During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Texans are likely to find themselves on the road. There are gifts to buy, ingredients to procure, parties to attend, and gatherings galore. While most of us will do our best to spread good cheer and visit with loved ones, thieves know this time of year is a great opportunity to steal from people like you. Protecting your home is very important but it is also imperative to not overlook your vehicle.
From expensive holiday gifts to catalytic converters to the vehicle itself, drivers have a lot to lose. Beyond the financial ramifications, drivers who are dealing with losing personal possessions or a vehicle also face the inconveniences which go hand in hand after the fact. Prevention is the best option and while you may still face such an unfortunate event, mitigating your risks and protecting against theft is your best choice this holiday season.
Remember Sensible Practices
Conducting basic good practices can help you avoid being a victim. Thieves are looking for easy targets to quickly score and leave the scene. Making their job more difficult can help you avoid suffering a loss at their hands. Here is a reminder of a few common-sense actions all motorists can use to deter and prevent theft:
- Take your keys.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Be sure to always lock your vehicle.
- Take your valuables and hide any belongings out of sight that you do not take with you.
- Try to avoid using cash and if you must, be discreet about it.
- Activate car alarms and other anti-theft devices when leaving.
- If possible, park in secure areas.
- Park your vehicle in well seen, well-lit areas.
- Take multiple trips if shopping for larger presents when it is impossible to hide goods from thieves.
- Bring someone while shopping or traveling. More eyes and ears can help you stay safer.
- Using tracking devices can help you recover lost items by showing the authorities their location.
These simple practices can go a long way in protecting you from losing possessions or even your vehicle.
Consider the Time of Your Activities
The cover of night is great for thieves. Even as security cameras, lights, and other deterrents continue to improve, nighttime provides a natural cover that helps facilitate crimes. While speaking with AccuWeather, noted transportation analyst Alex Lauderdale explained that auto thefts rise nearly 25% during the winter.
“This occurs largely (because) winter nights are longer and darker, offering car thieves more time and cover to carry out large numbers of vehicle thefts,” said Lauderdale. “People are also more likely to leave their cars unattended on cold mornings while they let them warm up and defrost, offering thieves the perfect opportunity to strike,” he continued.
Timing is key and making a plan, depending on your activities, can help you lower your risk of being hit. Be sure to avoid leaving your vehicle unattended, and stick to secure, well-lit areas when traveling after dark.
Keep Your Vehicle Away From Thieves
Beyond parking in secure lots, even at home, it is always the best practice to keep your vehicle as secure as possible. During the holidays, thieves know that families are in and out of their homes for various gatherings. Your vehicles are a perfect target for a myriad of reasons including simple theft of goods, parts, or your vehicle itself. Parking inside a secure garage whenever possible is a great way to avoid such perils.
Hail a Rideshare or Taxi
There is no shortage of parties to enjoy during the holidays and using services such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi service can help you get the most out of your celebrations. Beyond the risks involved with impaired driving, drivers should consider alternative options to avoid dealing with theft. You’ll note that according to the Insurance Information Institute (III) and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Christmas Eve ranked eighth in the most vehicle thefts by holiday, while Christmas day ranks 11th.
It is important to point out that New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve both rank first and fourth respectfully. Avoiding impaired driving is always the right decision, even if it means dealing with a break-in while leaving your vehicle at a bar, but avoiding both is preferred altogether. Many local businesses and organizations in cities across Texas offer free rides or reimbursements for using a service during New Year’s celebrations, so be on the lookout for these opportunities. Either way, spending a few bucks to ensure you and other motorists are safe, as well as securing your vehicle and its belongings, is a small price to pay.
Comprehensive Insurance Protects You From Theft
In many cases, your home insurance policy will be enough to help you restore what is lost due to theft in your vehicle. Repairing the damage to your vehicle, however, will require the right auto insurance policy. Specifically, comprehensive insurance is the coverage you’ll need to help fix damage to your vehicle due to theft or to receive compensation in the event your vehicle is stolen. Texas ranks second in the nation for vehicle thefts, making comprehensive auto insurance a reasonable consideration for drivers.
By law, motorists must retain a minimal amount of coverage to stay legal in the state of Texas, but these coverages are for covering the damage to others and their property. Additional auto insurance options are available, such as comprehensive insurance, and together, they can better protect you against a variety of losses including pothole damage, theft, hit-and-runs, and more. Freedom Insurance Group helps you find the right types of auto insurance coverage for your specific needs. We work with more than 25 top-rated insurance brands to comparison shop your coverages and find the right policies for the lowest possible price.
Comprehensive insurance can help you stay protected against much more than theft around the holidays. Your policy is there to restore losses due to a variety of perils that aren’t related to crashes. Some additional examples include damage from natural disasters, hitting an animal, damage from rocks, and more. Get a free online auto insurance quote or contact us today to stay protected this holiday season and all year long.