Preventing Holiday Package Theft

December 1, 2018

Tis the season… for package theft? NBC Boston just released an article detailing the theft of ten packages from the homes of one Quincy neighborhood. Massachusetts police warn residents to take special care if they are expecting deliveries this time of year. So, before you go clicking that “confirm purchase” button, confirm you have a plan in place to protect packages once they arrive.

How do I protect my deliveries?

The best way to address the spike in theft rates is prevention. Police officers who dealt with the case of the missing Quincy packages offered up some advice to prevent packages from being stolen in the first place:

  • Have your package picked up by a trusted friend, relative, or family member
  • Send the package to your place of work
  • Request a signature upon delivery
  • Have the delivery service hide your package in a designated area
  • Consider installing a security camera or video doorbell

What do I do if a package is stolen from my house?

Sometimes prevention measures just aren’t enough. If a porch pirate targets your front steps, report the case to law enforcement right away. The postal service will also support investigations as needed. You should also:

1. First, double-check to see if a neighbor or family member picked up the package for you.

2. Gather all of the receipts, tracking information, and shipping dates regarding the delivery of your purchase – these will come in handy if you need to file a claim.

3. Contact the retailer to see if you qualify for a refund, or if they will resend the package.

4. Check with your credit card company. In some cases, they may be willing to refund the purchase.

5. Request a missing mail search if the delivery service used offers one. USPS, for instance, lets recipients submit a missing mail request after 7 business days of the ETA – if confirmed, USPS will search their trucks and facilities for your package

Is my missing package covered by insurance?

If your package is confirmed as stolen, your homeowner’s insurance probably will cover some portion of the loss, but you have to decide if it’s worth it to file the claim. If stolen goods aren’t worth your deductible (say, $500 or $1,000), then it doesn’t really make sense to file a claim.

And even if the loss exceeds your deductible (say it was a $1,000 gift and your deductible is $500), you have to weigh whether or not you want to file the claim, since doing so might raise your home insurance premium for the following year.

If you’re debating whether or not you should really file a claim for your stolen package, call your insurance agent to help you decide if it’s worth it. With the preventive measures above, however, hopefully a claim isn’t something you’ll have to worry about this holiday season.

Have a safe (and theft-free) holiday!