Protecting Gifts, InsuranceThis holiday season, you may have some pretty big gifts lined up for you loved ones—or you may be expecting to receive one or two yourself. Whether you have a 16-year-old banking on their first car, a retired parent promised an RV to let them travel the country, or you’re looking forward to a new speedboat you and your spouse have been saving up for as a gift to yourselves, this is the season of giving and gratitude.

There are plenty of tips on how to properly gift someone with one of these high-dollar items—especially when you subtly receive input from the intended receiver, as recommended by—but many people live a little too much in the “present” and hold off on insuring some of these large purchases until just before they intend to take them on the road. While it’s not as likely in the case of a car, an RV or watercraft is more likely to fall victim to the holiday protection lurch, and the holiday spirit alone can’t protect these investments from damage or theft.

Protect Your Yuletide Cheer

There are a few easy ways to make sure that those large investments, whether you’re keeping them or giving them to someone else, are protected even before they hit the road. Obviously these gifts need to be insured, but how do you handle that when you intend to give it away? Your new driver may be able to sit on your insurance until he or she turns 18, but your RV-hopeful parents certainly won’t!

In the case of gifts, there are two things you can do:

  • Talk to your insurance agent about temporary insurance on a gift vehicle. This is common enough during the holidays that the majority of agents should be ready to help you out.
  • Talk to your loved one about the insurance company they use, and contact that company for a personalized quote. If the agency is local, you may be able to speak directly to your relative’s agent and get them in on the surprise!

In general, you want to have a measure of protection in place prior to giving the gift, and it’s generally simpler to simply insure it yourself until you can hand it over. This way if anything happens in transit, or I the festivities get a little out of hand, there’s nothing to worry about. Remember that in the days leading up to Christmas in 2013, the Picayune Times reported more than 150 vehicles were vandalized in New Orleans’ West Bank alone—there’s no easier way to have the perfect gift ruined than by not protecting it properly.

Safety for Giver and Receiver

No matter what it is or who it’s for, insuring big-ticket items is integral to assuring you and your loved ones have a joyous holiday season. Talk to your family, even if you have to drop some pretty big hints in the process, to be completely sure you’re making the right move in giving away something so valuable; you should also talk to friends and loved ones if you’re buying something for yourself or your household to make sure that everyone is on board and the opportunity is worth it for your current economic situation. Lastly, always talk to your insurance agent before you make a high-dollar holiday purchase and they’ll help make sure you’re protected as soon as you drive, tow or ride it off the lot.