Porch pirates plundering your parcels? You may already have the protection you need
Shopping online may help you beat the holiday crowds, but you’ll have to deal with one added risk: that some Grinch will pinch your gifts right off your doorstep.
A full 30% of Americans say they’ve had a package plundered, according to this year’s Porch Pirate survey. That’s way up from 18% last year.
But many homeowners don’t realize that their trusty home insurance policy probably covers stolen or damaged goods — even if those goods never make it past their home’s threshold.
Explore all your options
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Before you set up some Home Alone-style booby traps to protect your future purchases, remember that you’ve got a few other avenues to explore.
Retailers and shipping companies aren’t required by law to give you a refund if the package was delivered properly — but some have more Christmas cheer than others, so it’s worth asking.
If you used plastic to make the purchase, that could come with theft protection of its own. A good credit card might offer you coverage of up to $500 per claim, for example.
However, credit card purchase protection is often considered “secondary coverage,” so it may only take effect after you’ve exhausted your home insurance.
Pull out your policy
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Standard home insurance policies typically provide you with at least partial coverage for your belongings, both inside and outside your home. That can include items stolen from your car, your hotel room and, yes, your front porch.
Keep in mind that any items you claim will need to be worth more than your deductible. Ritzy jewelry or the latest electronics could fit the bill.
They’ll also need to be expensive enough to be worth risking a hike to your premium — though if you haven’t checked around for lower prices recently, you could already be overpaying by as much as $1,000 a year.
If your insurer denies your claim or jacks up your rates, that could be the prompt you need to find a better, cheaper provider. Some policies also have higher limits for stolen items, so it pays to compare.
This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.
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