The holiday season is here and with it comes holiday parties, lights, decorations, and of course, shopping at malls and online. In addition to the shopping centers and malls being crowded with shoppers, there are people looking to cash in on what you just purchased for the special people in your life.
The holiday season is a busy time for thieves too. On Monday, I outlined 6 steps each of us can take to avoid a home break in during the holidays (see http://126.96.36.199/~wiseinsu/avoiding-a-holiday-home-break-in/), and I wanted to follow that with 3 steps we can take to avoid our cars being broken into now and throughout the year.
Hide: Hide everything in your car including phones, purses, workout bags, briefcases, and gifts. Put them in the trunk, or if you drive a SUV or crossover, pull the rear screen so nothing is visible. If you have a Garmin or other non-factory installed GPS put them in a glove box. Nothing that can be considered valuable should be visible to a person walking by your car.
Lock: Lock your car, always. This is a good practice no matter what time of year it is. This keeps you safe and curious people out.
Take: Take your keys with you, even if you’re running into a Starbucks to pick up a quick cup of coffee. 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.
Remember to pay attention when leaving your car and walking into a store, as well as when returning to your car. If you see someone standing in the parking lot simply watching cars and people, report it to security or the police. They may be a spotter looking for an easy target.
There’s one last note worth mentioning, and that is if your car is broken into, and gifts, or anything else is stolen, there will be two potential insurance claims. Your car insurance policy will cover any damage to the car, such as a broken window, but not the items stolen from the car. Any valuables or gifts would be covered by the home insurance policy and subject to the policy’s deductible. In Texas, that’s usually 1% of the home’s insured value.
Have a safe and enjoyable holidays! Share your questions, comments, and experiences with us on our Facebook and Google + pages. I’d love to hear from you!