Tag Archives: Theft

Don’t Fall Victim to Theft This Holiday Season

 

This past Monday, December 8th, I became the victim of theft. My local mail carrier delivered a package on my front porch, but I never saw it. Between the time of delivery, to the time my husband arrived home from work, the package had been stolen. Someone was either following the mail truck, or driving around the neighborhood, and snatching up unclaimed packages in broad daylight.

Have you heard about this happening on the news? The news broadcast mentions thieves following delivery tucks and taking the packages left at empty homes. If you think this isn’t happening in your area, it happened to me in the safe community of Dorr, Michigan.

7News Boston WHDH-TV

 

 

Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

  1. Look at the tracking information for your packages so you know what day to expect them.
  2. If you are not going to be home on the expected delivery day, ask a close friend or neighbor to stop by the house and pick it up for you.
  3. Both UPS and FedEx offer free memberships that allow you to receive email or text messages alerting you to tracking activity, reschedule a package delivery date, or reroute the package to a different address. For UPS, visit UPS My Choice®. For FedEx, visit FedEx® Tracking.
  4. Contact the delivery company (UPS, FedEx, etc) and ask to require a signature to accept the package. That way, if you aren’t home, they will take the package back to a local facility where you can pick it up at your convenience.
    • Beware of scams that involve delivery attempt notifications posted on your doors! If there is a note listed with a number to call to verify your identity in order to pick up your package, DON’T CALL! Companies such as UPS and FedEx will not ask for your personal information in order to verify your identity. The same goes for email confirmations.
  5. You can request your local post office to hold your packages at the post office if you are not home at the time of delivery. Write a note indicating your request and place it in your mailbox for your mail carrier to keep on file.
  6. If you know that you are frequently away from your home, have packages delivered to your work or an alternate address where you can pick them up at your convenience.

 

For more safety tips involving safeguarding your home, vehicle, business, and online purchases from theft, read the Property Casualty 360 article, “Tis the season…to be robbed: The 5 most common types of holiday theft.


 

Photo of Amber Whitman

 

About the Author: Amber Whitman is the marketing consultant for the Reno Agency.

Is Your Home a Target to Thieves This Holiday Season?

 

Thieves Thrive During Holiday Travel

An article from Property Casualty 360.

 

Joe Pesci's character attempts to rob a home on Christmas Eve in "Home Alone (1990)." (20th Century Fox)
Joe Pesci’s character attempts to rob a home on Christmas Eve in “Home Alone (1990).” (20th Century Fox)

 

In “Home Alone,” Kevin McCallister is left to defend his family’s home when two thugs attempt to break in on Christmas Eve, while the rest of the family is traveling overseas. While the likelihood of an eight-year-old being left home alone for the holidays is a stretch, a home robbery during holiday travel is more likely than you’d think.

 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistics, the number of long-distance trips by Americans increases by 54 percent during the Thanksgiving travel period. The number rises by 23 percent during Christmas and New Year’s.

 

Burglars can take advantage of this to break into homes. According to Nationwide claims data over the past three years, there were almost 15,000 home thefts in the peak holiday travel months of November, December and January. As homeowners travel across long distances and for extended periods of time, they leave themselves more vulnerable to the occurrence of home theft.

 

Locking doors, installing a home security system, refraining from promoting your travel online, putting a hold on newspaper and mail delivery, and informing your neighborhood watch program are all good advice from Nationwide to deter a burglary. But, it’s important to recognize that even if one takes all these precautions, a theft can still occur.

 

Nationwide encourages consumers to account for their possessions before leaving on trips by creating a home inventory. Here are a few simple tips on taking inventory of your home before embarking on your holiday travels.

 

Use home inventory software. The Insurance Information Institute has a free online program that allows consumers to catalog all of their belongings. It is available here.

Move from room to room, listing items as you go. This method should be used every time you update your inventory. Don’t forget to include the items in the basement, attic, garage, and any detached structures, such as a tool or storage shed.

**Remember, the Reno Agency offers a free Home Inventory Documenting Service to all our current customers. If you would like to take advantage of this, please call us at 269.792.2232 to schedule.

