It’s something that probably didn’t cross your mind when you bought your dad a new set of golf clubs, but now you find yourself the victim of a holiday theft. As frustrating as it may be, you cannot undo what has already been done; but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. If your holiday gifts end up in the wrong hands this season, the following tips may help you recover your loss.
Report Missing Items to Retailers and Carriers
With so many shipments passing through the hands of carriers, sometimes packages get lost. If your tracking numbers show that an item has been delivered, contact the carrier to find out if it may have been taken to the wrong location. In some cases, shipping insurance may cover lost or stolen items. If that doesn’t work, consider contacting the retailer about your missing purchase. Most will replace items that did not make it into the hands of the purchaser, although perhaps with the requirement of a signature upon delivery.
Check for Theft Coverage through Your Credit Card Company
Credit card companies are well-known for their willingness to offer exclusive benefits on purchases made with a card. If you bought an item online using a credit card, contact the issuer to find out if the purchase is insured against loss or theft.
File a Claim with Your Insurer
If you experience a significant loss – one that exceeds the deductible on your insurance policy – you may wish to submit a claim with your insurer. Insurance might reimburse you for stolen items even if they were intended as gifts for other people. However, you may need to provide copies of your receipts as proof of your purchase. Also, some items such as fine jewelry and furs may be subject to coverage limits.
Keep in mind there are affordable car insurance policies that include comprehensive protection for theft, but this is typically limited to theft and vandalism of the vehicle – not personal belongings inside of it. If you have gifts that are stolen from your vehicle, any claims would still need to be filed against the personal property coverage on your homeowners or renters insurance policy.
How to Prevent Christmas Gift Theft before it Happens
Remember, thieves would love to unwrap the presents under your tree, and they’re not any safer once the holiday has passed. In fact, your shiny new gifts may be targets for several weeks after Christmas, which means you’ll need to be extra vigilant in protecting them. Here are our tips for keeping your gifts from slipping into the wrong hands:
- Do not keep gift purchases in your vehicle in clear sight
- Have gift shipments sent to a local store, locker, or post office box
- Request signature requirements for deliveries to your home
- Track your items
- Purchase shipping insurance when possible
- Install a front door camera that activates when someone approaches
- Keep the lights on when you’re not at home, or rotate them on a timer
- Always lock your doors and windows
- Keep the alarm set on your home and vehicle