Holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $1,047.83 this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Though many go online to make their holiday purchases, it’s still hard to find it all without at least one trip to the mall or local shops. All this leads to extra crowds, a spike in package deliveries and more opportunities for someone to take advantage of your holiday generosity.
To stay safe, here are five tips from Erie Insurance to keep in mind when you’re out and about.
- Take with you only what you need. Leave the purse at home if you can, and bring only keys, phone and a means to pay. Keep your credit card and cash in your front pocket to make it more difficult for pickpockets in crowded spaces to swipe.
- Safe parking.While shopping during daylight hours is safer, especially when you’re heading out to the parking lot with your bags of gifts, night shopping is often a necessity. Park your car in a well-lit area as close to the entrance as possible.
- Safe return. Always check your surroundings as you return to your vehicle. If you see something that doesn’t feel right, turn around and go back inside. It’s also a good idea to have your keys ready — don’t set your purse or packages on top of your car to fumble around for them. If you feel unsafe walking alone in the parking facilities, request a security guard to escort you.
- Slow down. Whether entering or exiting crowded parking lots or ramps, cars can pull out suddenly and people can appear from seemingly nowhere. Slow down and minimize distractions in the car to give driving your full attention.
- Smart storage. It’s best to head straight home after your shopping trip, but that’s not always practical. If you have more errands on your list, be conscious of where you store your gifts in your vehicle. If possible, clear room in your trunk and don’t leave gifts or large items on your front seat.
Keeping these tips in mind while you shop for family and friends this holiday season will help you stay safe. It’s also a good time to check in with your insurance agent to be sure that all of your valuables are covered. You can easily find a local ERIE agent to help you get the right coverage with the options you need.
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 9th largest homeowners insurer and 12th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 16th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written.