FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2016
One of the best ways to save on Auto and Homeowners' insurance is to stay claims-free. Securing your vehicle and house will help prevent theft, save you money along with the hassle of dealing with unexpected property losses this summer.
In 2014, there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement, according to the latest FBI annual report on "Crime in the United States, 2014." Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.
Peak season for home burglaries
Summertime is peak season for household property crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Open windows and open garages along with extended absences from your home for travel and outdoor activities, demand extra vigilance.
The average homeowner's losses for theft from 2010-2014 was $3,786, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). Data also reveals that about one in 215 insured homes has a property damage claim due to theft each year.
Motor vehicle thefts, on the other hand, do not exhibit the same seasonal patterns. However, it would be especially devastating to have your car stolen while on a summer road trip. Car thieves are becoming increasing organized and, in less than a minute, your car can disappear, requiring you to file an insurance claim.
In 2014, there were 689,527 vehicle reported stolen in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The I.I.I. notes that a motor vehicle was stolen in the U.S. every 46 seconds in 2014. Nearly 45% of stolen vehicles are never recovered.
Here are handy tips to help ensure that your residence and car are less of a target for thieves, especially during the summer vacation season:
1. Don’t post your travel plans on social media. Some burglars use social networking sites to find victims.
2. Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
3. Trim your bushes, shrubs and trees to avoid providing a place for an intruder to hide.
4. Have adequate exterior lighting. One of the best deterrents against a burglar is to install motion-sensing lights.
5. Be sure to lock up ladders and tools which could be used to break into your home.
6. Burglars don't like dogs. Even small dogs make a home a less attractive to criminals.
7. Get to know your neighbors — it's a great deterrent to crime. Neighbors are extra sets of eyes keeping a watch on your property, reporting suspicious activity, and helping keep you safe. Be sure and return the favor and keep an eye on their home, too.
8. Consider an alarm system. Many insurance companies offer discounts for alarms, and some systems also monitor for fire.
9. Think like a burglar. Ask yourself, “what would a burglar find when he looks at my house that would be inviting?”
10. Many break-ins occur during the day when people are at work. For that reason, when you leave the house, create an illusion that someone's still there. Consider leaving a radio on all day so that would-be burglars think that someone is at home.
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