Keep your new gifts safe beyond the holidays
Did the festive season bring with it an exciting gift or two? The buzz of new presents means it’s often easy to forget that holiday gifts can increase the number of valuables in your home. To ensure these gifts keep on giving, you’ll want to keep them safe from theft and accidental damage or loss.
Here are some tips to help you protect your new high-value gifts year-round and get the most out of your home and renters insurance.
1. Prevent theft
Across BC, homes are filled with expensive new ‘merch’ and thieves will be looking for easy targets. Here’s how to keep the Grinch at bay:
- Don’t place product packaging outside your door or on the curb, this advertises what’s inside your home. Dismantle retail boxes before you put them in the garbage or recycling.
- Treat gift cards like cash. Don’t store them in predictable places such as a desk, bedside table or the top kitchen drawer. Keep them locked in a safe if you have one, or another secure hiding place. Make note of gift card numbers and retailer contact information in case you need to report any lost or stolen cards.
- If you park on the road or in the driveway, avoid leaving garage-door openers inside your car. It's easy for thieves to locate and use these to get into your home.
- Ensure entrance doors and windows, along with their locks and deadbolts are good quality.
- Keep entrance ways well-lit using motion detector lights. Consider installing a security alarm, cameras or a smart doorbell to deter any unwanted visitors.
2. Prevent damage or loss within your home
Staying on top of home maintenance is key when it comes to protecting your property and belongings. To help prevent accidents such as fire, water leaks or other water-related damage from happening:
- Check your roof, gutters and draining system for damage or blockages to prevent strong winds and heavy rains from turning a small fix to a big headache.
- Inside the home, keep plumbing, heating and appliances well-maintained to avoid water leaks, household floods and fire.
- Ensure fire alarms work properly and replace batteries every six months. Test your alarm monthly.
3. Let your home or renters insurance work for you
If you don't already have it, the start of a new year is a great time to get home or renters insurance to protect your belongings. And if you don't have home or renters insurance, there's no time like the present to prioritize taking care of your assets.
For those with home insurance coverage already, take a fresh look at your policy and make sure it covers all your belongings, including your new high-value holiday gifts.
- Review your home insurance’s personal property coverage and adjust the limit accordingly if your new, high-value gifts require added protection. It’s important to consider how much it would cost to replace your personal items in the event of a loss, not just how much you bought them for or think that they are worth.
- If you’ve got a particular high-value item that needs extra protection – beyond what your standard limits offer – talk to an insurance advisor about ‘scheduling’ it. This means paying an additional premium to insure a particular item up to its actual value. For example, jewellery, bicycles or golf equipment.
- Create an inventory of your valuables. Knowing what you own and having proof can reduce stress should you have to make a claim. Keep all receipts and take photos or videos of your belongings, including any serial numbers.
- Certain items like jewellery, bicycles and golf equipment can have maximum levels of coverage under basic insurance. Talk to your insurance advisor about getting extra coverage for their full value.
- If you can, mark or engrave valuable items for identification so they’re harder for thieves to re-sell and can be returned to you if they’ve been found after having been stolen.
- If you rent, its important to know that a landlord's insurance doesn't cover your personal items. Protect your belongings with BCAA Renters Insurance.
4. Find protection that's kind on your wallet
It feels good to give, but when the holiday season comes to a close, it's natural to find savings where you can. BCAA Insurance offers a range of coverage options and discounts.
- BCAA Members receive exclusive discounts*. Members can save up to 20% on BCAA Home Insurance. Not a Member? Join today.
- When you're a BCAA Member, having multiple insurance products entitles you to bundle savings. For example, you can save $40 when you buy BCAA Home Insurance and BCAA Optional Car Insurance, plus receive free tire protection.*
- BCAA offers discounts if you bundle your BCAA Home Insurance and BCAA Optional Car Insurance.
- Ensure you’re getting value by weighing out product features and exclusions, not just price. If there's customizable coverage options, these are also a great way to tailor your insurance and get the coverage that's right for you. Get a no-obligation BCAA Home Insurance quote now to learn more about what's included in our comprehensive home insurance.
- Take measures around your home to prevent theft, damage or loss. You may qualify for further BCAA Home Insurance discounts if you’re claims free or have monitored alarms and safety systems.
5. Not sure what’s valuable?
Here are some examples of common, high-value gifts and items that may require you to adjust your home insurance coverage.
- TV and gaming consoles
- Laptop and desktop computers
- Cameras and camcorders
- Bicycles and other sporting equipment (golf clubs, skis, snowboards etc.)
- Gift cards
- Musical instruments
6. Start the new year off right!
Protect yourself from the financial impacts of losing your household goods, including your new holiday gifts. You'll sleep soundly knowing BCAA paid out on 95% of home insurance claims related to fire, water, weather and theft.** Learn more and get your no-obligation quote at bcaa.com/home.
Home Insurance is sold through B.C.A.A. Holdings Ltd. dba BCAA Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance agency, and underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation.
*BCAA Member savings on insurance products are only available with Basic, Plus or Premier Membership plans. For full details, please visit bcaa.com/plans
**From 2019 to 2020, BCAA paid out on average 95% of home insurance claims related to fire, water, weather and theft. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.