INDIANAPOLIS – As Independence Day celebrations kick off this week, the use of fireworks may increase in your area. The Indiana Department of Insurance is warning Hoosier homeowners and renters that accidental damage caused by fireworks that are banned in their counties may not be covered by their homeowners or renters insurance policies.
Many insurance policies contain provisions disclaiming coverage for illegal acts committed by the insured. However, consumers who experience property damage due to another person’s use of fireworks may be able to claim benefits under their homeowners or renters policy.
Indiana Fire Marshal Jim Greeson pointed out that the fourth of July has the largest number of building fires on a single day than any other day of the year.
“It’s important for Hoosiers to consider the consequences before using fireworks,” said IDOI Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson. “If someone using fireworks accidentally starts a fire, to their own property or that of their neighbors, they may not be able to turn to their insurance company for coverage.”
In 2017, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, 77 percent of all reported firework injuries occurred from July 1 -7, and 39.5 percent of all firework injuries occurred on July 4. Firework use on private property accounted for 61.3 percent of reported injury cases.
The following are laws governing fireworks in the Hoosier state, and many towns and cities have additional ordinances that Hoosiers must follow:
- Fireworks can be purchased only by persons 18 years of age or older.
- Fireworks may be used:
- on the user's property;
- on the property of someone who has consented to the use of fireworks on that property;
- at a special discharge location.
- Consumer fireworks may be used only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on most days that are not holidays.
- On holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year's Eve), fireworks may be used between 9 a.m. and midnight.
- On June 29-30, July 1-3 and 5-9, fireworks can be discharged until two hours past sunset. (Check with local officials to see when fireworks can be discharged as local ordinances may further restrict usage.)