Does homeowners insurance cover a stolen package?

Published November 26, 2018

Doorstep package theft

In this image provided to WBZ TV-4 by a Brockton homeowner, a man is captured on surveillance camera stealing packages from the homeowners' front steps.
 

Personal Insurance Account Executive

The holiday online shopping boom, which began with Black Friday-related sales, accelerates today, Cyber Monday.

But the season of giving coincides with a season of increased taking, as opportunistic thieves take advantage of the surge in online purchases by stealing packages dropped off by heavily burdened delivery services. Boston TV station WBZ 4, for example, recently reported on packages stolen from the front steps of a Brockton home and the lobby of a Quincy apartment building.

If you've had a package delivered to your home stolen, one of the first questions you may ask is, "Will my homeowners insurance cover the loss?" The short answer, as is so often the case of questions about insurance coverage, is: It depends.

As the website ValuePenguin.com notes, "With typical homeowners insurance deductibles running from $500 to $2,000 dollars, filing a claim won’t make sense for most stolen packages. Even if the lost item is more than the deductible, you’ll need to weigh the possibility of your homeowners insurance company increasing your premiums after the claim, not to mention the hassle of filing the claim itself."

The site offers six steps to take if a package is stolen from your home or building lobby, with claiming a loss through your homeowners insurance ranking sixth: 

Track your package.

  1. Check to see if a well-meaning neighbor is holding it.
  2. Contact the seller or retailer.
  3. File a claim with the shipping company.
  4. Check to see if your credit card provides purchase protection.
  5. Claim high-value items with your homeowners insurance.

One additional tip: Check your property to see if the delivery company has hidden packages among bushes, under a grill or some other place where it wouldn't be obvious to would-be thieves scouting your neighborhood.

Of course the best way to deal with the problem of package theft is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are seven preventive measures to help you thwart thieves, avoid theft and avert the hassle of submitting an insurance claim:

  1. Have the package delivered to your place of business.
  2. Track packages and, if possible, retrieve them as soon as they arrive.
  3. Have packages delivered to the residence of a friend or family member you know will be home.
  4. Have the package held at the delivery company's nearest center or, if the purchase was made through Amazon, in an Amazon Locker.
  5. Require a signature for delivery of your packages.
  6. Provide the delivery company with specific instructions about where to leave the package — such as inside a shed or garage, among a protective cluster of bushes or under that backyard grill.
  7. Have merchandise purchased through a store or chain site held at the store location nearest you. Install a surveillance camera as a possible deterrent — though, as the case of the Brockton theft illustrates, the effectiveness of such deterrents is debatable.
The holidays should be a joyous time. Enjoy this season of giving, and may your gifts make it safely from place of purchase to your home and on to their recipients.

About Matthew Boyle and Sylvia Group

Matt Boyle higher rezA licensed insurance producer, Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) and Certifield Professional in Personal Lines (CPPL), Matthew Boyle is passionate about informing and educating his clients on the coverage they should consider and the products they ultimately purchase. Whether the need is homeowners insurance, auto insurance, boat insurance or other personal insurance coverage, he’s committed to designing customized programs that protect his clients and their assets. Matt appreciates meeting and working with new people on a regular basis, and with 15 years’ experience in personal insurance, the last eight as a successful sales executive, he enjoys sharing his expertise. As an independent agent working with the accomplished team at Sylvia Group, he’s able to offer clients options and resources unavailable through most other agencies and direct sellers.

CONTACT MATT

Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group has won both awards for Best Insurance Agency in the two year history of SouthCoast Media's Best of the Best program and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.

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