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  • Reuland Law, LLC

Insurance and Fireworks: A Word of Warning This Independence Day

Damages from fireworks might not be covered by your insurance.


In Illinois, many types of fireworks are illegal. Insurance coverage rarely protects people from illegal behavior. Be careful this Independence Day if you decide to light off any fireworks, not only for your own safety and the safety of those around you, but also because loopholes in your insurance coverage could leave you paying for all of the damage on your own.


Legal and Illegal Fireworks in Illinois

Illinois regulates fireworks, including through the Pyrotechnic Use Act. You can read that statute at 425 ILCS 35/1. This is one of the main laws that governs the sale, possession, and use of fireworks throughout the state. Read the laws and consult with an attorney if you are wondering what specifically is legal and illegal. But generally speaking, most fireworks are illegal in Illinois for use by regular consumers. Illegal fireworks include bottle rockets, roman candles, helicopters, missiles, pin wheels, sky lanterns, and firecrackers. The Pyrotechnic Use Act does not regulate specified “novelty” effects from its main definition of fireworks. In other words, certain fireworks like snake pellets, small smoke devices, party poppers, sparklers, and other types of devices associated with fireworks are not regulated by the Act. The Illinois Fire Marshal’s website does a nice job providing additional information if you'd like to read more.


Exclusions to Insurance Coverage

We buy insurance to protect us from what happens at home, including what might happen during our leisure time, during family celebrations, and when hosting parties. However, insurance companies usually carve out an exception to coverage when it comes to illegal activities. If there is damage to someone or something at your home that's caused by an illegal firework, then there’s a good chance that your insurance company won’t pay.


Know Your Insurance Policy and Stay Safe on July Fourth

Insurance companies often classify illegal fireworks-related incidents as intentional acts or illegal activities. Therefore, the damages caused by the activity can fall under various policy exclusions. In theory, exclusions deter individuals from engaging in illegal actions and discourage the associated risks. Homeowners should take the time to learn about the specific coverage limitations in their policies and understand the potential financial consequences of illegal fireworks.


There is no substitute for reading your insurance policy. It should clearly state what is covered and not covered. There is also no substitute for consulting with an attorney if you have any questions about the law or how the law might apply to your specific situation.


Reuland Law wishes everyone a safe, happy, and legal Fourth of July!

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