Use credit card and checking account statements to confirm purchases if needed. Also, create a list of each credit card you have with the corresponding customer service number in case your purse or wallet is stolen. This way, you have the number to contact to report a stolen card(s).

Look for manuals on the items that will help with model numbers and verification of ownership.

Work with your agent to complete the inventory. If you are unsure if an item is covered by your insurance policy, call or visit with your agent.

Keep a copy of your home inventory list elsewhere. Share the list with a trusted friend or family member, keep a copy in a bank safe deposit box, or store an electronic version in the cloud using a provider such as Dropbox. Free cloud storage of up to 2GB is available through Dropbox, which allows you to access your files anywhere with internet access.

Update your coverage. Make sure you update your current inventory list with your insurance agent if you’ve recently received new gifts, or purchased new household items such as furniture, appliances, etc.

 

 

Don’t Get Burned By Insurance Claims This Summer

Grange Insurance Logo

Grange Insurance offers tips to have fun and stay safe

School is out for the summer, and for many, that means vacations, cookouts and pool parties. Summer is fun, but its activities can also lead to unnecessary and expensive claims if families do not take the right precautions.

Columbus, Ohio-based Grange Insurance offers tips to help families have fun, stay safe and avoid claims that could become financial inconveniences.

 

1. Prepare your house for ‘vacation mode.’   Security Alarm

Families should prepare their homes for ‘vacation mode’ if they’re planning to be gone for an extended period of time.

“Turn off the valve on the washing machine, check the back-up battery on the sump pump and put high-end electronics on a storm surge protector in case bad weather should occur that might lead to flooding or fires in the home while homeowners are away,” advises Ken Kozek, vice president of claims for Grange Insurance.

Kozek also advises families leaving town to have a trusted neighbor check the home periodically, alert the local police to increase neighbor check the home periodically, alert the local police to increase neighborhood watch, put lights on a timer, and stop mail and newspaper delivery.

 

2. Don’t be a target for theft.   Theft

Homes are a target for theft when homeowners are away, but thefts can occur just as easily when homeowners are home.

“Summer is open-window season for houses and cars and open-door season for the garage, so be mindful of your personal belongings,” adds Kozek. “If you’re going to leave windows or doors open, keep things like wallets, cell phones, golf clubs and jewelry out of sight.”

 

3. Be safe around water.   Swimming Pool

“Swimming is a great summer activity, but water can also be very dangerous if you’re not careful,” said Kozek. “Families should take precautions when it comes to activities that include water and keep an eye on kids at all times to avoid drowning.”

Kozek also advises families with pools to install a fence around the premise to prevent unwanted swimmers who, if injured, could become a liability for the homeowner.

“Homeowners should also consider installing motion-activated alarms around the pool that will sound an alert if someone falls in,” adds Kozek.

 

4. Don’t play with fire.   Fireworks

Fireworks are enjoyable and fun to watch, but they can also lead to serious injury, especially to children. They’re also a leading cause of summer house fires. Grange Insurance urges families to stay safe and leave fireworks to the professionals this summer.

 

5. Know your coverage options when you’re away from home.   summer_vacation

Grange Insurance encourages families to contact their independent agent before renting cars, boats or vacation homes this summer.

“Families should be aware of what their coverage options are before they leave for vacation,” said Kozek. “Additional coverage might be needed when renting cars, boats or homes, but in some cases, current auto and homeowner policies might provide all the coverage that is needed. Your independent agent is a great resource to help make sure you’re covered for any situation, and they can help you save money by avoiding potentially unnecessary rental charges too.”

 

For more information about staying safe and saving money this summer, visit www.grangeinsurance.com or call the Reno Agency today at 269.792.2232.

 

About Grange

Grange Insurance, with $2 billion in assets and more than $1 billion in annual revenue, is an insurance provider founded in 1935 and based in Columbus, Ohio. Through its network of independent agents, Grange offers auto, home, life and business insurance protection. The company and its affiliates serve policyholders in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.grangeinsurance.com.