Alert: NY Homeowners Insurance Policies May Not Cover Fireworks Damage or Injuries

Jun 28, 2019

28 Jun
2019
Helpful Tips & Ideas, Homeowners Insurance

Alert: NY Homeowners Insurance Policies May Not Cover Fireworks Damage or Injuries

by Jane Donahue

Independence Day is right around the corner. That means it’s time to fire up the grill and watch the fireworks on Coney Island or from Macy’s as they burst over the East River.

If you’re new to the city, here’s some news for you: Those are just about the only two places you can watch fireworks, because New York and New York City have some of the most strict fireworks laws on the books of anywhere in the country. 

Fireworks Laws in New York

Nowhere in New York State are you allowed to set off airborne fireworks. “Sparkling devices” are legal everywhere in the state — except in the Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond and Schenectady counties.

According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, sparkling devices are defined as “ground-based” or “handheld devices” that emit “a shower of colored sparks and/or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke.” They may only be bought and sold from June 1st to July 5th from these approved vendors.

When a Homeowners Policy won’t Cover Damage or Liability 

Every year, fireworks start 18,500 fires, cause tens of millions of dollars in damage and send nearly 13,000 people to the emergency room. 

Most NY homeowners insurance policies will cover property damage caused by fireworks — but with some major exclusions.

  • If fireworks are illegal in your area, your insurance policy is unlikely to cover any damages or medical liability claims they cause. 
  • Double check your liability coverage. If you set off fireworks that damage a neighbor’s house, you could be stuck with the repair costs. 
  • The cause of the accident is important. If you are shooting fireworks at someone or using them irresponsibly, your insurance carrier may not honor your claim. 

Metro NYC Homeowners, Renters and Condo Insurance

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We write NY homeowners insurance policies for residents living in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Orange counties.

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