Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Avoid being the victim of package theft

December is the season for shopping for gifts, which means it’s also prime Grinch season for car break-ins and thefts.

Theft from a house

Packages left on porches by delivery services, and pre-wrapped presents under the tree, are vulnerable for theft, and proving the value and ownership might be a challenge. According to Property Casualty 360, 26 million Americans have had a holiday package stolen from a front porch or doorstep.

Talk to your agent about this type of theft and what you would need to prove you had your property stolen from your porch, driveway, mailbox, or house. Most insurers require a police report to accompany theft claims.

A couple of things to consider to try to avoid theft:
  • Have your package delivered to a friend or family member who is home during the day. 
  • Ask the vendor if they can deliver to a secure location. For example, Amazon can delivery packages to Amazon lockers. 
  • Consider installing security cameras. They are widely available and have become more affordable as the technology improves. Some insurers offer a discount on homeowner policies if you have a security system – talk to your agent or broker about that. 

Car break-ins

If you find yourself the victim of a car break-in when you have a car full of gifts, your homeowner or renter insurance will cover the contents, but there could be dollar limits on certain types of property. Talk to your agent about any policy limits that may apply to certain types of personal property.

If you decide to file a claim – for instance, if your car was damaged during the theft -- make sure you have receipts for what was stolen and a copy of the police report, if you filed one. However, you should consider whether your claim amount is more or less than your deductible. If it’s less, not only will you pay more than the value of the goods, but you may not want to run the risk of your insurance rates going up as a result of the claim.

It’s best not to store packages or valuables in your car. If you need to, stash them away out of plain sight before you park. 

More info