Fall is quickly coming upon us again. You know what that means. The leaves are changing color. The temperature starts to drop and we finally get a break from the heat. And last but not least….it’s time for some football!
And with football comes the awesome experience of tailgating. But did you know with tailgating actually comes a lot of risks, financially and personally you may not be thinking about?
First Things First…Enjoy The Tailgate.
Here are 9 Quick tips to help you be ready for an awesome tailgate…
1. Research the site: Are you even allowed to tailgate there? If you want to grill, can you use an open flame?
2. Check the time: When do the gates open, and when do you want to be in your seat watching the event? Don’t try to make a slow-cooked pork shoulder if you only have a few hours before the game. If you have a two-hour window of time, choose fast-grilling items like sausages, shish kebabs, or flank steak. Remember that you’ll also need to factor in time to heat up the grill, especially if you’re using charcoal.
3. Finger food always rules: It’s easy to eat standing up and leaves one hand free for fist-pumping. Plus you’ll have less trash if you’re only using napkins. Hot dogs, chips and dips, cut-up vegetables, quesadillas—anything that doesn’t have to go on a plate is fair game.
4. Don’t cheap out on coolers: You should have at least two—one for food and one for drinks, so people aren’t rummaging around the bloody bags of meat to get a beer.
5. Don’t be a moocher: Essentials that are often overlooked are plenty of napkins, extra fuel, lighters, bottle openers, sanitizing wipes for whoever is handling the meat, extra bags of ice, trash/recycling bags, extra clean bags for leftovers, and extra water for hand-washing. Don’t forget basic grilling tools, too: tongs, foil for keeping things warm (plus it doubles as a grill brush in a pinch if you wad it up and rub it on the grill with your tongs), and a spatula.
6. Prep at home: That means more time to apply that face paint. Marinate kebabs, cut up vegetables for dippin’, make your dips and sauces, form your burger patties, and soak your wooden skewers (so they don’t catch fire on the grill). If you’re serving cocktails, mix up batches in advance so you’ll just have to add ice and/or club soda on-site.
7. Pack smart: You don’t want to end up with watery wings and contaminated side dishes. Use resealable plastic bags for marinating meats, as well as for fruit, vegetables, frozen things, sausages, and hot dogs. Use resealable containers for anything crushable—dips, sauces, and salads. If your containers don’t seal tightly, wrap plastic wrap around them. Pack the food cooler right: Raw meat goes on the bottom, vegetables on top. Given that, try to pack things in the reverse order that you will be using them—i.e., snacks on top, side dishes below that—so you don’t have to dig around.
8. Don’t forget the most important thing: But if you do, here’s how to open a beer with (a) a pen; (b) a piece of paper; (c) your forearm; (d) a carabiner; or (e) another beer. And if you’re bringing a keg, here’s how to tap it.
9. The food’s also pretty important. Check out our full gallery of tailgating recipes with all the fuel you need for a good parking lot party. Some highlights: Ginger Mojitos for a Crowd, Grilled Maple-Mustard Chicken Wings, Grilled Steak Quesadillas, Grilled Shrimp-Boil Skewers, thePerfect Cheeseburger, Celery and Olive Orzo Salad, and S’more Bars.
Now For The Risks – Car Insurance Advice For Tailgaters
Probably the best part of tailgating is the food There are few things better than food cooked over an open fire. The key word here is fire. A fire that gets out of hand can be very destructive to your vehicle. Another cause for concern is vandalism. Most fans understand football is fun and take things in stride. Unfortunately some people take the love of their team too far. Lastly, there is the risk of theft. In such a large area, a car can be susceptible to theft.
What You Need
Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage.
The good news is all the above exposures can be covered by carrying Comprehensive coverage on your auto policy. Comprehensive covers fire, vandalism, theft, and any other claims other than collision.
The Worst Case Scenario – True Story
It’s a Monday Night Football game and everyone is having a great time at the tailgate. The Redskins face off against the Steelers for a primetime matchup. These particular fans head into the game and watch their Redskins get burned by Pittsburgh. Grab your “terrible towel” because this is where it gets ugly.
The fans return to their tailgate spot and to their surprise the car had been stolen. Or was it stolen? There was police tape all around where their pre-game tailgating took place.
Their car had caught fire from the grill left out while they were in the game. The fans returned to a pile of ashes.
Have a great season!
Hopefully your most stress tailgating this year will be deciding between burgers and brats, but if a claim arises we will be here.