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Porch Pirate Defence: How Home Insurance Protects You

Porch Pirate Defence: How Home Insurance Protects You

With the holidays around the corner and Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales lingering for a little while longer, package theft is something many Canadians will be contending with in the next few weeks.

We are entering one of the busiest times of the year for home deliveries, which also makes it prime season for porch pirates. Over one-quarter (28 per cent) of online shoppers noted they had they had packages stolen in the past (vs. 24 per cent last year and 20 per cent in 2021), a FedEx survey shows. Overall, 70 per cent of online shoppers are at least somewhat worried about package theft.

Home insurance policies typically provide coverage for personal property, which includes your belongings both inside and outside your home.

Unfortunately, package theft, also known as porch piracy, has become a relatively common issue, especially with the rise of online shopping. Criminals may target unattended packages left on doorsteps, porches, or in mailboxes. If a package is stolen off your porch, it can be a frustrating experience.

Here are steps you can take to address the situation:

Contact the delivery carrier:

Reach out to the company that delivered the package (e.g., UPS, FedEx, USPS) to report the theft. Provide them with the tracking number and details about the incident. They may be able to conduct an investigation.

Check with neighbors:

Ask your neighbors if they saw anything or if the package was mistakenly delivered to their address. Sometimes, packages are left at the wrong location.

File a police report:

If you believe the package was stolen, file a report with your local police. Provide them with as much information as possible, including the tracking number, description of the package, and any relevant details about the theft.

Contact the retailer for a refund

Reach out to the retailer from which you made the purchase. Explain the situation and inquire about their policies regarding stolen packages. Some retailers may offer replacements or refunds, especially if they have a clear policy on stolen packages.

Check security cameras:

If you have security cameras or a video doorbell, check the footage for any evidence of the theft. This information may be helpful for the police investigation. It’s a good idea to have an affordable door cam set up anyway to help protect your home.

Prevent future thefts:

Consider taking steps to prevent future package thefts. This may include installing a door cam, using package lockers, requesting signature confirmation for deliveries, or having packages delivered to a more secure location (such as your workplace or a trusted neighbor).

Stay informed:

Keep track of any updates from the delivery carrier, the police, or the retailer. They may provide information that can assist in resolving the situation. Plus, the sooner you can pick up your package from the porch, the less likely you are to experience any theft.

Does my home insurance cover package theft and the value of the lost items?

Home insurance policies typically provide coverage for personal property, which includes your belongings both inside and outside your home.

The coverage for stolen packages, however, can vary depending on the specific terms and conditions of your policy.

Some home insurance policies may cover stolen packages, but there are likely limitations or exclusions on your plan. This is why it’s so essential to review your policy documents carefully with a professional or contact your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage for stolen packages.

How do I know if my home insurance will help pay for stolen packages?

Keep in mind the following:

Coverage limits: There might be a limit on the amount of coverage for personal property, so if the value of the stolen packages exceeds this limit, you may not be fully reimbursed.

Deductibles: Your policy may have a deductible, which is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Make sure you are aware of the deductible amount.

Exclusions: Some policies may have exclusions for certain types of property or specific circumstances. Check if there are any exclusions related to theft of packages.

Special considerations: Some insurance providers may offer additional coverage options or endorsements that specifically address the theft of packages. It's worth inquiring about any available options.

Proof of loss: In the event of a theft, you will likely need to provide proof of the value of the stolen items, such as receipts or other documentation.

If your home insurance policy does not adequately cover stolen packages, you might want to explore other options, such as purchasing additional coverage or checking if your shipping carrier offers any insurance for lost or stolen items during transit.

Happy gift-giving, and good luck!