The holiday season is a time for celebrating with friends and family. It’s also prime time for break-ins and theft. Start the holidays off right—and relieve some of your stress—by making sure your home and your car are protected with the right insurance coverages.
Good food, good cheer and—of course—gifts are focal points of the holiday season. The hustle and bustle, however, can blind us to heightened risk that surrounds us this time of year. Thefts and break-ins often increase during the holidays, since thieves know that many homes are empty and cars are stocked with high-priced gifts.
Use these five simple tips to protect yourself and your property this holiday season:
1. Always leave a light on. Everyone looks forward to long vacations over the holidays — especially thieves. Empty houses are prime targets for burglary, but hiding the signs of vacancy can fool thieves into thinking you’re still home. Leaving lights on, asking a neighbor to get your mail and setting automatic timers on holiday lights and decorations can give the appearance of being home. It’s also smart to do a home security check and make any necessary updates before you leave.
2. Put your car on lock down. Shopping goes hand in hand with the holiday season. As you rush from store to store, it’s easy to leave bags and packages in the back seat of your car—and in plain sight of thieves. Be sure to hide your purchases or put them in the trunk, park in well-lit areas, and lock your doors.
3. Protect your third-floor walk-up. Even security doors and building superintendents won’t deter a committed thief. But, there are steps you can take to help ensure your apartment is a secure as possible. The first—and perhaps most important—is to be vigilant. Ensure the locks on the building doors, whether to the laundry room, the bike room, or the outside world, are in proper working order. If they aren’t, call management. When leaving your apartment, be sure your balcony door is locked; thieves don’t always enter through the front door. And finally, check your windows periodically to make sure the hardware is secure.
4. Give yourself peace of mind. No matter how you prepare, theft can still find a way into your life. But, investing in homeowners, renters, and/or car insurance, can give you peace of mind and help you recover your seasonal cheer if a burglary does happen.
5. Know what you’ve got. If you become the victim of theft, it can make the claim process easier if you have a complete inventory of any missing items. One way to do this is to use a mobile app, like the Allstate Digital Locker, which allows you to organize your personal property by room, category, or in item lists. You can also photograph items and attribute a cost and quantity to each one.