It’s sad but true — the holiday season is prime time for theft. Protect yourself against would-be ne’er-do-wells with these holiday safety tips from We Insure.
1. Don’t broadcast travel plans. As tempting as it may be to post pictures of your family ice skating at Rockefeller Center, resist the urge. You may think you’re just sharing with friends on social media, but the internet’s call letters are www (world wide web) for a reason. Post as many pictures of your holiday adventures as you like — once you return.
2. Don’t leave tell-tale boxes for expensive items curbside. Television boxes that get tossed to the curb let everyone know the make, model and size of your brand-new 4K TV. It’s a burglar’s dream because it signals which homes to target to score the latest electronics. Break down boxes and place them inside your bin for stealthy recycling.
3. Use programmable lights. Keep thieves guessing if you’re home with programmable lights. They may be the oldest trick in the book because they work! Set up lights in various rooms to turn on and off on a random schedule.
4. If you’re traveling, hold the mail or have a neighbor take it in. The USPS offers a hold mail service that you can request online or in person at your local post office. Either choose to have your mail delivered upon your return or pick it up when you get back. Having a neighbor collect your mail and check in on your home is an even better solution because they can inform you of any trouble — and no one you don’t know will have the information that you’re away.
5. Never leave deliveries unattended. Arrrgh … the dreaded porch pirates! Theft of boxes left at the doorstep during work hours has sadly become commonplace. Fortunately, you can protect yourself from pirate plundering with a little pre-planning and creative thinking. Ship items to your office or to a stay-at-home neighbor. Some delivery services can send your packages to a safe place until you can pick them up. FedEx has arrangements to store Amazon deliveries in special lockers at local retailers.
6. Lock doors and keep valuables out of sight. An unlocked door is an open invitation for unwanted visitors. It goes without saying that you should always lock your doors, but even the most diligent people can let their guard down from time to time. Another tip is to tuck your laptops, iPads and other valuables away from sight. Teaching your kids these simple safety habits will prepare them for when they live on their own someday.
7. Guard against identity theft. The holidays are a good time to check your statements twice to find out if someone naughty is stealing your identity. Review them line by line for extra charges from purchases you didn’t make. Sign up for credit alerts from one of the credit monitoring services available online.
8. Make sure you’re properly insured. Standard homeowners insurance policies cover theft of personal belongings from your home but may exclude high-ticket items like jewelry, electronics and cash. These more-expensive items are popular holiday gifts, but your current policy may limit (or exclude) reimbursement for them, so you may need to add a rider to have them covered. Your local We Insure agent will be happy to provide you with a fast and free homeowners insurance quote. And we can shop over 100 top-rated carriers to find you the best deal on the coverage you need.
Take these tips to heart this holiday season to protect your family and belongings from unfortunate events. From We Insure’s family of service providers across the United States to yours, Season’s Greetings and a happy and healthy New Year!