Guarding against porch pirates

Shopping online is convenient, but it can be a treasure trove for nefarious porch pirates, especially during the holiday season. An estimated 26 million Americans have holidays packages stolen.

In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to look to homeowners’ or renters’ insurance to cover the loss. The value of the package is likely to be less than your insurance deductible and, in other cases, the policy may not cover it or a claim could lead to higher premiums.

There are better ways to manage the risk. Choose a delivery option that requires a signature, if you’ll be home. Have packages delivered to your work, if allowed, or to a neighbor. Consider lock-box services like Amazon Key, Box Lock, or Landport. Purchase items with a credit card that offers purchase protection for stolen items. Insure high value packages.

Security cameras around the perimeter of your home that with a phone app let you know when a package is delivered. The cameras may not prevent all porch thieves, but they will be a deterrent and you’ll have evidence for a police report, which may be required for credit card protection. If a package is stolen, contact the retailer and file a claim, if possible. If they do not take responsibility, file a claim with the shipping company. While credit card protection is typically secondary coverage, go to the issuer’s website to see if you’re covered and how to file a claim.