A client called O’Connor Insurance about a loss due to theft. Some valuables had been stolen. Some weeks later, the theft was traced to a person working for their landscape company who had been allowed into the house to use the restroom. Several of the items were recovered, and the landscape company paid for the rest of the missing items.
From time to time we have to invite people we have yet to meet into our homes. We presume that those persons are trustworthy because we trust the companies with whom we do business. Even so, it is not uncommon for things like identity theft or burglaries to originate with people we trust. With just a few thoughtful steps, you can reduce your risk when accepting a person into your home.
Imagine if you are having a new refrigerator delivered. Walk from the door where the delivery persons will enter to the kitchen. Look around and what do you see? Any mail laying out? Do you have keys hanging on hooks? Any particularly valuable items in along the path? Is your calendar posted showing when you will be out of town?
Do Business with Reputable Companies – Companies that send out delivery workers or maintenance and repair staff ought to run periodic background checks on their employees. Make sure you ask specifically before buying an appliance or engaging a company to repair something in your home.
Tidy Up – A stack of bills is a very tempting target for an identity thief. Even if the person who swipes your mail is not the thief, they may sell your letters to an identity thief. Put away valuables and keep your computers off. Walk through the area where the men and women working in your home are going to be and remove anything that might be tempting.
Ask for Names and ID – There is no reason a company will not give you the last name and first name of whoever is coming to your home, and it is perfectly reasonable to ask for ID. Should someone be tempted to take something from your home, just the fact that you have their full name may be enough to deter them.
Have an Inventory – Whether or not a burglar is someone you met, having an inventory of your personal property is a great idea. Keep it in a safe place, even off-site such as at a safety deposit box or the home of a trusted friend. A well-organized inventory – especially with photos – will help authorities recover your property and your insurance company to replace that which is lost for good.
If you have questions about how much coverage you have for your personal items for your home, condo or apartment, contact your independent agent at O’Connor Insurance. We can help you identify any gaps in coverage, or find ways to get better coverage for your budget.