The year-end festivities are just around the corner…and it’s also gift shopping season! Even though this time of year is usually associated with giving and sharing, some people see it as a perfect time to steal, instead! Here are three tips to help protect your property and holiday purchases from thieves, and reduce your chances of having to make a home insurance claim!
1. Be cautious when you’re shopping
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA), more than 22,600 instances of property theft in vehicles were reported in 2015 in Quebec.
When you’re doing your holiday shopping, always keep in mind that the risk of theft is higher. You should avoid leaving your purchases in your car! If you must leave your items in your car, take extra security measures:
- Place your purchases in the trunk, away from prying eyes
- Make sure you lock the trunk and the doors
- Make sure all the windows are closed
- If your car is parked in a shopping centre parking lot, change parking spaces in case a thief is monitoring your movements. This precaution may seem complicated, especially during such a busy time, but it’s well worth your while because it could prevent the theft of your items!
- Also follow our other tips to help you reduce the risk of theft of your vehicle’s content throughout the year.
Good to know: If your vehicle was damaged as a result of property theft, your home insurance will cover the stolen items, while your auto insurance will cover damage to your vehicle. In this situation, you would typically pay two deductibles. However, with some insurers like La Capitale, you only pay one deductible if you insure both your home and vehicle with them.
2. Protect your gifts or major purchases
Did you treat yourself this Christmas and take advantage of year-end sales to buy yourself a big gift, both in size and value? You’re likely just as excited as the thief who noticed the gift packaging sitting on your entrance. Here are a few recommendations by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC):
- If the item is delivered to your home, ask the delivery person if he or she can take the cardboard box back, and if applicable, with your old appliance.
- Don’t place the packaging of major purchases such as televisions, computers, large appliances, game consoles and other electronic devices, on the street.
- If the box is too large to fit in your recycling bin, cut it into smaller pieces to make it fit.
- If you can’t, keep it indoors and place it on the street only on collection day.
3. Take precautions when you’re away from home
Leaving your home to visit family or celebrate with friends? Whether it’s just for an evening or over several days, take certain precautions:
- Don’t advertise that nobody’s home: Install timers for some of your lights or install a system that works through an application that you can control remotely with your smart phone.
- Make sure the outside of your home, including the backyard, is well lit by installing movement detectors.
- Leaving for several days? Follow our tips to protect your home while you’re away.