Summer has flown by and just like that the Labour Day long weekend is upon us. While it’s an occasion that most BC households look forward to the 2020 edition certainly looks a bit different than those from the years prior. The standard long weekend insurance and liability safety guidelines? They still apply, but updates are required to account for COVID 19 among other current events. Before you gather up (from a safe distance) with friends and family and embark on a number of adventures for the weekend ahead, please review the following.
5 Tips to Keeping BC Households Safe and Liability Free During the 2020 Labour Day Long Weekend
Plan for Wildfires
We’re not out of the woods yet. Summertime wildfires remain to be a threat and with the long weekend forecast indicating hot sun with little to no chance of precipitation, conditions for forest fires are prime.
If you plan on staying home for the long weekend and you live in an at-risk area then please review our updated wildfire preparedness plan (for households) which accounts for COVID 19 concerns. You will need to be especially mindful if guests are staying with you as your “social bubble” is larger than normal and therefore extra precautions must be taken with respect to backup accommodations in the event of an evacuation order. The same (backup accommodations) is true if you’re staying in a hotel/motel in a “hot zone” as you may need to evacuate and head for another location.
If taking a long weekend road trip you must also watch out for wildfires. Follow our 5-step guide to staying safe when driving near forest fires along with our tips to highway driving amidst COVID 19.
Prepare for a Spike in Auto Theft Cases
Whether leaving your vehicle at a trailhead while you head out on a hike or parking near a campsite you need to prepare for a spike in auto theft from September 4th to 7th.
BC automobile thieves don’t take a day off during Labour Day long weekend. You may think that this “hands-on” crime has abated during COVID 19 but it has not. Criminals know that the public has let their guard down as they switch focus from crime to health and safety. Thieves are showing no mercy as evidenced by the fact that even frontline workers are targets. Last week during a major BC wildfire a local firefighter returned from the ravaged mountain to find that his truck stolen.
Skip Hosting the Labour Day Long Weekend Party This Year
COVID 19 cases are spiking as we head into the long weekend. The BC Government has made it clear that indoor social gatherings are to blame for a significant number of these cases. Not only do you have a moral responsibility for not playing host to Labour Day gatherings this year, there is a financial reason to boot. For one, municipalities are now handing out $2000 fines for those who violate rules. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the order will target anyone who hosts or organizes a large gathering such as a house party where public health orders are not enforced. Health orders such as enforcing physical distancing and contact tracing are required even for gatherings of under 50 people. Financial concerns may span beyond fines as there are social host liability implications to consider. If you host a Labour Day long weekend gathering at your home and do not following public health orders, guests who can show that they contracted COVID 19 at your party may have a case for making a claim against you in court.
REDUCE RISK OF Outdoor Recreation Liability
Given what we addressed above when it comes to indoor social gatherings outdoor recreation during the long weekend is certainly a better alternative. However, there is also liability risk to consider.
You already know to take precautions when it comes to popular long weekend activities such as boating. We have provided a 6-step guide to safe boating for your reference. But there are other outdoor recreational activities which also inflate liability risk that you may not know about. These Labour Day long weekend activities include canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, rollerblading, scooting, and even surfing along our beautiful BC coast. Fret not, because in true Park Insurance form we already have you covered for these as well. View our guide to mitigating the liability risk that comes with these outdoor activities.
KEEP UP TO DATE ON Travel Insurance
You can’t drive across the border, but you can fly. In fact, as of August more than 50 countries worldwide have now reopened to Canadian tourists. While the Government of Canada has advised against non-essential travel outside of the country some households are fatigued and are choosing international travel after 6-months of lockdown.
As with before, travel insurance should always be purchased. But is this even an option amidst COVID 19? Most Canadian travel insurance companies no longer cover international travel. That said, some do but are choosing not to cover medical costs associated with COVID 19 related symptoms and illnesses. However, a handful of insurance providers are covering medical attention for COVID 19 illnesses as long as it was not contracted before your coverage start date.
This is a dynamic and ever-changing situation and coverage may be pulled as certain locations may experience resurgences of COVID 19 cases. For this reason it is important to talk to an insurance broker about your existing travel insurance policy along with new offerings, extensions, riders, and what may or may not void them in light of recent events.
Contact Park Insurance for advice on this important matter.