Holiday Shoppers: parking lot thieves are after your gifts and your car
Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Coordinator
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (206) 624-3330/(800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter/nwinsuranceinfo
SEATTLE - The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping has
begun. While rushing from store to store, remember you are not
the only one looking for a hot deal. Parking lot thieves are on
the prowl, preying on inattentive shoppers and hoping to cash
in at your expense.
If you have optional Comprehensive
Coverage on your Auto
Insurance Policy, your vehicle is covered if it's stolen.
However, your auto policy will not cover gifts and most personal
possessions stolen from your car. Your Homeowners
policy does cover your belongings, including gifts, but only after
you pay the deductible, which is usually $250 or more.
That's why it's important to take extra precautions as you shop
from store to store and get in and out of your vehicle.
"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. "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 NW Insurance Council to help you shop safely and worry
- Review your insurance policy and consider adding Comprehensive
coverage if you don't already have it.
- 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.
- Manually lock your vehicle's doors. Do not use your remote
locking device. Many high-tech thieves have begun using scanning
devices to record remote lock frequencies to unlock vehicles.
- Double-check to make sure your doors are locked.
- 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 agent or company. For
more information on how to protect your vehicle and gifts from
theft, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 or visit
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization
funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon