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This holiday season, wrap your get-togethers in peace-of-mind coverage with these tips from American Family Insurance agents, based on real customer scenarios from holidays past.

Holiday Survival Guide

Gathering to celebrate the holidays with family and friends is a hallmark of life. This holiday season, wrap your get-togethers in peace-of-mind coverage with these tips from American Family Insurance agents, based on real customer scenarios from holidays past.

a sign on the road

Our nephew was driving to a holiday party and hit a deer that jumped into the road! Will insurance pay for the damages?

Deer collisions are more common than you might think! Fortunately, having the right coverage can help protect against unexpected accidents like this. If your nephew was driving his own car and has comprehensive coverage on his auto policy, he should be able to file a claim with his insurer. If he was driving your car, it’s a bit more complicated. This is why it’s so smart to make sure all your vehicles have the right coverages in place!

a person's legs in the snow

When my uncle arrived for dinner, he slipped on some ice on our front steps. Will our umbrella insurance kick in for his injuries?

Oh no! Hopefully, his injuries are minor and your homeowners policy is more than sufficient to cover the claim. If his injuries require care that exceeds your homeowners limits, your umbrella policy may supplement proper underlying coverage. People don’t often think about it, but if someone gets hurt on your property, you could be liable. With an umbrella policy in place, you’ll have extra peace of mind when you host gatherings with family and friends.

a car covered in snow

I loaned my cousin my car to pick up some party supplies, and he slid off an icy road into the ditch. Luckily, he’s fine, but what about the damage to my car?

If you have collision coverage on your auto policy, this damage may be covered — but it’s best to double-check your policy for exact details. Keep in mind that, although your cousin was driving, your auto policy will probably be the primary coverage in this scenario: meaning you’re the one who would have to file the claim and pay the deductible to get your car repaired.

a man holding a drill

When we opened up the camper for extra sleeping space, we found mice had munched through the mattresses and electrical wiring. Can we file a claim under our camper policy?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your camper, a claim can be filed for this damage.

a sink with a faucet

A guest left the faucet running in a basement bathroom, and it flooded the lower level. Does our home policy cover the damage?

With extra people in the house, a scenario like this can easily happen! The good news is that home insurance may help pay for the damage. Now’s the perfect time to review your policy and coverages with your agent before you’re under water, so to speak. Be sure you understand what your deductible is — and consider whether you might need to increase your policy limits and add additional coverage to protect your home from potential water damage.

a box on a porch

During dinner, a last-minute gift was delivered and then stolen by a porch pirate! Is it worth installing smart home security devices?

This is where “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Not only can an inexpensive smart home doorbell camera act as a deterrent, but it could prevent a theft before it happens by alerting you that someone is there. In some cases, video footage from a security device may even assist a police investigation following a theft. Another reason to install a smart doorbell camera? It could make you eligible for a discount on your homeowners insurance!

a woman washing her hands

While washing dishes, my diamond wedding ring slipped off and was damaged in the garbage disposal. Will personal property insurance pay to replace it?

This is a great example of why it’s so important to inventory your valuables and make sure they have proper coverage. For example, your wedding ring may not be fully covered under your standard homeowners policy, and you may need to add itemized personal property coverage to your policy to protect your diamond wedding band from loss, damage and other unplanned events (like holiday dishwashing)!

a couple of kids playing in the snow

The kids went outside for a snowball fight, and one of them slipped and chipped her tooth. Should we make a claim on our home policy?

While it’s important to get your child’s tooth looked at and treated by a dentist, this type of incident is, unfortunately, not covered by your homeowners policy. On the other hand, if your child accidentally caused damage to someone else’s property during the snowball fight, it could be covered up to your policy limits.

a young girl using a laptop

My niece’s laptop got knocked off our counter and broke while she was visiting. Is that covered under her policy or ours?

