One of our more enduring holiday stories is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, beloved in part for its simple lesson: The people around us are more important than the things we have.
But for public adjusters and people in the insurance world, there’s a much less pleasant truth to the story: People like to steal stuff around the holidays.
Whether it’s someone breaking into your car while you’re at the mall or burglarizing your home while you’re out visiting relatives, thefts claims in Bucks County and surrounding areas tend to increase around the holidays.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to offer these tips for protecting yourself against holiday thefts.
It’s a busy time of year. You’re shopping, decorating, traveling or getting ready to host guests, all while still trying to juggle work and family obligations.
It’s easy to get distracted this time of year and to overlook the potential risks for thefts. Burglars know that many people are traveling and have homes filled with newly-purchased, high-cost gifts.
The last thing you want to do is make their job easier for them and spend the holiday filing property insurance theft claims. Bucks County residents can protect themselves and their homes by:
- Making it seem like you’re at home – Leave lights on when you go out, set up a timer to switch on your holiday lights or Christmas tree and ask a neighbor to pick up your mail if you’ll be out of town for more than a day or two.
- Locking up – It’s simple but crucial: when you go out, lock your doors. Many thieves simply slip through unlocked front doors. Make sure all your doors are locked and check your windows every now and then to make sure they’re secure.
- Customizing your deliveries – Like many people, you might do a bulk of your holiday shopping online. Rather than worrying about packages sitting out in the open all day, you can customize the delivery times and locations to keep them out of sight, or simply arrange to have them held for pick-up at the delivery carrier’s location.
In the car
To avoid having to deal with holiday-related theft claims, PA residents can protect their cars by taking the following steps:
- Never leave valuables in your car – When you’re out shopping, keep valuables out of sight. Put them in your trunk, park in a well-lit area and be sure to lock your doors.
- Store your car in a locked garage if at all possible. If you have to park your car outdoors, leave an exterior light on.
- Keep your windows rolled up and your car alarm armed.
- Hide phone chargers or any other devices that might hint that you have a phone or GPS in your car. Keep key cards and garage door openers out of sight as well, as these can give a thief access to your home.
The holidays are stressful enough without having to work with homeowners insurance claims. PA residents who have been down this road before will tell you that theft claims are often one of the more complicated claims to make.
There’s no property left behind for insurance companies to evaluate and the market value of some objects can change, which can lead you to being offered much less than what is fair.
That’s where a public adjuster can help. They’ll be your advocate when you think your insurance company isn’t dealing fairly. If you’re dealing with theft claims in PA or NJ, Interstate Public Adjusters can help.
We’ll work with you to make sure you get the settlement you’re entitled to from your insurance company. Contact us today to learn more.