While someone can swipe a package from your doorstep any day of the year, porch piracy surges during the holiday season. This is particularly true for 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government stay-at-home and quarantine orders have only added more speed to the groundswell of online shopping, which presents more opportunity for package theft from homes for a few reasons. Not only are there simply more packages sitting outside front doors, but this e-commerce boom has led to delivery delays that make it hard for recipients to accurately track when their package will arrive. Additionally, commercial drivers are adhering to social distancing guidelines that limit contact with package recipients. This combination of factors makes it even easier for porch pirates to trail delivery trucks and commit theft.
Here are some fast facts:
- U.S. e-commerce spending increased by more than 30% from the beginning of March through mid-April compared with the same period last year. (Source)
- 1 in 5 Americans reported being victims of porch piracy amid the coronavirus crisis; 18% experienced a theft since March. (Source)
- 54% of consumers reported multiple package thefts in the past 12 months. (Source)
- 47% of Americans say that all or most of their holiday shopping this year will be online. (Source)
Because porch piracy is such a common issue in neighborhoods across the country, we’ve outlined some steps you can take to help ensure the safety of your packages. Follow our porch pirate prevention plan to keep your packages—holiday and otherwise—out of the wrong hands.
Many retailers will let you order a product online and have it delivered to their brick-and-mortar store. The store will notify you when the package is available and will hold onto it until you’re ready to retrieve it. Target, Apple, Home Depot, and Kohl’s are just a few of the many stores that offer this free service.
Signature Upon Delivery
The “signature upon delivery” option has changed due to COVID-19. You can still choose this option with carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS to help ensure the safety of your packages, but be aware that carriers may not be allowed to ring your doorbell, accept a physical signature, and the like. Contact will be limited, so be sure to check the policies of each carrier. Regardless, carriers will still leave a notice or attempt subsequent deliveries if they cannot obtain a “signature,” ultimately sending your package to a local facility for you to pick up at your convenience.
Another option is to have your package shipped to a secure location. You may be able to send it to a FedEx location or ask your local post office to hold on to it for you. Those ordering through Amazon can have their packages sent to an Amazon Hub Locker for safekeeping. You can find these self-serve locations at local grocery stores, malls, and more.
Purchasing a P.O. box at your local post office is another easy way to keep your package safe. Send your packages straight to your P.O. box and swing by the post office when you have mail. Another route is to buy a high-tech lockbox for your front porch, which offers advanced locking features. Some have keypads, while others have digital padlocks or traditional keys.
Prefer a more tech-savvy plan? Install a doorbell camera that monitors and records activity on your porch. You can even post signs that warn your home is under surveillance. This can help dissuade thefts or potentially catch those in the act.
Know The Law
Though package thefts are often difficult to catch, states are enacting stricter legislation to discourage porch piracy. Michigan and Texas have led the charge, creating bills that increase fines and jail time as punishment. South Carolina also has a theft-protection bill waiting for approval.
Unfortunately, package theft is a common problem, but following these steps of precaution may help protect your items.
Contact us today to find out how our all-risk insurance may help further protect your shipments.