As Halloween approaches, insurance claims for unexplained disappearances are expected to increase, according to Travelers Insurance claims data from 2011 to 2021. Renters and homeowners insurance claims related to a “mysterious disappearance” increased by 5% on Halloween and 3% on Mischief Night, which is the night before Halloween.
However, not all insurance policies offer blanket protection to policyholders for lost or damaged property. Some policies may have clauses that explicitly deny payment in cases of such a “mysterious disappearance.” According to Don Griffin, Vice President of the Policy, Research and International Division at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, “If it disappeared under mysterious circumstances, a lot of times it means it’s not covered.”
Even when insurers pay a property claim, mysterious disappearance or otherwise, policyholders aren’t necessarily covered for the full cost of replacing an item. Sub-limits may apply, such as a maximum $2,000 for jewelry, $2,500 for furs, $3,000 for electronics or $5,000 for artwork. Policyholders may have to pay a higher premium to cover the full cost of valuable items, such as art collections or jewelry.
Thus, it’s essential to review insurance policies and check for any gaps in coverage. In many cases, policyholders can opt for additional coverage, including a separate “schedule” for specific items. Supplemental coverage may also help fill any financial gaps resulting from a mysterious disappearance.
“Insurance policies can be confusing, and it’s important to take the time to understand what is and isn’t covered,” said Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance at the Consumer Federation of America. “If you’re unsure, reach out to your insurer or agent to ask for clarification.”
policyholders need to be aware of their insurance policy’s clauses and limitations regarding mysterious disappearances. Checking for gaps in coverage and buying supplemental coverage may help fill any financial gaps that may result from such events.