Some types of insurance coverage can travel with you, so your niece should make a claim under her homeowners or renters policy to see if it provides this type of protection. Even though the incident occurred in your home, the damaged property doesn’t belong to you and, therefore, coverage would not be provided under your policy.

a desk with a computer on it

While our daughter was home for the holidays, someone broke into her apartment and stole all her electronics. Does her renters insurance cover this?

An unoccupied apartment over the holidays can be an easy target for thieves. Good for your daughter for carrying renters insurance! It can help replace stolen items after her deductible is met. She should periodically check that all her prized possessions are covered and that she is comfortable with her deductible. Helpful hint: She should also scan and save digital copies of receipts for covered items. This will speed up claims and help make sure she gets comparable replacements.

a person holding a phone

I was excited to show my brother my new motorcycle, but when I opened the garage door it was gone! Is my stolen bike covered with my insurance?

A sweet, new ride draws attention, maybe even the kind you won’t appreciate, so be prepared! If you have comprehensive coverage on your motorcycle, you’ll be happy to know a theft is covered under that. However, in addition to reporting the claim, please be sure you contact law enforcement!

a man holding a boat

The cooler temperatures made me miss the boat we bought last summer. It’s stored for the offseason, but do we need to keep coverage during winter?

Yes! Keeping your boat in tip-top shape means protecting it on the water and off. Of course, boating season varies state to state — and that’s why our watercraft insurance is designed with options to cover your investment, whether you’re boating year-round or seasonally. If your boat is stored part of the year and becomes damaged, comprehensive coverage (with some exclusions) can help get it repaired and ready for when it’s time to cast off again.

a red car with a grill

Once everyone leaves, we’re driving to Vegas. To be road-trip-ready, what should we include on our insurance and safety checklist?

Road trips can be a blast — especially when you know you can rely on your insurance when you need it! In addition to checking your liability limits and important coverages like collision and comprehensive, there are other add-ons, such as emergency roadside services, that can help give you extra peace of mind. If you experience a breakdown on the road, having this added coverage can help get your vacation plans back on track!

a person holding a red bow

What an eventful holiday! Would this be a good time for a home inventory to ensure we’re covered for our next celebration?

Yes! Gift-giving season often expands your personal property with the addition of high-value items, such as jewelry, expensive electronics or collectible art. Your agent will need to revisit your policy with you to see if you should increase your limits or provide special coverage such as itemization to broaden your protection.

Get ready to start saving

Whether you’re looking to put more money back in your pocket, more time back in your day or live a more sustainable lifestyle, we’ve got helpful tips waiting for you below.

There’s no place like home to find easy ways to save.

Here are our top 3 tips:


Build up your vacation fund one coffee cup at a time. Instead of splurging on that fancy daily latte (or other vice), challenge yourself to make it at home instead! You’ll save time, gas and be able to tuck away some extra cash for your trip.


Making your weekly to-do list while also completing a task for work? While multitasking has its benefits, focusing on one thing at a time can help you accomplish your tasks much quicker.


Check out If This Then That (IFTTT). It’s a web-based service that gets all your apps and devices talking to each other and eventually saves energy.

For more great ways to save, check out these resources:

Wondering how to save money on household expenses and monthly bills? Start building your savings with our tips on how to save money fast today!
If you’re trying to save energy in your home, using smart home devices is a great way to do that. Our list of smart tech solutions can help you cut back on energy usage and save money on your bill.
Going green doesn’t happen overnight. But there are some steps you can take today! Consider implementing these 5 eco-friendly habits.

There’s a simple way to save at every turn.

Here are our top 3 tips:


Check your car's air filter monthly. A dirty filter shortens the engine's life and can reduce gasoline mileage up to 10%.


Check your car's air filter monthly. A dirty filter shortens the engine's life and can reduce gasoline mileage up to 10%.


Skip the air conditioning and roll down the windows instead. It’s a lot more fuel efficient — plus you’ll get to enjoy the warm breeze on your face!

