Taking more of your shopping online? You’re not alone. E-commerce sales in Canada hit an all-time high in 2020 as many Canadians turned to online shopping and home delivery services during the pandemic.1 While home delivery offers a safe and convenient way to receive your goods, it’s important to think about the associated risks and what you can do to prevent them.
You’ve likely heard of “porch pirates” – thieves who steal unattended packages left by couriers at customers’ homes. According to a recent survey by delivery service company FedEx, one out of three online shoppers in Canada has had a package stolen off their doorstep.2
To prevent package theft, consider investing in outdoor security cameras or a video doorbell. The visible presence of these systems acts as a deterrent for would-be thieves and can help to capture their identity. You can also invest in a package lockbox, which conceals your deliveries from street view and requires a key for package retrieval. Include any special instructions for the courier, including how to access the lockbox, when placing your order. Most major carriers will also allow you to request a signature for delivery. If you’re not home to sign for your package, it will be dropped off at the nearest post office or depot rather than left unattended on your porch.
If a courier or postal worker is hurt when making a delivery to your property, you could be held responsible. One of the most common liabilities when it comes to home deliveries is a slip and fall claim. Slip and falls involve a person tripping and falling due to a hazard created by the negligence of the homeowner or tenant. As a homeowner or tenant, it is your responsibility to keep your property and entranceways – such as stairs, walkways and driveways – safe for people to use them. Ensure there is a clear, even path to your home that is well-lit, regularly maintained and free of obstructions or debris. Consider installing a video system with a clear view of the pathway to your home, which can be used to protect yourself against fraudulent slip and fall claims.3
If a courier or postal worker causes damage to your property or something on your property during delivery, contact the courier company or postal service directly. If the property damage is significant, contact your insurance provider right away. Your insurer will advocate on your behalf and work with the post office or mail supplier to solve the property damage issue. Gather any evidence you have, such as surveillance camera footage and photos of the damage to support your claim.
Stay safe at home with the peace of mind that you, your home and your belongings are protected. Contact your OTIP insurance broker at 1-800-267-6847 to discuss your coverage options or call 1-866-561-5559 to get a quote for home insurance.
1. CBC News
2. CTV News Toronto
3. Canadian Underwriter