Don’t Be a Victim of Christmas Crime; Be Prepared!

08 Dec
Christmas Crime and Home Insurance Claims

Did you know that 44% of the people questioned or roughly 100 million Americans said they had been victims of burglary, robbery or another form of theft.

The Christmas season is now upon us, the stockings are hanging from the mantel and gifts are piled up under the tree. While nobody ever thinks they are going to be the victim of Christmas crime, it happens more often than you think.

Regardless of whether your Christmas presents are stolen from under the tree or a Christmastime thief breaks into your car out at the mall, your first question is probably going to be, are my losses covered by my insurance policy.

According to a nationwide survey by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, 44% of the people questioned or roughly 100 million Americans said they had been victims of burglary, robbery or another form of theft. Unfortunately, only 40% of respondents said that their stolen property had been insured.

So, the big question is, are you covered? Luckily, in most cases your losses should be covered by your home or renters insurance. Even holiday gifts that were stolen from your car would be covered by a homeowners policy. It is important to remember that your deductible will come into play.

Christmas Crimes and Insurance

The bad news is that when you file an insurance claim related to Christmas gifts for any other type of theft for that matter, you first have to pay your policy deductible. According to industry experts, the average homeowner’s deductible is $1,000, which will probably put a pretty big dent in your holiday shopping budget.

In addition to having to pay the deductible, there is a good chance your insurance rates will go up if you make a claim. A theft claim can often boost your premium by 10 to 15%.

All this means you may want to seriously think about filing an insurance claim for Christmas crime. Obviously, if you have lost a number of high value items filing an insurance claim may be your only option.

If you do decide to file a claim having receipts for all of your presents will help the claims process go quickly and smoothly.

What Types of Christmas Crime Happen?

Presents being stolen from your home or car are not the only type of Christmas crime that occurs. Here are a few other Christmas felonies that occur on a regular basis:

Stolen Decorations

Outdoor holiday decorations such as inflatable Elves, lights, or even Nativity scenes can become the victims of thieves or even mischievous teenagers. According to law enforcement experts stolen, damaged or destroyed Christmas decorations are fairly common occurrence during the holiday season.

This type of theft or damage would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy but it would be subject to your policy deductible, which means that unless you have some very pricey decorations a claim on your homeowners policy would probably not make financial sense.

Boosted Deliveries

As more people shop online and have Christmas gifts delivered directly to their porches, the risk of porch theft increases. Family members often ship boxes of gifts to sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, all of which are ripe for the picking. Shockingly, deliveries are stolen from houses so often there is a name for these kinds of criminals.

Porch Pirates boost deliveries off of people’s porches, even going so far as to sign for deliveries. While most deliveries from Amazon or other big-name retailers would be fully insured, gift boxes from family members might not be completely insured.

If this is the case you may not be able to recover full value from the shipping company leaving you on the hook for the difference. In this case your homeowners insurance would pay this type of claim. If the packages were shipped via the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS or other shippers, your homeowners policy should help cover your losses. Again, the payout will be minus the deductible on your policy.

Stolen Jewelry

Jewelry or other valuables that might be stolen by a holiday visitor or guest at your holiday party would be covered. Unfortunately, these losses would also be subject to your policy deductible.

It should also be noted that most homeowner policies have a coverage limit on high-value items. If you have a large amount of valuable jewelry, art, or other collectibles you may want to consider a high-value rider, which will extend coverage to those items.

While nobody wants to think that a friend or neighbor would steal their property, it does happen. If you are having a holiday party, lock up valuables and keep your guest out of bedrooms or other areas where high-dollar items are kept.

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