The Thanksgiving meal is over and the shopping season is beginning. Are you going to join the throngs of shoppers and brave the malls to find the perfect gifts for family, friends and loved ones? If so, let’s consider a question and reminder that can make this holiday season more enjoyable and help reduce your likelihood of being victimized.
Let’s set the stage for the question. You’re holiday shopping. You’ve loaded the car with perfect presents and gifts and you have one more stop before you call it a day. You park the car to run into the last store and pick up that last gift. After getting it you arrive back at your parked car, you discover broken glass next to your car. All the perfect gifts you purchased at the mall are gone.
- What kind of insurance claim is this?
- How can this be prevented?
What kind of insurance claim is this? If you answered auto claim, you’d be almost right, and same with home claim. The correct answer is both. How’s that?
- The broken window (glass) is the auto claim. Specifically it’s a comprehensive claim.
- The presents that were stolen are considered personal property or contents (even if they were intended to be given as gifts to other people) and that would constitute a home (or renters or condo) claim.
Just remember that if you live in Texas, you probably have a 1% deductible. That’s 1% of the dwelling value, the amount your home is insured for. If the value of the presents doesn’t exceed the deductible, filing a claim is pretty pointless.
The better question is how can this be prevented? In 1997, a Dallas based company, Hide Lock Take (www.hidelocktake.com), started a program to reduce auto theft. This program has helped reduce car theft and is even applicable in a case like this. I’ve seen their signs in the parking lots of businesses, malls and other locations. While the order of the words may vary, the meaning for the words is;
- Hide your things: Put your gifts in the trunk. If you drive a SUV or crossover, pull the screen closed. Have a Garmin or other GPS? Put them in a glove box. Nothing that could be considered valuable should be visible to a person walking by your car.
- Lock your car: This is a good practice no matter what time of year it is. Lock the car always. This enhances your safety and keeps curious people out.
- Take your keys: It almost seems too obvious to say, but never leave your keys in the car with the engine running because someone could simply sit in your car and drive away in it. But if you’re tempted to, read your auto policy first. Some companies will not pay on a claim for the car if this happened.
Have fun shopping! Enjoy the holidays! Just remember that some people are watching to see if you’re paying attention. Do you have a suggestion? Post it in the comments section below or on our Facebook page! We’ll all learn something.