Ways to Prevent Package Theft This Christmas

18 Dec
Avoid package theft this Christmas

Did you know? It is estimated that 23 million Americans have experienced packages being stolen from their homes.

The Christmas season is upon us and that means presents, lots and lots of presents. Shopping online has reached epic proportions with UPS estimating in 2015 that it shipped 630 million packages during the holiday season.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s package will arrive, or more accurately, it will arrive and will then be promptly stolen from their porch. While the majority of delivery companies don’t keep (or at least release) statistics on stolen packages, a 2015 report from insuranceQuotes.com estimated that 23 million Americans have experienced packages being stolen from their homes.

Dubbed “Porch Pirates”, these thieves follow delivery trucks around and then dash up and grab packages shortly after they are delivered. The stolen merchandise is then sold online or on the street.

Will Homeowners Insurance Cover My Loss?

While your homeowners or renters insurance will cover stolen packages, in most cases, the deductible will be higher than the value of the package so unless you have something truly expensive stolen from your porch, it won’t make sense to use your homeowners insurance.

While deductibles vary, and you can choose your own deductible, the average homeowners deductible runs between $500 and $1,000.

It’s also important to note that making small claims on your insurance policy will push up your insurance premium. Experts recommend saving your insurance for major incidents and paying small losses out of pocket.

If you do decide to use your insurance, be prepared to prove the package was stolen and not lost in transit as your insurance company will only cover lost packages after they have been delivered.

Prevent the Theft of Gifts

While your homeowners insurance may cover the loss, preventing the theft in the first place is the best policy. Here are a few tips on how to keep your deliveries secure:

Security Camera: The price of security cameras has dropped significantly in the last few years and it is now affordable to have a camera on your porch or a doorbell camera. These cameras will alert you if someone is on your porch or at your front door and allow you to talk to that person. While the thief may decide to grab the package anyway, you may be able to startle them enough to prevent the theft and turn any recordings over to the police.

Office Delivery: Consider having your packages delivered to your office or the home of someone who is home most of the time, like retired parents, to minimize the chance of theft. If you live in an apartment or condo, request that packages be delivered to the leasing office to help prevent theft.

Have Your Packages Held: All of the major delivery companies will gladly hold your packages at their local office and you can pick them up there. This will absolutely prevent theft but you will have to travel to the office to pick them up which can be a hassle. Most companies will hold packages for up to five days but check with them on their policy before requesting your packages be held.

Request Signature Confirmation: If your package contains something very expensive or a sentimental item that you would be devastated to lose ask for a signature confirmation. This way the delivery company must get your signature upon delivery, ensuring it will be put into your hands and not out on the porch.

Amazon Locker: Depending on where you live, you may be able to have your Amazon packages delivered to a secure locker. Amazon has set up lockers in select locations and they will email or text you the code to open the locker. Packages can stay in a locker for up to three days.

Use Delivery Instructions: You can leave delivery instructions to request that your package being left on a back porch or by the back door or somewhere out of sight and a bit more secure. Be sure to include delivery instructions when ordering if you want to go this route. You can also request it be delivered to a neighbors house if you have a neighbor who is usually home.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your packages safe this holiday season.

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