It’s that time of year when parking lots are especially crowded and stores are so full, you can hardly move. Everyone is rushing to get their Christmas shopping wrapped up. The stores are even more tempting with sales offering the “lowest price of the season.” You may be no stranger to the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping season, but in all your haste, you might become careless in your safety. Make sure your personal insurance is in order, and abide by the following steps for safe shopping this holiday season. Guard yourself, property, and payment information - then enjoy your very Merry Christmas!

Plan Ahead For Safety

Your day might be crazy and full with a long To-Do list. Personal insurance agencies, interested in protecting their clients' safety, suggest that by planning ahead, you can ensure all of your in-store shoppingis done early in the day, while there is still daylight. Turn your shopping errands into a social activity. Shopping in pairs, or a group helps ensure your safety, and will make you less likely to be targeted as a victim when leaving the store. If you must go to the store at night, when the parking lot is dark and dangerous, take someone with you. If there is no one to go with, then simply do not go. No gift is worth your safety, and no sale is so great as to put your life in danger. As dramatic as this may sound, this time of year means more mall traffic, more distracted shoppers, and naturally, more crime around shopping centers and in parking lots.

Protect Your Packages From Theft

Whether in your hands or on your porch, your Christmas gifts could be very tempting and if left unprotected, could be easily stolen. Start by shipping your Christmas gifts to your office, where it is likely someone will always be there to accept the delivery. If you are determined to have your gifts shipped to your home, sign up for real-time shipment alerts so you know when the delivery arrives at your door. If you are leaving a store or shopping center, try to consolidate all of your smaller purchases into one bag, and take a reusable shopping bag with handles that go over your shoulders to secure your purchases. If you are making multiple stops, do your best to hide any purchases so they cannot be easily seen. Also, make sure your property is protected with personal insurance. By doing this, if anything is stolen, it should be covered by insurance and can be replaced.

Our final step to avoid a personal insurance claim is to guard your payment information. Many of us choose to avoid stores, and with the simplicity of online shopping and the great deals, it seems crazy to even leave your home to fight the crowds. Most companies offer free shipping on top of any online coupons so there is nothing to lose by doing all of your shopping online - or so one may think. While you might not face the dangers of a dark mall parking lot, shopping online can still be dangerous for your bank account if you aren’t careful. Whether shopping at a big retail chain, or a small online boutique, monitor your credit card charges and beware of suspicious activity. If possible, try to use one card just for online purchases so it will be easier to track the balance. Also, set alerts on your cards for any purchases made without the card present so you are notified if your card information is stolen.

As previously mentioned, no gift or sale is worth your safety, so make sure your first priority is to protect yourself. Guard your family this holiday season with comprehensive personal insurance coverage that will safeguard your loved ones all year long. At Jones & Associates, we can insure all of your personal and commercial property and more! Our family owned and operated agency can provide health insurance coverage, homeowners and auto insurance as well as coverage for identity theft. We want to make sure you have the best coverage to protect what is important to you. Call our insurance team today and let us help you guard your person, property, and payment information!

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