Lit jack-o-lanterns can lead to a fire if they're not handled with care.

How insurance protects when Halloween is more trick than treat

Trick-or-treaters will be hitting the streets in the coming hours, bent on taking advantage of the sugary treats that neighbors will pass out to those who "dare to enter." And while the visitors they receive will predominantly be well-meaning children, there's a chance homeowners and renters may be preyed upon by tricksters and rabble rousers, as mischievous teenagers are wont to do this time of year.

"Halloween pranks are generally covered by auto insurance or homeowners insurance."

The following are some of the Halloween pranks that are covered by either auto insurance or homeowners insurance.

Egg splatter

Who knows exactly how it started, but many Halloween pranks involve items that are more associated with Easter, only non-colored. The sticky, yoke substance that oozes out of cracked egg shells can do a real number on the siding of homes, not to mention vehicles that can cause staining if it's not cleaned up quickly. Fortunately, egged vehicles are covered through a comprehensive automotive coverage, and a standard homeowners policy provides for these incidents as well should egging cause damage or vandalism.

Broken or damaged windows

Pranksters also often target car and home windows, frequently using a bar of soap that doesn't help windows look cleaner but does make for a frustrating experience when trying to wash it all away. Should windows become damaged, insurance can help pay for the cost of replacement, but once again, coverage for cars must be of the comprehensive variety, which is an optional plan.

Toilet papering

The morning after Halloween, you may find your neighborhood or yard to be decked out with toilet paper, whether it's dangling in the trees, stuffed into mailboxes or wrapped around your car. Another tactic tricksters use is saran wrap, tightly encircling a vehicle with the sticky substance, making it virtually impossible to access the doors without a pair of scissors. This is typically considered to be vandalism, which with a comprehensive policy is provided for with auto insurance.

Fire

Arson is no joking matter, which is why you rarely find Halloween prank shenanigans going this far. But there are those cases in which a fire starts after lighting a jack-o-lantern. Safety officials recommend not using an actual candle to light the interior of a jack-o-lantern but rather a light bulb that runs on a battery.

Parties that get out of hand

With Halloween being a holiday, you may want to throw a party on Oct. 31, where all the attendants are dressed in some kind of costume, making for an eventful and fun evening. But crowded locations may bring scuff damages to the floor or broken furniture.

Michael Barry, vice president of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute, noted that homeowners insurance serves as a reliable backstop to these types of developments.

"If you're worried about Halloween party goers who may cause damage to your home, there's probably little to fear," said Barry. "But do contact your insurance professional with questions or concerns about your homeowners or renters insurance policy."

Additionally, injuries that take place are also generally provided for, protecting homeowners from liability as well as renters through renters insurance.