Tailgating season is upon us. Well, more like it’s always on, but it gets the most attention in football season. It’s one of the grand traditions of being a sports fan – getting together with a few thousand people in a parking lot and grilling some good eats. It’s come a long way from a Smokey Joe, a cooler, and the tailgate of the truck folded down – there are some tailgating vehicles that are so high-high end that you’d almost rather stay in the parking lot. Unfortunately, tailgating is also getting a lot of negative attention for incidents that result in thefts from vehicles, injuries and arrests for criminal behavior, violence, and public drunkenness.

Five Things Your Insurance Will Pay For

  • Ford Flambé. You’ve got your grill blazing and loaded up with all the goodies you can imagine. However, did you know that cars are flammable? Grilling too close to the car, or sticking a still hot grill in the back of the truck could have you coming back to melted tires and blacktop. It’s not covered on your regular policy, but if you have comprehensive, you’re in luck.
  • Vandalism or theft. Someone busts out your windshield and breaks into your car to steal everything not attached to the frame. Someone keys the opposing team’s logo into your paint. Maybe your team wins and a riot means that your car has been used as a trampoline. Again, comprehensive insurance is your friend in case of vandalism and civil disturbance.
  • Met Sal Monella. Food poisoning can be severe enough to admit victims to the hospital, and if you pass around a bad batch of wings, you could be sued to cover your buddies’ medical bills. Luckily, if you have a homeowner’s or renter’s policy, you’re covered by the personal liability aspect of your policy up to a specified limit.
  • Fender bender. A lot crowded with cars piloted by unpredictable humans often has a few occasions where there’s impromptu bumper cars. Your auto policy will cover repairs to the other car, while your collision rider will pay for your damage over your deductible.
  • Car foul. If, in your fannish enthusiasm, you damage someone else’s car or other property – like that 70” 4K curved big screen in that guy’s truck bed, or that $25,000 grill that came in its own van, you should be covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s personal liability coverage.

Tailgating should be an enjoyable experience for everyone, and responsibility should not be checked at the curb. All we can say about drinking to excess, violence, and Being That Guy is – don’t do it. Nobody wants to be That Guy, and all things being equal nobody wants to be That Person, either. However, insurance being what it is, maybe one company will come up with I Was That Person insurance and people will pay a hefty premium to be covered in case they behave like these guys.*

*Not really safe for work.