During the holiday season, most of us are focused on family gatherings, good food and giving back. What most of us don't think about is the rise in theft during the holidays. Homes are burglarized, contents are stolen from cars and people’s identities taken — start thinking about these ways to protect yourself from thieves this holiday season.
Holiday Theft Protection
Your home: With all those extra presents sitting around the house, your home can become a target. As soon as you bring the new purchases into your home, take photos and write down serial numbers of your items. Keeping the receipt will also help if you need to file a home insurance claim due to theft. Don’t advertise on social media that you will be traveling during the holidays. If you're travelling, let your neighbors and postman know. Your neighbors may be able to lend a watchful eye and perhaps collect any mail or packages that could accumulate on your doorstep. Nothing says “we aren’t home” like a week’s worth of mail or a stoop full of boxes.
Your car: If you plan on having a marathon shopping day, don’t leave your purchases where they can be seen. This applies to the car trip home as well. If you're planning to make stops, lock your purchases in the trunk and disable the trunk release. That may help deter thieves looking for a quick score. You should never store purchases in your vehicle for an extended period of time. Auto insurance doesn't cover items that are not a part of your vehicle. For example, if your car was broken into and a wallet and stereo were stolen, you may be reimbursed for the stereo, but may not be covered for the wallet. Personal possessions are likely omitted from your car insurance coverage.
Your identity: Identity theft is a year-round issue, but during the holidays, this type of theft is even more common. Make sure when you're out and about to keep a close watch on your wallet or purse. Keep records of your credit card transactions, and check your billing statements often to spot any discrepancies. If you do a lot of online shopping, make sure to verify that the sites you purchase from are reputable and have good security. Sites that are https:// secured, or Norton or Google verified are a great place to start. If you do notice a fraudulent charge or suspect your identity has been stolen, be sure to immediately alert your bank, credit card companies and in some cases, your insurance agent (as home insurance can sometimes cover identity theft).
With these theft protection tips, keeping your home, car and identity safe during the holidays (and the rest of the year) will help you focus on the excitement of the season. Talk to our personal insurance advisors to learn whether your home insurance offers protection against identity theft.