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For all the shiny gifts and sweet treats that come with the holiday season, there are some unsavory characters waiting for a chance to hit your holiday pay.
If you’ve ever had a big holiday shopping, chances are you’ve kept some of your purchases in your car while you continue to browse and shop at other stores. After all, lugging multiple bags and awkwardly shaped boxes can get tedious.
But all those store brand bags and gift wrap can get the wrong attention.
Cars are a common target for opportunistic thieves: 27% of 2019 thefts came from motor vehicles, according to the FBI’s uniform crime report. The mean value of stolen items was $ 1,012.
If you are the victim of gifts stolen from your car, you have coverage through your renters, condo, or home insuranceYou may be required to provide receipts or bank and credit card statements to verify the amount of the merchandise. You also usually need to file a police report to make an insurance claim for theft.
A theft claim check will be reduced by your deductible amount.
For example, if you have a deductible of $ 500 and the total value of your insurance claim is $ 1,000, you will get a $ 500 insurance check. If the total value of your claim is less than your deductible amount, there is no point in getting a File a claim.
If the thief damaged your car while breaking in, for example by breaking a window or locks, you can file a claim under the comprehensive insurance part of your car policy. This claim would also have a deductible, separate from the home insurance deductible for the stolen gifts.
Here are a few tips to help prevent theft from your car:
- Do not leave the gifts in plain sight. If possible, keep your gifts in your trunk.
- Keep accessories and other items out of sight. Your gifts aren’t the only items that catch a thief’s attention. Sunglasses, change and accessories for expensive items such as smartphones and tablets can tempt a thief.
- Don’t leave your car unlocked and active. Even when it’s cold, don’t run the car with the keys in the ignition and the heating on, even if you’re running into a store quickly. That is an easy target for thieves.
Are gifts stolen from my home covered by insurance?
Thieves can also target gifts in a home, especially when they know there are new merchandise out there for the taking. Burglaries – defined by the FBI as “ unlawful access to a structure to commit a crime or theft ” – have decreased by more than 48% since 2010, the FBI said. Nonetheless, there were more than 1.1 million burglaries in the United States in 2019.
And while you might assume that most burglaries happen at night, you’re more likely to be hit when the sun is up. More than half of all burglaries take place during the day. If you come home from work and find that your gifts have been stolen, you have coverage through your home, tenants, or condo insurance
If you must file a burglary and theft claim, here are some types of coverage that may apply.
- Home coverage. This pays for repairs to your home if it was damaged during a break-in, such as a broken door frame. If you are a tenant, the landlord’s insurance will pay for the construction damage.
- Personal property coverage. This pays off to replace the stolen items.
- Cover of other structures. This coverage pays off to repair freestanding structures. For example, if a thief has damaged a shed door.
Here are a few tips to prevent your gifts from being stolen from your home:
- Lock your doors and windows when you leave your home.
- Do not hang your gifts where they can be seen from the outside.
- When you’re gone, turn on the lights and a television (or radio) to make it look like someone is home.
- Install security equipment such as deadbolts on exterior doors, motion sensors, burglar alarms that alert the police, and smart appliances and connected home technology with burglar alarms.
Does home insurance cover theft from porch pirates?
You may have heard of “porch pirates” – thieves who swipe parcels from outside your front door. With the rise of online shopping, parcel theft is a growing problem. Americans order an average of 45 packages per year, and 36% say a package has been stolen, according to a 2019 report from C + R Research, a market research firm.
Your home insurance covers the theft of personal property, including package theft from your porch. You will likely need to prove that your package was delivered and stolen. You can usually do this with tracking numbers and other forms of evidence such as Ring camera video.
If the package is lost in transit, the fault will likely fall to the sender, in which case your home insurance policy will not cover the loss.
Here are some tips to thwart porch pirates:
- Install a doorbell camera. This smart home technology allows you to record videos of your porch and entrance areas, which you can then provide to the police and your insurance company as proof of theft. Doorbell cameras from providers such as Google Nest, Ring and Vivint.
- Install motion sensor lights. These lights are activated when someone walks past a sensor and can help deter thieves.
Have the courier hold your package. Carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS offer to hold packages, which you can then pick up at the carrier’s local store.
- Have your package sent to a local store. Some online retailers, such as Target or Home Depot, offer you the option to shop online, but collect the package from your local store.
- Use alternative delivery methods. Amazon lets you choose a specific day for delivery, which you can schedule for a day you know you’ll be home. You can also use other methods such as having your package delivered to an Amazon lockbox or using a smart padlock box. Another option is to send your package to an alternate address where someone will receive it, such as your office or a trusted neighbor.
Insurance tips for vacation theft
Getting your gifts stolen this holiday season is a real buzzkill. Not only do you have a deductible, but you may also not receive insurance in time to purchase a replacement gift. Here are a few proactive things you can do to soften the blow of stolen gifts.
- Schedule valuable items. If someone in your household receives a gift of great value, such as an expensive piece of jewelry, work of art, collector’s item, or musical instrument, it is a good idea to ‘plan’ it. That’s because most home insurance policies have sub-limits on stolen items. For example, your policy may only pay up to $ 1,500 for stolen jewelry. Planning items insures them of their true value.
- Update your home inventory. A good one house inventory displays all of your items and their estimated value. If your home has been broken into, a home inventory can help you determine if items other than those under your Christmas tree have been swept.
- Add personal cyber insurance to your policy. Even an online gift can be stolen by criminals. Some have hit you with online scams, ransomware, and other deceptive tactics, such as fake charities tugging at your vacation heart. Depending on your insurance company, you may be able to add personal cyber insurance as an approval for your home, renters or condo insurance.
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