For more great ways to save, check out these resources:

Learn how to improve your gas mileage without trading in your SUV for a hybrid or electric vehicle. Learn what a good gas mileage is and how to get better gas mileage with our 14 tips.
Proactive car maintenance is easy and can help you extend the life of your car, save on gas and make driving safer. Take a look at simple ways you can make sure your car stays in top condition and keep it performing at its best.
These convenient apps are perfect for planning and enjoying road trips.

Every day is a good day to save.

Here are our top 3 tips:


Do your laundry in cold temperatures. Heating up the water in your washing machine is costly and most clothing washes just fine in cold water. While you’re at it, take advantage of the fresh spring air and hang your laundry outside to dry!


How much time have you wasted searching for your essentials before leaving home? Have a designated place to keep your keys, purse/wallet and phone so they’re always in the same place, ready to grab when you leave the house.


Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Repurpose old towels and t-shirts by cutting them into small cleaning cloths. Toss them in the laundry when you’re done and reuse them time and time again!

For more great ways to save, check out these resources:

Saving money is easy with these tips and tricks. Learn more about how you can start putting money away today for your goals tomorrow.
New technology can help make life safer, smarter, healthier and happier.
We’ve got some simple tips to help you get started down a healthier, happier, greener lifestyle. Begin the process of reducing your footprint today!

Agent Advice

Have an insurance question? Other customers like you do, too! Check out some of the latest questions, answered by American Family agents.

  1. A standard home policy protects your home against storm damage caused by things like wind, hail, lightning, wildfires, fallen trees and power surges. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes is typically not covered. The good news is that we offer additional coverage options you can add to your policy.

  2. There are tons of great options out there. I’d say a smart thermostat is a great choice because it only keeps your home at the temperature you prefer, it’s an easy way to lower your electric bills. Another one I really like is the smart doorbell. You can see who’s at your front door from your smartphone, which can help prevent package theft, among other things. I think everyone can benefit from a smart home security system, and there are plenty of choices, depending on the features you’re looking for. Preventative smart devices like a smart water leak detector are another thing to consider. Better to be prepared now than sorry later. You may also be able to save money on your insurance when you install certain smart home tech, which is another plus.

  3. That depends. If you work for an employer and have company owned equipment in your home, find out if they take responsibility for it. If not, talk to your agent to see what coverages you might need. If you have your own home business and have clients or work associates coming to your home, or store some type of inventory, you might need a business insurance policy. Give your agent a call to discuss your specific situation.

  4. Ideally before the work begins. You’ll want to make sure you have the right coverage in place to protect yourself should a contractor get injured on the job or there’s accidental damage to your property during the process. It might also be necessary to adjust the coverage on your home policy based on the improvements you make.

  5. When choosing a deductible, it’s important to know this basic rule of thumb: the lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay on your monthly premium. Your deductible amount should fit your personal preference and typically depends on what you can afford to pay out of pocket in the event of a claim. If you have an emergency fund set aside for those situations, consider increasing your deductible to save on your insurance each month.

  6. You should always fully understand how your driving habits might impact your coverage — carpooling included! If you’re a passenger, carpooling may reduce your overall mileage and qualify you for additional savings. If you’re the driver, having medical expense coverage can protect your passengers from unexpected events.

  7. Your motorcycle policy protects you in many ways, but there are some situations whereyou may need additional coverage. Be sure to keep our coverage all year round, even if you live in a colder climate. That way, your bike will always be protected. If you’ve customized your motorcycle in any way, be sure to update your coverage to reflect that as well. I’d recommend talking to your agent about which custom coverages would be right for you, so you’ll be prepared for anything on the road.

  8. As new RVers get used to life on the road, they can find themselves dealing with sewage management, leaking roofs and electrical issues. That’s why it’s so important to keep your RV in top shape with regular maintenance checks. To ensure your RV is covered from any other unexpected issues, like damage from low hanging branches, your agent can help you find the right protection.

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