7 Tips to Avoid Package Theft

Published On: February 16th, 2022Categories: Personal Insurance

Package theft is a problem that is only worsening across Canada.

Whether you’ve seen a viral video of a thief getting caught on someone’s doorstep or had a package stolen yourself, you likely know there’s a chance any delivery could be swiped before you even know it has arrived.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent a package thief from taking off with your item: 

Track your package.

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from package theft is to keep a close eye on the tracking updates provided to you by the shipper as a package makes its way to your home. Using the shipper’s estimated delivery date, you can plan to be home when the package is supposed to be delivered. You can typically also sign up to receive a notification when your package has been delivered, so it’s not left outside for too long on the tracking web page. 

Recruit help from any neighbours with whom you are comfortable.

If you or a member of your family can’t be home on the day a package is set to be delivered, consider asking a neighbour who is usually home to watch for the package and bring it inside for you to pick up later. If you’ve signed up for delivery notifications, you can also text your neighbour to let them know when the package has arrived on your doorstep. 

Install security cameras.

Another way to deter package thieves is to install a big, noticeable security camera on your front porch. It may not prevent every single theft, but it can absolutely cause a potential thief to rethink their now riskier decision. Another bonus to this— if the camera is part of a larger home security system, you could qualify for a discount on your home insurance! 

Upgrade to a smart doorbell.

If installing a bulkier security camera outside your front door isn’t practical for you, or if you live in a condo or an apartment, a smart doorbell with a motion-activated camera is also a good option. Smart doorbells are usually Wi-Fi enabled and can connect to your phone to send you alerts and allow you to see or talk to whomever’s at your door. The presence of one on your doorstep may be enough to deter thieves and keep your packages safe. 

Request to pick up your packages in person.

When shopping online stores with brick-and-mortar locations nearby, you may be able to choose to have your items sent to the store for in-store or curbside pickup, removing the risk of package theft altogether. Canada Post, FedEx, and UPS also usually have the option to send your package to one of their secure pickup locations to retrieve from there. This option eliminates the convenience of having something delivered right to your doorstep, but it could be worth it to ensure your package makes it to you safely. 

Buy a parcel box if your space allows it.

If you’re living in a semi-detached or detached home with a spacious front step, consider buying a secure and lockable parcel box in which  your delivery person can drop your package. When you’re expecting a package delivery, you can leave the box’s padlock unlocked. Most boxes come with a sticker instructing the delivery person to lock it up after they leave. You can retrieve it when you’re ready. 

Rent a post office box.

If you live in a condo, apartment, or townhome that doesn’t have room on the front step for a parcel box, you can always consider renting a post office box through Canada Post and sending all your packages there for pickup. With this option, you can usually choose which size of post office box is best suited to your needs. You’ll also have to pay a monthly fee to maintain access to your PO box, so you will have to consider if you order enough online to justify this monthly expense. 

What to do if a package is stolen from your porch 

If, despite your best efforts, a package from your porch is still stolen, there are a few steps you can take to try to get your money back or have your item replaced: 

First, contact the company you purchased the item from. Different retailers will have different policies for dealing with stolen items. Still, you’re often entitled to a refund or replacement directly from the retailer, even though it may take sending a few emails or filing a claim. 

File a claim with the shipping company. Some retailers may make you file a claim with the shipping company instead of handling the process in-house themselves. You can typically file a claim for a lost or missing package through the shipping company’s website. It’s important to remember that each shipping company will have a different window for how soon you must file a claim, and you’ll have to do some research to find out which shipping company the retailer used.

Contact your credit card company. Many credit card providers offer purchase protection that would reimburse you for a stolen item if you paid for the item on credit. Each credit card company’s policy and process for reimbursement will differ. For example, some may exclude high-value items, while others may require you to file a police report before giving you a refund. 

Sometimes package theft happens, even when you’ve taken all the right steps to prevent it. 

Wondering if your home or tenant insurance policy would cover a stolen package?

Most policies do. Give us a call at Bryson to ask how your policy could protect you if a package ever got stolen from your doorstep.

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