How to Keep Your Holiday Deliveries Safe
By Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you are buying gifts for other people or treating yourself with seasonal deals, the holiday season usually means a spike in packages delivered to your place of residence. With millions of packages expected to arrive on doorsteps this week following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is also the time of year for porch pirates.
According to a 2017 survey from InsuranceQuotes.com, almost 26 million Americans say they’ve had a package stolen from a porch or doorstep during the holidays. Here’s what you can do to stop thieves from running off with your gifts.
• Consider Shipping Insurance
Shipping insurance is sold by postal services, courier companies and shipping-insurance companies. Not all insurers will insure all goods. However, if you’re ordering high-value items online, you may purchase shipping insurance to ensure its delivery.
• Give Specific Instructions
Instead of having deliveries left unsecured at your front door, you can instruct drivers to leave a package at a back door, with a building superintendent, in a coded lockbox or with neighbors. You can also have deliveries placed on hold and request a specific delivery time. Most, but not all, of these services are free.
• Install Security Camera or Video Doorbell
Security cameras or video doorbells can also come in handy. The mere presence of these cameras or smart doorbells may be enough to ward off the potential package thieves. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll at least have evidence for a police report. Bonus: installing these cameras may qualify you for a homeowners’ insurance discount.
• Sign Up for Tracking and Alerts
Most carriers offer package tracking services and text or email alerts so you know when a delivery will be made and can adjust your own schedule accordingly. Sign up for text or email notifications to check your delivery status.
Finally, if your package is stolen here’s what you can do.
• Contact the Seller—File a claim with the seller and ask for a replacement.
• Contact the Shipping Company—File a claim with the postal service that shipped your package. FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL and Amazon have a claim-filing system to help you track down your package.
• Check Your Credit Card—Many credit cards have purchase protection that covers lost or stolen items. Make sure you used a credit card to purchase the item.
• File an Insurance Claim—If you have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, it may cover mail theft. Keep in mind that filing a claim only makes sense for high-value packages worth more than your policy’s deductible.