Don’t let the Grinch steal your Christmas!

Dec 20, 2016
Categories: Safety
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Alright, it’s the last few weeks before Christmas, and yet again you’ve left it till the last minute, but it’s okay. In this last, frantic day of sharp elbows and shoving crowds, you’ve managed to get the last few items on your list. In fact, you just paid for the last gift you needed, you’re done.
Or so you think.
You realize there is a problem before you even reach your car. The way people are giving it a wide berth and the telltale glint of broken glass on the ground near it tell you all you need to know. Sure enough, the rear driver’s side window has been smashed. Where you left your precious haul of gifts stacked in a pile on the backseat is now empty. Just some broken glass and a light dusting of snow remains.
Now What?
Car insurance covers theft or damage to the car itself, not what is inside of it. If someone smashes a window and steals your presents, like a  not terribly funny retelling of the Grinch, your car insurance will cover the busted window, but not the missing presents.
On the upside though, those items may be covered under your contents insurance. As the name implies, contents insurance covers what is contained inside a person’s home, or in this case, their car. This coverage normally forms part of your home or tenant’s policy.
Although individual policies differ, contents insurance will generally protect possessions stolen or lost outside of the home, including items in your car. If the worst should happen while you’re out and about shopping this year, contents insurance might just be the coverage that saves Christmas.

Shopping safe this holiday season

Of course, ideally you wouldn’t need to file a claim at all if the theft never happened in the first place. When it comes to protecting your car, there are no fool-proof solutions, but you can definitely tilt the odds in your favour. Follow the tips below while shopping this year and make sure you don’t return to the parking lot to find a disaster waiting for you.
1 – Park in well-lit areas
Don’t make it easy for thieves to slide up next to your car and jimmy the door open or break a window unnoticed. Bring them out of the shadows by parking under a light whenever possible.
2 – Foot traffic is your friend
Along with parking in a brightly lit spot, try to snag a parking spot near a busy throughway whenever possible. The closer your car is to well-trafficked walkways and attention grabbing locations, the less likely a thief will have the nerve to break in.
3 – Tuck your valuables away
If you can, make sure not to leave any valuables in plain sight. Keep them in the trunk, glove box, or under the seat and away from prying eyes (as well as pry bars). If an item is just too big to go anywhere but the backseat, consider taking a quick stop home to deposit your treasures before heading to another mall or store. It might take a few extra minutes, sure, but not as many as filling out a police report.
4 – Keep your receipts on you
Don’t leave your receipts in the bag along with the items in question. If anything is stolen, you need to be able to prove you purchased the goods before you can make a claim on them. Get in the habit of stowing receipts away in your wallet or purse if you’re not doing that already.
Christmas shopping can be stressful and while it might seem like being picky about your parking spot or making multiple trips instead of buying everything in one go will just add to your workload, it certainly beats the alternative of dealing with a theft issue. Be safe when you’re shopping this year and think about how to make your car a less tempting target for those “coal-hearted” thieves who would try and steal Christmas.

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