You’ve probably seen them in music videos and blog fails. Where you won’t see them are on a long list of university campuses, airplanes and football stadiums.

Hoverboards have earned a bad rap since they swept the hot holiday gift list in 2015, and not just because of their inaccurate name. The two-wheeled toys have been reported to spontaneously catch fire and cause major damage. So much damage, in fact, that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has officially deemed them unsafe. A quick online search will show you how destructive they can be – not just to your post-spill posterior, but also your property.

Here’s what you need to know to minimize your risk:

  • Faulty lithium ion batteries inside the hoverboards have been identified as the primary cause of fires. In this case, it’s possible that the manufacturer would hold some responsibility.
  • If you have one, do not walk away from the device if it’s plugged in to charge.
  • If you experience damage related to a hoverboard, call your insurance agent before you clean it up or throw it away so that evidence can be preserved for the claims investigation.

If you still have insurance questions, talk to a local Erie Insurance agent. In the meantime, maybe we can come up with a more accurate name for these devices than “hoverboard.” (Bruise inducers? Fun busters?)