Whether the midnight deals, cheerful crowds, and festive music of Black Friday shopping are your cup of tea or if you’re more of a sit-at-home-in-your-pjs-online kind of shopper on the day after Thanksgiving, it can be a fun way to start the holiday season. However, there are some sneaky risks you want to watch out for so this crazy, fun tradition doesn’t become a nightmare.
Crowded Parking Lots
There are several concerns that might arise when you park in those mall lots. In a slew of probably tired and possibly distracted holiday drivers, vehicular damage and injuries are a real possibility.
- Be sure to photograph your car before and after shopping to document any damage that may lead to a claim.
- Carry adequate liability insurance to cover any situations where you are at fault.
Theft is also a concern. Not only might your car be a target, but all those bags of recently purchased items could be as well.
- Be sure to lock your vehicle doors and hide bags. If they are unidentifiable, potential thieves might feel it isn’t worth the risk.
- Carry adequate Homeowners insurance. Typically they cover stolen items when they aren’t always in the car.
Cluttered Store Aisles
If you shop in the “real” Black Friday world, you know that displays tumbling into the walkways and people sitting in random locations to enjoy a 3AM snack are not unprecedented. If fact, it is all part of the craziness that makes this day a serious shopper’s dream. However, there are physical risks in a crowded store.
- Keep your eyes open for any potential hazards. Let store employees know, when possible, to prevent accidents.
- If you are injured and the store is negligent, they may compensate you. Be sure to communicate this to your insurance company as you may need to reimburse them if you file a claim and collect from the store.
Of course, all of you “armchair” Black Friday shoppers don’t escape all of the risk. In 2016, 15.4 million Americans experienced identity theft. This can be catastrophic. Check out our recent blog, Identity Theft: More than Credit Card Fraud.
- Keep track of documents with personal information at all times, whether it is a receipt or your purse/wallet. Shop online at known and trusted retailers.
- Check statements regularly to catch fraud early. You may not only be able to reverse charges but you might be able to mitigate serious damage.
- Check your Renters/Homeowners Insurance policies to see if they include identity theft coverage and to what extent they offer coverage. Consider purchasing a stand-alone identity theft policy to have additional protection.
However you choose to enjoy Black Friday, following some simple tips can help make sure the day becomes a special memory and NOT a nightmare. Happy Shopping!