The holidays are fast approaching and that means the gift-giving season is upon us. While it may fill most of us with holiday cheer, there are always a few people out there looking to steal that joy – literally. With people rushing about, leaving gifts in their cars, and home filled with extra valuables as the gifts are prepared, theft is on a lot of minds. Follow these tips to prevent thieves from ruining your holiday.
Holiday Shopping Safety
There’s nothing more tempting to a thief than a car full of expensive gifts sitting in a parking lot. Theft out of cars is all too common, and sadly easier to get away with than burglary from a home. When you are out holiday shopping, be aware of where you park and where you leave those bags and packages.
Choose a parking spot that is near other parked cars and in a busy area. If you are shopping at night, be sure to park in a well-lit area where a thief won’t be able to hide what they are up to in the shadows. Many shopping center parking lots have surveillance cameras. If possible park near one or even near a sign warning of surveillance as it may act as a deterrent.
Keep shopping bags locked in the trunk of your vehicle. If you have an SUV or minivan that does not have a trunk, use a cover over the storage area in the back, or hide packages as best you can using blankets. Report any suspicious activity in the parking lot area to store security. It’s always a good idea to shop with another person, especially at night as there is safety in numbers and a thief is less likely to approach you as a target.
Installing an approved anti-theft device is always a good idea; and it can also save you money when obtaining car insurance quotes.
Safety at Home
Once those packages are safely home there is still the risk of a break-in. Keep your home as secure as possible. The holidays are a good time to invest in a security system for your home, and you may even qualify for a discount on your homeowners insurance for having it installed.
Simple steps can also be taken to reduce the risk of a home burglary. Use motion activated lights around the outside of your home to help keep away those who might not want to be seen. It’s also a good idea to install a timer on your outside lights that will come on even when you are not home. This gives the illusion that someone is at home and may deter potential burglars.
Keep your doors and windows locked even when you are at home. An unlocked door or window is an invitation that could have a thief in and out of your home quickly.
How Your Insurance Covers You
In the event of a theft, your homeowners insurance is there to help you recover your losses. Many people are not aware the at home insurance policy covers your personal property not only at home but also anywhere you might go. That means that your holiday gifts are protected in your car and anywhere else you are. Your property is also protected if you are travelling for the holidays to spend time with family and friends anywhere in the world.
To help your insurance company in the event of a claim, keep receipts for newly purchased gifts in a safe place. Carry them separate from the gift itself; ask cashiers to hand the receipt to you directly rather than putting it in the bag. This will help to keep track of the value of any items that might be stolen.
You don’t have to own a home to get this protection. Tenant’s insurance policies for those who rent are also available and come with the same benefits. If you don’t currently have tenant’s insurance, now is a good time to consider getting a policy. It will protect not only your holiday gifts but all of your personal property.
When it comes to keeping thieves out of your car and your home during the holidays, a few protective measures and smart decisions can go a long way. Think ahead and take every possible precaution to avoid giving a thief the chance to get at your holiday gifts and other personal property this holiday season.