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Safeguarding your vehicle during holiday shopping season

Ever had your car broken into? 

I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling when you’re standing outside of your car looking in, and you can see that someone has forced their way into your vehicle and taken things you worked hard to pay for.

Shock quickly turns to anger, irritation, confusion (who do I call? What do I do now? WHY would someone do this to me?).

According to the Vancouver Police Department’s website, there were 5729 thefts from vehicles from January to the end of September this year – that’s an average of more than 21 cars per day being broken in to. How can you minimize your chances of being a victim, and if you happen to become one, what are your options for recovering the value of stolen goods?

Especially at this time of year thieves are on the lookout for vehicles with lazy or forgetful owners. Buying bags full of loot and leaving it in the backseat while you continue your shopping makes your car a giant target (and don’t think that laying a jacket over the bags fools anyone)! If you must, lock them in your trunk out of sight. Have someone accompany you to your car if you have lots to carry. Take your iPods & phones with you, and remove the stereo faceplate for goodness sake – it shows potential thieves that you are conscious of what is left in your car, and that they should move on to easier targets.

What about making a claim? Can you make a claim for contents stolen from your car? ICBC will cover damage to the vehicle if there are signs of forced entry and if you’ve purchased optional Comprehensive coverage, but they won’t cover your belongings at all.

A surprisingly little-known fact however, is that many home policies DO provide this kind of coverage, up to certain limits. Whether you are renting or own your home, this coverage should be included in your Tenants, Condo and Home policies (you DO have home insurance right?). Check with your London Drugs Insurance specialist to be certain of the details surrounding this.

Be safe, be smart and enjoy the season!

Derek F.
Insurance Services Manager – New Westminster London Drugs