5 Steps to Take After Falling Victim to Porch Pirates

Online order package sitting on a welcome mat on a front porch in front of a yellow door and blue sidingOnline orders often ramp up over the holidays as people scramble to get in their last-minute shopping. With a pandemic now confining many of us to our homes, online orders are sure to increase even more. However, with an uptick in home deliveries comes an increase in unscrupulous activity: namely, porch pirates. These unsavory folks are those looking to cash in on unsupervised packages that are left at homeowners’ doorsteps. If you’re unlucky enough to miss out on a delivered package, learn about the steps you can take after falling victim to porch pirates.

1.     Track Your Purchase

The first step you should take if you suspect a package has been stolen is to check the item’s tracking information. Often, once you buy an item online, the retailer will send you a confirmation email containing the tracking number, where you can track the shipping status. Holiday shopping typically leads to delays, but if the shipping company confirms the delivery of the product, you should see if your neighbors noticed any potential strangers on your property. If you don’t have any witnesses, you can proceed to the next step.

2.     Contact the Seller

If your package has been stolen, some sellers and retailers have policies for handling stolen products. Sometimes you’ll be entitled to a replacement or refund. For instance, Amazon has an “A-to-Z” Guarantee Protection program. If the seller is a third party, they will require you to directly contact the seller, and if the seller is uncooperative, your claim then shifts to Amazon, who will likely issue the refund. Otherwise, items sold directly by Amazon are likely covered. However, if a retailer refuses to issue a refund or replacement, you fortunately still have options.

3.     File Your Claim with the Shipping Company

Retailers can sometimes try to shift the blame to the shipping company. If that’s the case, you can file claims online with such shipping companies as UPS, FedEx, and USPS or give them a call. Some retailers may require this before considering a claim themselves.

4.     Use a Protection Plan for Your Credit Card

Many credit card companies offer a purchase protection plan that will cover the costs for stolen items. It’s important to first check the provider’s website to see what protections they offer. Some companies may exclude coverage for expensive items, and some may require you to file a police report before they process a refund. Depending on your credit score, you may even be offered a better protection plan. However, most companies refer to this protection as secondary coverage, meaning you’ll only qualify for the refund if you’ve already used your primary coverage, such as homeowners and renters insurance.

5.     Use Your Insurance the Cover the High-Value Packages

A majority of homeowners and renters insurance policies cover stolen packages, but this is only helpful for items that exceed your deductible amount. So, if you purchase a computer valued at $1,500, it may be worth filing a claim if your deductible is $500. However, you have to consider the risk of this claim potentially increasing your premium. While obtaining a refund through the insurance company might be the only remaining option, it might not be worth the tradeoff of higher monthly payments.

Before falling victim to porch pirates, there are always precautions you can take during the holidays to prevent theft, such as scheduling in-person deliveries, insuring your purchases, or installing a security camera. Otherwise, you have many avenues to ensure you’re refunded for your stolen packages. If you’re looking to take further precautions to protect your property, TJ Woods Insurance has the experience to match you with the best homeowners policy or renters insurance for your needs. If you would like to discover how these policies can keep you covered, contact us today.