The holidays are here! While many of us are thinking about what gifts to give, thieves are planning a holiday of their own. So how do you protect yourself and your gifts and give yourself peace of mind during this busy time of year? Fortunately, we have a few simple tips and additional insurance coverage that can help protect your belongings.
Safety Tips for the Holidays
Staying safe this holiday season doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start simple and think about these safety tips before you sink into the holiday haze.
- Beware of Porch Pirates A recent study from the insurance industry revealed that more than 26 million Americans have holiday packages stolen by porch pirates. Bold thieves are even stealing packages off porches in broad daylight while people are at home. Schedule deliveries for when you are home, or send them to friends or family. You could also ship them to a UPS or FedEx facility. Devices like Amazon’s Alexa can also alert you once an item has been delivered so it’s not sitting on your front porch for everyone to see (and someone to steal).
- Shop with Confidence Make sure you are shopping with reliable, trusted online retailers, and look for certified payment options like Venmo or PayPal. Be cautious when on public Wi-Fi. Because Wi-Fi typically isn’t secure, purchases and credit card information may be vulnerable to cybercriminals.
- Watch What You Post Sharing is caring – but oversharing online can leave you vulnerable to thieves. Think before you tell the world that you’ll be out of town for the holiday or post your vacation photos to Instagram. It’s especially important to make sure your address isn’t in any posts. Take a close look at your photos for any revealing or personal information before posting them online or sharing them with the public. And wait to get back from your trip before you post those vacation pictures.
- Be Careful with Curbside Trash If you do make a large purchase, make sure you break down the box and hide the labels before you leave it at the curb. Thieves like to target houses that throw away boxes for TVs, gaming systems, computers, and other expensive items. Don’t make your house a tempting target.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings During the holidays, retailers offer extended shopping hours to accommodate people who shop after work or need those last-minute gifts. The later in the day you shop, the darker it will be when you get home. So, make sure your driveway is well lit, and assess the area before you get out of your car or enter your home. Does anything seem off? Is the door cracked open or unlocked? If anything looks suspicious, don’t enter. Call the authorities just to be safe.
- Protect Your Purchases After you spend time shopping for the perfect presents, make sure to keep them safe. While we don’t recommend leaving them in the car, if you do, don’t leave expensive gifts on the seat. Hide them in the trunk, and make sure your car is locked before you leave it.
If you’re purchasing expensive items such as cameras or jewelry, think about making sure they are covered as “scheduled items” on what is known as an insurance rider. Standard policies offer very limited protection (only $1,500 total for jewelry) for theft of small valuables and won’t cover some types of breakage (such as of your new camera or lens). After you finish your holiday shopping and have pricey new valuables in the house, it’s important to talk to us to review your coverage and ensure you’re protected in case a thief targets your home during or after the holidays.
Make Sure You’re Covered This Holiday Season
The holidays should be the happiest time of year. Savvy safety precautions and appropriate coverage give you extra layers of protection to ensure your special gifts, guests at your holiday party, and your family are safe against any holiday thieves. Contact one of our Risk Coaches™ to help make sure you have the coverage you need. Call 800.342.5342 , Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Contact us today!