So, what happens if a thief makes off with the Christmas gifts or steals the shopping bags from your car? By and large, your home or renter's insurance will help you if you're the victim of a Christmastime crime.
Gifts or other holiday goodies stolen from your residence generally would be covered by your home or renter's insurance. Holiday purchases swiped from your car would not be covered by your auto insurance but instead by your home or renter's insurance, as they're considered personal property and aren't permanent parts of your car.
A nationwide survey by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America found that 44 percent of the people questioned, or more than 100 million Americans, have been victims of burglary, robbery or another form of theft. Of those who were victims, only 40 percent said their stolen property was insured.
Remember that if you a file an insurance claim for gifts taken from your home or car, you'd have to first pay your deductible. And remember that the most common deductible is $1,000, so you would have to have stored presents with significant value before you’d even want to turn in a claim.
A present being plucked from your home or car trunk isn't the only type of holiday crime that could result in an insurance claim. Here are three others.
1. Vandals or thieves un-deck your halls.
Outdoor holiday decorations -- like inflatable reindeer and Nativity scenes -- sometimes are playthings for petty thieves or mischievous teens.
2. A porch pirate makes off with your loot.
This is become more common as thieves target homes following dates when they know there has been heavy internet shop (i.e., Cyber Monday). If gifts sent via the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS or other shippers are stolen after being left at a home, your home or renter's insurance can help pay for the loss -- minus any deductible.
Of course, taking out insurance (from the shipper) for the full amount of the items you’re sending during the holidays is something to consider.
3. Your jewelry is snatched.
Having guests and visitor during the holiday sometimes can result in a missing ring, bracelet or other jewelry.. The loss would be covered by your home or renter's insurance -- depending on how much the stolen goods are worth. You'd still be on the hook for the deductible.
Keep in mind that high-value items like a massive diamond ring may not be covered under a standard home or renter's insurance policy.
If you have a high-value piece of jewelry, an inland marine policy or separate jewelry policy may be a better option to insure it than your standard home insurance policy.
Inland marine policies -- which actually have nothing to do with water -- cover a host of insurance claims that the average home insurance policy might not. They also provide coverage based an item's agreed value. So if an inland policy states a ring is worth $9,000, that’s what you would receive after any applicable deductibles.
Under typical home insurance coverage, a $9,000 ring might be covered only for its replacement value, or the amount it would cost to buy a new one at current market prices. This means you might get only $6,000 for a ring based on its current market value, even though you think it's worth $9,000. However if your agent didn’t specifically insure that ring for $9,000, you would only be eligible for $1,500.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Cecil Williams -