INDIANAPOLIS — With Independence Day fast approaching, the Indiana Department of Insurance wants Hoosier homeowners and renters to know that their property insurance may not cover the use of fireworks.
Many homeowners and renters insurance providers don’t provide coverage for illegal acts committed by insured, including the illegal use of fireworks.
This includes the use of fireworks that are banned in certain counties, the use of fireworks outside of permitted times, and fireworks bought by those under the age of 18.
While the insured may lose their insurance after an incident containing the illegal use of fireworks, those who “experience property damage due to another person’s use of fireworks” may be able to claim benefits under their homeowners or renters insurance, the department said.
“It’s important for Hoosiers to consider the consequences before using fireworks,” Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson said in a news release. “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.”
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security reports that 77% of all reported firework injuries occurred from July 1-7, and 39.5% of all firework injuries occurred on July 4.
In Indiana, fireworks may be used on the user’s personal property, on the property of someone who has consented to the use of fireworks, or at a location designated specifically for the use of consumer fireworks.
Fireworks can only be purchased by someone 18 years or older, used only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on most days that are not holidays, from 5 p.m. until two hours past sunset on June 29-July 3, from 10 a.m. to midnight on July 4, and from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset on July 5-July 9.
The Insurance Department also advises to check local fireworks ordinances to see if there are differing hours, or additional regulations. The department can assist Hoosiers with insurance questions and can provide guidance in understanding how insurance policies work.