It is the season for shopping and the season for giving. Sadly, it is also the season for thieving. One should be very careful when buying Christmas gifts and leaving them in a vehicle where they can be seen. Place gifts in the trunk or at least cover them with a cloth or blanket. And do not leave the packages in the vehicle when you get home. Take everything inside immediately. Always be sure to keep your receipts.

If your gifts are stolen, how does your insurance fit into the puzzle?  Gifts are simply considered personal property and thus insured by your homeowner’s insurance policy. It does not matter whether the gifts were stolen from a vehicle at the shopping mall or while parked in your driveway or from your home or garage.

However, remember that your policy has a deductible that applies to any loss and that the insurance company will only pay that amount of the loss that exceeds the deductible. The All Other Perils deductible applies to a theft claim and that deductible is more than likely a $500 or $1,000 deductible. Check your policy for your deductible.

For example, if the thief takes gifts totaling $453 from your car and you have a $500 deductible, you essentially have no claim against the insurance company.

Another thing to remember about your insurance policy is that the policy does limit loss by theft of many items. For example, loss by theft of jewelry, watches, and furs is limited to $1,500. Loss by theft of silverware is limited to $2,500. Loss by theft of guns is limited to $2,500. Thus if you buy your wife a $5,000 necklace, you should call your insurance agent immediately upon purchase to secure additional insurance under a scheduled personal property form. (These limits may vary from policy to policy so be sure to check your policy for the exact limits.)

Happy holidays from all of us at C. T. Lowndes & Company and know you can always call us and ask our opinion about insurance.

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