The ease and convenience of online shopping appeal to many folks, assuming they actually get to claim their items when they arrive. When your packages disappear from your porch before you get the chance to grab them, you can end up losing a lot more than money. Package thieves cause unnecessary stress and frustration for homeowners everywhere, as more than 36% of Americans have reported having a package stolen at least once.
Considering that Americans order an average of 45 packages per year, fortunately there are some easy steps you can take to prevent your deliveries from vanishing. It can also help to get equipped with the proper homeowners insurance. An independent insurance agent can help you find the right coverage long before you need to use it. But for starters, check out our guide to preventing porch package theft and how the right insurance can help, too.
Seven Tips and Tricks to Help You Protect Your Deliveries from Theft
Nearly half of US residents report being hesitant to order things online because they're afraid of having their packages stolen.
However, following this simple checklist of ways to protect your deliveries can help ensure that you'll actually get the chance to claim and open your boxes.
Tip #1: Install a Doorbell Camera
The most popular option to catch porch pirates is to install a doorbell camera like Google Nest, Vivint, or Ring. Homeowners can record footage of their porches and other entryways around the clock with doorbell cameras, which would then allow them to prove to an insurance company that a package was in fact swiped from their home. Doorbell camera systems have been gaining tons of popularity in recent years, and have become a legitimate deterrent for prospective thieves.
Tip #2: Install Motion Sensor Lights
One way to deter porch pirates is to install motion sensor lights. These lights are activated when someone walks past a programmed spot on your property and can help to scare away package thieves. Not only that, but these lights can also help alert you when someone you're not expecting approaches, so you can react accordingly.
Tip #3: Use Amazon’s Smart Lock Kit
Amazon created its own service to help prevent porch piracy, known as the Smart Lock Kit. This service gives parcel deliverers permission to leave a package right inside your home. While this isn’t the most popular option currently and can understandably cause its own hesitation for some homeowners, it’s been gaining traction over time.
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Tip #4: Schedule Your Deliveries
If you have the option to plan or schedule a delivery for a day when you know you’ll be home, that’s an easy way to prevent your stuff from getting stolen. For example, if you’re always home on Saturdays, order from the online retailer on a day that will allow the delivery to fall on a Saturday. Amazon, in particular, has an organized system that allows customers to schedule their deliveries for an exact day, though it's relevant to keep in mind that scheduled deliveries aren't a completely foolproof system.
Tip #5: Get a BoxLock
A new popular option is to use a smart padlock box, known as BoxLock. Packages you order are scanned by the delivery person, and then your BoxLock is scanned. The BoxLock will only open for packages scheduled to be delivered to you. If you’re afraid of someone stealing the box with a package inside of it, you can padlock the box to your porch.
Tip #6: Ask a Neighbor for Help
If you have a trusted neighbor, you can ask them to grab your package for you and bring it into their house before you get home. This option can work well for folks who live in apartments and who may not have the option to install doorbell cameras or light motion sensors. However, it won't be the right choice for everyone.
Tip #7: Ship to an Alternate Address
If none of these other options work for you, you might consider having your packages shipped to an Amazon Hub Locker. Amazon Hub Lockers are found at many convenient locations like grocery stores, and you can have your packages shipped there at no additional cost.
You can also purchase a P.O. box from your local post office and schedule your deliveries to be dropped off there. That way you can gain added security for your mail and package deliveries. Both of these options can work well for folks who live in high-traffic areas, such as busy downtown streets.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Package Theft?
According to insurance expert Paul Martin, homeowners insurance does cover package theft, but it can get a little tricky. To file a successful claim, you’d need to be able to prove your package was delivered and then stolen, which can be a challenge. If the package wasn’t actually delivered, the fault would return to the sender, which is why large online retailers like Amazon photograph their package deliveries, so they can’t be held liable if a delivered package disappears. If your package was delivered and then stolen, it's considered your responsibility.
What insurance companies refer to as a “mysterious disappearance” of a package or other object doesn’t always indicate a theft. Even if you can provide proof of package theft, the issue is when the value of the goods you ordered exceeded your insurance policy’s deductible. Renters insurance deductibles can be lower, often between $250-$500, but home insurance deductibles are typically one percent of the total value of your home. Unless what you ordered was really expensive, it’s unlikely it will exceed this amount.
Keep Your Deliveries Safe
Since package theft is a very real threat, taking action steps ahead of time can seriously help to protect your deliveries from disappearing. Also, be sure to work together with an independent insurance agent to get set up with the right homeowners insurance or renters insurance for further protection on top of the other precautions listed here.
Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut through the jargon and clarify the fine print so you'll know exactly what you’re getting.
Independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best homeowners insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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