kristen Beaman, 972-897-9629, Kristen.Beaman@allstate.com
 
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