While the holiday season can be full of excitement and great shopping deals, it’s also the time of year when shopping center parking lots can be full of hazards. During the holidays, parking lots can become magnets for thieves. These nefarious individuals target vehicles to steal, or to steal from, looking for visible shopping bags and other valuables.
We encourage you to lock your vehicle; engage your alarm system; and keep shopping bags, cell phones, purses and other personal property out of sight.
It’s always a good idea to protect yourself and be extra vigilant so as not to become a target. Make sure you place your shopping bags and other belongings in the trunk of your car to avoid potential break-ins. If your vehicle is stolen, or you suffer a theft from your vehicle, alert the police immediately and contact your insurance company.
Coverage for personal items varies from state to state, and your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy may provide additional coverage for personal items that were stolen.
NICB Safe Parking Lot Tips
- If your vehicle is stolen, report the theft to the police and contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Keep a record of your license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) and copy your registration to help identify and locate your car after a theft.
- Depending on your coverage, your insurance may cover rental car charges while you are looking to replace your stolen vehicle.
- If your stolen vehicle is recovered, insurance may cover the impounding and towing fees. But beware of abusive vehicle towing and storage practice that are designed to make it difficult to gain access to the vehicle in order to charge higher fees.
- Avoid making your car a target for break-ins by parking in well-lit areas. Keep shopping bags, cell phones, tablets, purses, backpacks and other personal property out of sight. If personal property is stolen from your car it may be covered under your homeowners or renter’s policy.