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Be safe, not sorry, this holiday season

A little prevention, insurance protection can go a long way

Tis the season for gifts and family celebrations, bonfires and feasts. Amid all the festivities, please keep the following in mind:

  • December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month ( If you are impaired while celebrating, don’t get behind the wheel. An automobile crash will increase your insurance costs. Plus, you will be inconvenienced while your vehicle is being repaired, and, in the worst-case scenario, someone could be hurt or killed. If you’ve been drinking, be responsible and use a designated driver or an Uber to reach your destination safely.
  • Prevent Blindness America has declared December Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. Your health insurance may require that you first pay a deductible for treatment, and you will waste hours of your precious holiday sitting in an emergency room, if an unsafe toy causes injury.

Balloons can choke or suffocate a child, so discard any burst balloons right away. Toys with small parts can pose a choking hazard to young children. Also make sure to review the age appropriateness of gifts you give to little ones.

Riding toys such as bikes and skates can result in falls, causing concussions, abrasions or worse. Ensure that helmets and proper safety gear is worn. Discarded wrapping paper, boxes and plastic should be removed right away.

  • Expensive gifts warrant a call to your insurance agent to ensure they are properly covered. Beautiful jewelry or art, vehicles and more require protection for their value and any liability exposure. An appraisal or invoice may be required to add fine art or jewelry to your policy, and stand-alone coverage also may be available.
  • With all the season’s great parties and plentiful food, be certain to keep up with your exercise and medication regimen so you do not need to use your health insurance due to illness.
  • Large events hosted at your home or business where alcohol is served could increase your liability exposure. For such occasions, consider getting protected with event insurance.
  • December brings colder weather in most areas, along with potential threats to your home, car and business in the form of fires, burst water pipes and dangerous road conditions. There are more home fires during December due to additional cooking, decorations catching fire, candles, fireplace issues and brittle Christmas trees.

Take precautions to avoid having to file insurance claims. Confirm that your smoke alarms are functioning, and have an escape plan in place with which all family members are familiar.

Be safe, and enjoy the holidays!

Written by Angelyn Treutel Zeringue

Angelyn Treutel Zeringue is President of SouthGroup Insurance Services, a CPA, PWCAM, CBIA and licensed Trusted Choice Insurance Agent. Reach her at, (228) 385-1177 or

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