Square One Finds That Theft-From-Vehicle Claims Increase by 70% During the Holiday Season
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, December 14, 2022 (Newswire.com) - As holiday shopping kicks into full gear, those expensive gifts waiting in the back of your car make an enticing target for thieves.
After analyzing internal claims data, Square One found that claims for personal property stolen from vehicles increased by 70% during November and December compared to the rest of the year. While that number is based on five-year averages, the pattern was particularly acute in 2021: theft-from-vehicle claims more than doubled in the final two months of last year.
Though not every theft claim can be attributed to stolen gifts, holiday shoppers should be vigilant in protecting themselves, their vehicle, and the items inside:
- Lock the vehicle and roll up all windows, even if it's only for a couple minutes.
- Don't leave valuables in the car and stow all other items out of sight—including things like charging cables or detachable phone mounts.
- Park only in well-lit or secure areas, ideally with lots of people around.
- Activate the vehicle's security system, if it has one.
- While shopping, avoid dropping off purchases at the car and returning to shop more.
- If purchased items must be left in the car, lock them securely in the trunk.
Of course, even with the best efforts at prevention, the worst can still happen. It's important, therefore, for holiday shoppers to know how their insurance will respond to property stolen from their vehicle.
"Having your vehicle broken into is always going to be stressful," says Stefan Tirschler, Product + Underwriting Manager at Square One. "But it can be even worse if you don't have the right insurance coverage in place to cover both the stolen property and the damage to the vehicle."
Determining whether everything is covered is particularly challenging when property is stolen from a vehicle, because victims may need to file two claims against two different policies: their auto insurance, and their home insurance.
"If you have possessions stolen from your vehicle, especially expensive gifts, you may decide that it's worth starting a claim with your home insurance provider," says Tirschler. "Even if those gifts are stolen the same day you bought them, your home insurance policy will treat them no differently than they would your other personal property. If you'd normally have coverage for those types of items, your policy would still cover the loss while they were in your possession, even if you intended to gift them later."
While home insurance responds to cover the costs of stolen property, auto insurance will not—even if that property is stolen from a vehicle.
"Your car insurance may cover certain items of vehicle equipment, like tires or the car stereo, but it won't respond if your possessions or gifts are stolen from your vehicle," says Tirschler. "Of course, if you've got broken windows or door locks, you'd have to claim those repair costs against your auto insurance policy.
"Although, theft or damage from attempted theft aren't covered by car insurance policies by default. You'd need to have purchased comprehensive, all perils, or specified perils coverage to have your policy pay for those repairs."
Those wishing to learn more about theft prevention and related insurance coverage can visit Square One's guide to preventing break-ins.
Source: Square One Insurance Services