Insurance companies see many claims during the holiday shopping season. Items get stolen out of cars or even from beneath your beautiful Christmas tree. Even though it’s the season for giving, it’s unfortunately, also the season for taking. There are a few steps below that you can take to prevent thieves from targeting you, your car and your home.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Don’t leave gifts and valuables in your car, even for a minute. Everyone knows that people are giving and receiving expensive jewelry and gadgets during the holiday season, so don’t invite thieves by leaving everything in plain sight. Also, avoid leaving your car unattended if it’s filled with valuables, including your cell phone and sunglasses. When it comes to Auto Insurance, don’t count on being covered for theft, unless your car is stolen. Remember, if any items get stolen out of your vehicle, Comprehensive Insurance will not cover the loss. You’ll have to file the theft with your Renters or Homeowners Insurance policy. It’s always wise to use an anti-theft device in your car. These gadgets may even earn you a discount on insurance.
Away from Home
If you’re out doing more holiday shopping for the evening, leave lights on. You might even want to leave the TV or radio on. This will deter thieves because they will think someone is home. Remember to lock all windows and doors. Keep all gifts, and possibly even your Christmas tree, out of plain view. If you’re gone for an extended period of time, it’s best to have someone house sit for you. If that’s not possible, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house, get the mail, shovel the snow and even park in the driveway occasionally to keep thieves at bay. Setting your lights to automatic timers is a great way to make it seem as if you’re home in the evenings.
Holiday Shopping Safety
Thieves and pickpockets lurk in crowded malls which is where you’ll likely find yourself during holiday shopping season. Stay alert of people around you and try to keep your distance from others. Carry purses close to the body and beware of straps that can easily be yanked. Men should place wallets in their front pants pockets to deter pickpockets. Avoid carrying lots of cash by using credit cards or checks if possible. Park in a well-lit area, lock your car and close all windows. If you have other items you’ve just purchased, put these packages in the trunk before you continue your holiday shopping. Again, don’t leave packages in plain sight. Hide them in the trunk. Otherwise, don’t leave your valuables unattended in your car for any period of time.
Hide Boxes from Gifts
Break down boxes left from gifts and hide them in the garage until your regularly scheduled garbage pick-up. Boxes give away pricey items like computers, speakers and TVs. Thieves will often search your garbage after a holiday to get a sense of what types of new equipment you now have in your home. Keep your friends’ and family’s generosity to yourself or you may lose it.
Keep an Inventory
As paranoid as you may feel doing it, it may not be a bad idea to photograph all your new items in case you do experience a break–in. Along with the photo, you’ll want to have a brief description and any serial numbers that apply. This information can make filing a claim much easier for you and the agent helping you. You should already have an existing inventory of valuables in your home. It should include TVs, cameras, jewelry, computers, office equipment and more.
Being properly insured is the best way to protect yourself. Your Homeowners Insurance or Renters Insurance is especially vital this time of year, when theft is on the rise. Bundling your Auto Insurance with your Homeowners or Renters Insurance is the easiest way to save money on your premiums. Talk to an Insurance Specialist about your needs so they can shop around and find a policy that works for you. You can give us a call at (855) 919-4247.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.