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My question is, 30 days? How slow is that bureaucracy?
Consider the fact that most of these things need to pass city council, fire department, and police department acceptance before they are approved. That helps protect YOU from some idiot who would just rubber stamp everything that comes before them. When people get injured and sue, they tend to sue EVERYONE, the haunt, the or company that runs it, the individuals involved, the property owners, the city, the police and FD, etc. So cities doing thorough inspections before they approve anything are actually saving you money and court time. Most city councils are made up of volunteers that only meet once or twice a month, and that they actually have more to do than just your haunt.
It's easy to say that none of the insurance or inspections are necessary, until it's you or someone you know that gets injured or killed, they you'll want to sue those same lawmakers and enforcers for their lack of diligence.

And if you are breaking the laws, especially if you are doing it knowingly, you are not "Good People".

CYA and BE SAFE
 

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My mom worked her whole life at insurance companies doing liability, worker's comp, etc. My stepfather was the CEO of a couple big insurance companies, and is currently on the board of a couple. The signs you have up... do squat. You'll still lose your house when you get sued (if your homeowner's doesn't cover you). Keep in mind that juries see injured people (especially injured kids) and think "oh the poor kid with all doctor's bills, well if the other people lose the insurance company that pays." And so the injured person will win. Always. So these cases NEVER make it to trial. NEVER. So you can put a sign up, little Johnny Spazo does something stupid, and gets hurt. His mommy sues you, your insurance settles out of court, you lose your coverage because you had a big claim and none of it was your fault.

So be careful and be smart. CYA.
 

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Having umbrella liability insurance to cover what your homeowner's insurance doesn't is not a bad idea if you're going to do a haunt on your property. We just have a front yard display, but I've considered picking up the additional insurance anyway just in case.
 

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I am struggling to find anyone that will insure our haunted woods. Every place that I have called locally just says they do not insure those types of businesses. Does anyone know of someplace I can buy it online? A friend of mine said they thought they knew of a place but the cost is 600.00 for just the month of October only. Is it normally that high? Just seems like a lot to insure a business for one month. But I guess considering this type of business, it probably does run pretty high.
 

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Ok, so the haunt is on the property that my father and I own. However, he actually does have a residence there, I do not. So, he can have coverage under his home owners insurance? Reading what everyone has written, combined with not being able to find an agency that will insure our business, has made me very worried about even having another season. Even if we have insurance, who's to say some idiot might not sue the hell out of us and take everything we own anyway? Maybe this is just not worth pursuing any further. I absolutely love doing the haunted woods, but I don't have the money to hire an attorney for this business. It doesn't even generate enough money for that expense, not yet anyway. With it being in the woods, I feel certain someone will at least fall down at some point in time, or some dummy run into a tree or something, even if they are not seriously injured. I don't want to loose our property because some jerk twisted his ankle trying to kick at a prop or tripped over something or whatever. Should I just forget about doing this all together? I planned on having insurance before we opened this year anyway. But, now I am thinking if someone can still sue us and take our property, even with having insurance, what is the point?
 

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I am struggling to find anyone that will insure our haunted woods. Every place that I have called locally just says they do not insure those types of businesses. Does anyone know of someplace I can buy it online? A friend of mine said they thought they knew of a place but the cost is 600.00 for just the month of October only. Is it normally that high? Just seems like a lot to insure a business for one month. But I guess considering this type of business, it probably does run pretty high.
One of the people that sponsored Transworld was a man named Donat. He was from Westland insurance. They had all these ads about no haunt too big or too small for their insurance. I didn't go talk to them, however, so that is all the information I have.
 

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Who you gonna call!

Hi, I've been using Ken Donat's insurance company. He has bought the haunted house business end of it and speciallizes in it. You can find him at Donat Insurance Services, LLC., www.DonatInsurance.com or [email protected].

I've had no problem with him coming up with coverage and everything was done over the web or phone.

I've been a firm believer in having too much insurance. Remember, it only takes ONE person to get injured.

My wife just said "What if they have a heart attack and no insurance?" I'll have to call Ken and see what he says.

CYA all the time!!!
 

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Interested in this, any additional information available? Links or such? The local school where I have my charity haunt uses ionization detectors and the local Fire Department says the fog will set them off...

RandalB
I know this is not about smoke detectors, but my girls had a dance at their HS with fog, set off the fire alarms, What a mess that was!:googly:
 

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I do a home haunt and am kind of lucky because the town I live in says I am actually covered under their policy because they have turned my haunt into an event for the week. With that said, we do not charge and my insurance guy said because there is no charge, we are covered under the homeowners anyway. the catch with that is we do not charge. Donations are always welcome! I think you have to buy commercial insurance of you charge even a dollar.
 

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DD, You might want to ask your insurance agent again and specifically tell him that you take donations, as in a donations box maybe??? I remember speaking with an insurance agent haunter years ago who said that donations were considered "implied admission fees", and that they would also void your homeowners insurance, maybe even supersede the towns coverage of your haunt as well.
 

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DD, You might want to ask your insurance agent again and specifically tell him that you take donations, as in a donations box maybe??? I remember speaking with an insurance agent haunter years ago who said that donations were considered "implied admission fees", and that they would also void your homeowners insurance, maybe even supersede the towns coverage of your haunt as well.
This is true according to our home owner insurance. This is why we carry an additional insurance policy for the haunt.
 

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I think what everyone is saying here is that it is better to be safe than sorry. Every state has different laws in how they define what a haunted house is. If you just let people walk by and see without them going into a building or property then you are probably safe.

But if you allow people to come onto your yard or you have a walk through then you really should check out how your local city says classifies your haunt. It really doesn't matter if you charge or not, heck even asking for cans of food to give to charities is a form of admission.

So I guess I would say, that it's better for all of us to check with our own insurance company and local city just so we don't get our you know what in a sling! :jol:
 

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As far as haunts go, we live in great times! Every age has its golden moment. NO WAY did this happen in The '70s! There may have been a few here'n'there for charity, but I don't recall.

Yup, good points raised. Best to be safe than sorry and as always, use common sense ... 'cuz I sure don't have taste, baby!
 

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what if, to offset the extra insurance fees and whatnot in october, your haunt group holds several charity drives and bake sales? then you won't have to give up on your haunt dream, because you'll have made the money for most of the fees already.

i believe that even if a haunt is really small or for a charity, you should run it like a business. businesses need plans, plans and more plans, and since we already take all year before and after the haunting season to prepare our props for our haunts, why not take all year to prepare the legal stuff, not just research to make sure our ducks are in a row the week or so before we open.

the insurance thing scares the bajebzus outta my hubbs. it's alot of money here. but i guess anything in this economy is alot. our insurance agent quoted us something horrible about 3 years ago when we first got our house, and it was so horrible i blocked it out of my memory.....but our agent acted like it was a hassle, and we shouldn't even attempt it.
later i find out that he has no knowledge the company's policies on haunt insurance and didn't want to look it up for laziness.
dar.
<3
 

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I live in a small town of like 1,000 people and as far as i know we have no codes. Hell we only have one cop! haha.. I do a walk through and i post a sign "enter at your own risk blah blah blah"... If you get hurt. Too damn bad i'm not paying for nuttin! Thats what the signs there for lol
 

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Frank, you can go to city hall and the fire department and request copies of the building and fire code. They have to give it to you because it is a matter of public record. You might have to pay a small fee for the cost of ink and paper. But, if it helps keep you from getting shut down, a couple of bucks is worth it, in my opinion.

That reminds me, I need to do that Wednesday...
 

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