As noted in a recent C+R Research report, nearly 40% of Americans had been victims of porch piracy at least once before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, around 23 million Americans have also had their holiday decorations stolen or vandalized. During this year’s holidays, porch piracy is likely to worsen because package thieves are increasingly exploiting pandemic-related workplace rules to protect delivery drivers, which includes prohibiting delivery drivers from opening customers’ latches, knobs, and gates.
Keeping this in mind, here are five handy tips to protect your holiday gifts this season.
1. Sign up for a Locker Service
A locker service is a paid, non-traditional delivery method, and it is particularly ideal if you’re hardly ever at home. Some of the most popular locker services in the U.S. today include, among others:
• USPS’s Hold for Pickup service
• Amazon’s Hub Locker service
Instead of leaving your package unattended at your location, a locker service essentially sends your package to a partner location, such as a grocery store, for pickup. However, the USPS Hold for Pickup service is essentially a post office box rental service, meaning if you sign up for this service, you’ll need to pick up your package from the post office.
2. Require a Signature
Most major delivery services, including, among others, USPS, DHL, FedEx, and UPS, offer a “signature required” option to their customers. In essence, this means you have to sign for your delivery. Some delivery services, such as UPS MyChoice, would allow you to redirect your package to a trusted neighbor’s address if you aren’t home to sign for your package. In some cases, if you’re the sender, you can request a delivery confirmation, too.
3. Get Amazon Key Home Kit
Amazon Key Home Kit allows an Amazon delivery driver to deliver your package inside your vehicle or home. However, this service is available only to Amazon Prime members in eligible locations. Consisting of a security camera, smart lock, and the Amazon Key app, the kit allows you to unlock your hour or car door remotely via the aforementioned app, allowing the delivery person to leave your holiday gifts inside your house or car. Meanwhile, the camera will enable you to monitor your delivery in real-time.
4. Use the Doorman App
Suppose you’re seldom at home between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. due to one reason or another. In that case, you can use the Doorman App to have one of Doorman’s drivers deliver your holiday gifts to you between 6:00 p.m. and midnight, ensuring your holiday gifts do not remain on your porch unattended when you’re away from home. However, this service is currently only available in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City.
5. Invest in a Package Guard
Shaped like a Frisbee, the Package Guard is essentially a smart alarm system that uses a pressure sensor. Once you place a package on top of it, you cannot remove the package without activating a loud internal siren, which can be deactivated only via the Package Guard app. The setup process involves connecting it to your Wi-Fi network and then positioning it on your porch or doorstep. Remember to instruct your delivery service to place your holiday gifts on top of the Package Guard.
Make use of these five tips to protect your gifts this holiday season. For extra peace of mind, purchase the right homeowners insurance coverage. Talk to the friendly experts at Jack Stone Insurance Agency. We serve Antioch, Brentwood, and surrounding cities in California. Contact us today to get started!