Ask an Agent: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fourth of July Fireworks Damage?

Independence Day celebrations can lead to insurance premium increases or policy cancellations. Here’s how homeowners can stay safe.

Cassie Sheets
Written byCassie Sheets
Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsData Journalist
  • 9 years writing data-driven content

  • Lifestyle contributor to 30+ local news sites

Cassie Sheets has a background in home and garden and real estate content. At Insurify, she translates industry jargon into insights that empower insurance buyers.

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Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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John Leach
Reviewed byJohn Leach
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John LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
  • Licensed property and casualty insurance agent

  • 8+ years editing experience

John leads Insurify’s copy desk, helping ensure the accuracy and readability of Insurify’s content. He’s a licensed agent specializing in home and car insurance topics.

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Published June 10, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT | Reading time: 3 minutes

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Fireworks caused an estimated 12,264 fires in 2021, including 2,082 structure fires and 316 vehicle fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Despite the risks, Americans love setting off fireworks.

Consumers spent $2.2 billion on 246.5 million pounds of fireworks in 2023, the American Pyrotechnics Association reported.

Buddy Parkhurst, a licensed insurance agent with Insurify, weighs in on what people can do if fireworks damage their property and whether insurance would cover the damages.

Does home insurance cover damage from fireworks?

Not if you live in a state that bans fireworks.

A standard HO-3 home insurance policy will probably cover fireworks damage to your house — but there are exceptions.

“In states where fireworks are legal, that [damage] is going to be covered. Insurance will cover some stupidity, but not pure negligence,” says Parkhurst.

Insurance companies will deny the claim in states like Massachusetts, where consumer fireworks are illegal. Insurers may also cancel coverage for policyholders who don’t follow their states’ regulations.

“If it’s a neighbor’s house that you damage, your neighbor’s insurance policy will probably cover damage to their stuff, but that insurance company is going to come after you,” says Parkhurst.

Standard home insurance policies also cover other structures, like fences and sheds, under Coverage B, but “if you have a fire in your yard, they’re probably not going to cover sowing your yard with new grass,” says Parkhurst. Some policies cover damage to trees and shrubs, which adds up for homeowners with expensive landscaping.

Human activity (like setting off a Roman candle in the backyard) causes a surge in wildfires around Independence Day, a study published in PLOS One found. Homeowners insurance generally covers wildfire damage, but insurers in some high-risk states, like California, have clauses that exclude wildfires.

What if a firework hits a car?

Yes – Usually, if you have full-coverage car insurance.

Fourth of July fireworks pose a risk to vehicles as well, causing more than 300 car fires in 2021. Comprehensive car insurance would cover the damage if a firework hits a covered car — after the owner pays the deductible, says Parkhurst.

If fireworks are illegal in your state, comprehensive coverage would still pay for damages caused by another party setting them off, just as it covers other illegal activities, like vandalism or theft. Insurers wouldn’t cover policyholders who cause fireworks damage to their own vehicles in states where fireworks are illegal, though.

Even if you have coverage, any claim can cause your premium to increase upon renewal, and full-coverage car insurance rates have already surpassed $2,000 per year.

Will homeowners insurance cover fireworks injuries?

Yes – Homeowners liability insurance helps pay medical costs.

Fireworks can have devastating consequences beyond financial costs. Eleven people died from recreational fireworks use between June 17, 2022, and July 17, 2022, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Emergency departments also treated 7,400 of the 10,200 annual fireworks injuries in the same one-month period.

Firecrackers and sparklers might seem less dangerous, but they prompted 1,300 and 600 emergency department visits, respectively, during the CPSC study.

Homeowners insurance can help pay for injury-related costs, but coverage is limited. Most policies provide a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. This would apply if you’re found liable for someone’s injury from a firework.

“If somebody is hurt, and they try to sue you for their injuries, you’ll have at least that $100,000 there, typically,” says Parkhurst. “Medical payments [are] covered on home insurance policies, but the range is kind of low.”

Medical payments, also known as Coverage F on home insurance policies, generally range from $1,000 to $25,000.

Still lighting fireworks this year? ‘Be prepared, be smart, and be safe’

Setting off fireworks can have financial consequences, even if the damage is covered. Parkhurst says policyholders who file such claims should “absolutely” expect to see premium increases upon renewal. In some cases, the insurer may even decide not to renew the policy.

“The [insurance company] might cancel, and it could impact future policies,” says Parkhurst. “If you try to shop around and get a new insurance policy, and there’s a half-a-million-dollar fire claim or a liability claim, that’ll definitely impact future eligibility with almost every insurance company.”

U.S. homeowners already face average annual home insurance rates of $2,377. Premiums increased by nearly 20% between 2021 and 2023.

But for those who plan to set off fireworks anyway, Parkhurst advises they wait for a week with some rain. “Try not to shoot in the fields or on other people’s property. Just be super diligent. Fire extinguishers are awesome. Water hoses are awesome. Just be prepared, be smart, and be safe.”


Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsData Journalist

Cassie Sheets has more than nine years of experience creating compelling content for clients, brands, and local news sites. She started her career at Movoto Real Estate, where she transformed dry data into interesting insights for potential homebuyers. She’s since covered a wide range of topics, from pop culture news to home and garden trends.

Before joining Insurify, Cassie wrote engaging landing pages and blog posts for medical practices at MyAdvice. Now, she uses her knack for diving into the latest data and pulling out key details to empower insurance buyers.

Cassie holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. In her free time, you can find her exploring the city with her dog, trying not to fall over in yoga classes, and petting cats at the shelter.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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John Leach
Reviewed byJohn LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
John LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
  • Licensed property and casualty insurance agent

  • 8+ years editing experience

John leads Insurify’s copy desk, helping ensure the accuracy and readability of Insurify’s content. He’s a licensed agent specializing in home and car insurance topics.

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