Dept. of Insurance warns you about consequences of fireworks

With Independence Day celebrations, comes fireworks. While much has been made about fireworks safety, along with where they can be legally set-off, one group wants to remind Hoosiers about another potential issue that could arise from improper use.

The Indiana Department of Insurance says that there are several state laws governing fireworks, as well as additional ordinances in many cities and towns. Jenifer Groth, a spokeswoman with the agency, is warning Hoosier homeowners and renters that accidental damage caused by fireworks that are banned in their counties may not be covered by their homeowners or renters insurance policies. She says that many insurance policies contain provisions disclaiming coverage for illegal acts committed by the insured. However, Groth says that residents who are injured or have property damage due to another person’s use of fireworks may be able to claim benefits under their insurance policy.

“It’s important for Hoosiers to consider the consequences before using fireworks,” said IDOI Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson. “If someone using fireworks accidentally starts a fire, to their own property or that of their neighbors, they may not be able to turn to their insurance company for coverage,” he says.

Groth cites the National Fire Protection Association, which says that more fires are reported nationwide on Independence Day than on any other day of the year. From 2009 to 2013, the organization says that fire departments across the country responded to an average of 18,500 fires caused by fireworks, which included 1,300 structure fires.