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Karl Newman, President
Darrin Sanger, Communications Director

NW Insurance Council    
Phone: (206) 624-3330
Fax: (206) 624-1975

Holiday prowl: parking lot thieves
target your gifts, valuables

SEATTLE - The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year -- especially for thieves.

Rushing from department stores to shopping malls hoping to catch the Deal of the Century can also leave your gifts vulnerable to theft. Shoppers should take extra precautions as they shop from store to store and get in and out of their vehicles.

"Unless it's permanently attached to your car, most auto insurance policies don't cover your personal belongings," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. "Homeowners and renters insurance do provide coverage for your belongings, including gifts, subject to deductibles of $250 or more. As always, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches by taking steps ahead of time to reduce the risk of a break-in."

As you shop, be wary that car prowlers are lurking in parking lots waiting to steal gifts from unattended cars.

Here are a few tips from the NW Insurance Council to help you shop safely:

  • Double check to make sure your doors are locked.
  • Whenever possible, store gifts and other valuables in your trunk. If this isn't possible, throw a blanket over gifts before you leave your vehicle unattended.
  • Don't go back and forth frequently from stores to your vehicle to unload gifts. Car prowlers watch for shoppers who leave gifts in their vehicles unattended.

If you have questions about your homeowners or renters insurance, check your policy or call your insurance company or agent. For more information, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 or visit

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies.