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‘Tis the season for theft, warns AMI

AMI is warning people to be wary ahead of the busiest time of the year for theft claims.

Almost 20% of all theft insurance claims occur during the festive period (Dec-Jan), with January consistently the top single month for all theft claims.

“Typically, we see a spike in theft claims during summer,” says AMI Executive General Manager Consumer Brands, Paula ter Brake. “It’s likely that this is a popular time for thieves because that’s when a lot of people are away on holiday.”

The top items stolen during the festive period are clothes, tools, and phones, although sporting equipment, bikes, and electronics feature too.

“From what we can tell from the claims data, it looks like small, portable items are often taken,” says Paula ter Brake. “You might think that your shoes or bags aren’t going to be targets, but unfortunately, they are.”

Surprisingly, makeup also features on the stolen item list, with 2,249 claims for toiletries and makeup over the past five years.

Christmas gifts, parcel thefts and lost bags

Even gifts are not off limits, with 75% of all claims for gifts taken from cars, and some occasional instances from underneath Christmas trees.

Instances of stolen bags also rise in December, as bags are lost or left under seats at restaurants or at parties.

Parcel theft bucks the festive trend, however. Despite the higher number of deliveries in December, claims tend to remain relatively stable throughout the year.

“It’s hard to say from insurance data if parcel thefts increase in December,” says Paula ter Brake, “as not all parcel thefts will result in an insurance claim. However, we do have several claims for parcels that were taken while a house was being burgled, and a few instances where parcels were taken from the whole street.”

Cars targeted while shopping

Last year, 10% of all car theft or damage claims that occurred in shopping carparks happened in December.

“December is a common time for cars to be stolen or damaged while shopping – which is probably because that’s when we spend a lot more time parked in shopping carparks,” says Paula ter Brake.

“Overall, the festive season unfortunately brings a spike in theft claims. As always, lock up your belongings, keep them out of sight, and keep in touch with your neighbours; but if the worst happens, AMI’s claims team will be available throughout the holiday season if you need us.”

 

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