If children or young people get too wild on Halloween, fun can quickly become expensive and serious. Then insurance can help to avoid being left with the costs incurred.

When darkness falls on the evening of October 31st, it’s the hour of witches, wizards and vampires. Scarily made up, they ring the doorbell in the neighborhood. They belt out a quatrain and demand sweets. Otherwise there is something sour and a prank is played on the miserly neighbor.

Actually, Halloween is a more than 2000 year old Irish custom that Catholic immigrants brought to America. There they celebrated the holiday “All Hallows’ Eve” on the night of November 1st. In Germany it is the night of the Catholic holiday All Saints’ Day.

Germans now spend a lot on Halloween: Kiel University of Applied Sciences estimates that they spend around 200 million euros a year on costumes, decorations, sweets and parties. And that, although only around 50 percent of Germans want to make the children happy with sweets on this day.

With the right preparation, the festival is also safe for the little ones. How to use the knife should be practiced before they carve a creepy grimace into the pumpkin – under supervision. They shouldn’t stumble over their robes, which are made from materials that are as flame-retardant as possible. Reflectors that can be quickly attached to the costume ensure that the group of children can be seen clearly even in the evening traffic.

Peter Schnitzler (born 1979) is an expert in liability, household and residential building insurance. The graduate musician and business economist has been working for the ERGO Group since 2010.

While small children usually only go from house to house singing, some young people come up with really scary ideas for Halloween. Then it doesn’t stop with the raw egg that was thrown on a window pane or the toilet paper in the tree. Then, the next morning, property owners are surprised at graffiti daubed with ketchup or real paint on their house walls, demolished mailboxes or overturned garden tables. This can then be a case for homeowners insurance.

Depending on the contract, in addition to e.g. storm, pipe water or fire damage, it also covers vandalism damage to the house. This includes intentional damage to or destruction of the outside of the house and garage as well as the garden fence. Theft of things that are permanently attached to the outside of the house can also be insured. In an emergency, it is important to document the damage immediately, to report it to the police, to avoid consequential damage and to inform the insurance company. Damaged items should not be disposed of before the insurer settles the claim.

Although children up to the age of seven are legally incapacitated, their parents are liable for damages under certain conditions. This applies if they have violated their duty of supervision at the decisive moment. If children and young people between the ages of seven and seventeen make serious nonsense, it depends on their personal level of development and their spiritual insight. Age, maturity and the nature of the offense are decisive. As soon as the children have been able to foresee the consequences of their actions, they also bear responsibility for them and can be held liable for damages if necessary.

From a legal point of view, it always depends on the individual case. Even on Halloween, large sums can quickly be involved. Then a legal dispute threatens, for example if a car is scratched or the front door is demolished. If the parents have taken out family liability insurance, their children are also insured. This also applies to damage caused by children under the age of seven who are incapacitated. The so-called child damage clause applies here.

Adult children are also covered by family liability insurance as long as they are in vocational training. This becomes relevant when, for example, teenagers throw firecrackers through a mail slot. These can not only ignite a carpet inside the house. In the worst case, people can even be injured by a fire. Such damage to property and personal injury can quickly run into the millions.