PEMCO Poll: Online Shoppers Are Staying a Step Ahead of Porch Pirates

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As online holiday shopping packages begin to land on porches, PEMCO Mutual Insurance is out with a new poll that shows Northwest residents have become increasingly proactive about protecting their purchases – and it appears to be paying off.

According to the latest PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, fewer online shoppers in Washington and Oregon are leaving their deliveries unattended, compared to just one year ago. Back then, when asked how they guard against package theft, 28% of residents reported they did “nothing” to protect their deliveries. Today, that number is down significantly, with only 16% of residents saying they don’t take any action to protect their packages.

Instead, the PEMCO poll saw an uptick in Northwesterners tracking their packages, watching for delivery alerts and installing surveillance tech around their homes. And their efforts appear to be deterring package thieves: more than half of those polled in 2019 (54%) say they’ve never experienced package theft. In 2018, 49% said the same.

“Online shopping has become synonymous with holiday gift giving, and while many of us have experienced the frustration of package theft, our poll seems to show that shoppers are staying one step ahead of would-be porch pirates,” said PEMCO spokesperson, Derek Wing. “Interestingly, despite all the security technology at our fingertips these days, what seems to be working is old-fashioned vigilance, like making sure someone is home on delivery day.”

In order to protect their packages, a majority of respondents (55%) say they track their packages closely using electronic alerts, and 39% make sure someone is home to accept packages. For those who aren’t home during delivery times, 11% say they designate a different shipping address, like a place of work or a neighbor’s house.

The PEMCO poll also found that more residents are investing in security technologies, such as Package Guard or Ring Doorbell systems. Nearly a quarter of Seattleites (21%) and 16% of Portlanders say they’ve installed these systems to guard against theft.

Only 9% of online shoppers report that they use safe delivery services, like Key by Amazon, a remote access application that allows packages to be delivered inside your garage, home or car.

According to the poll, some Northwest residents do experience more package theft than others. Overall, the poll found an 11-percentage point jump in package theft when comparing homeowners and renters: 38% of homeowners and 49% of renters say they have experienced package theft, if only rarely.

On average, renters tend to have fewer options when it comes to keeping their newly delivered items out of plain sight. Whereas many homeowners can instruct shippers to deliver packages to a specific location, such as "inside the carport" or "behind the planter box," renters may want to utilize different strategies, especially if they live in an apartment. Some options include:

  • Requesting delivery confirmation: Many delivery services offer to send electronic alerts and/or require a recipient’s signature before dropping off a package. Just realize that if you require a signature, and you're not there to sign, you'll need to work with the shipping company to reschedule your delivery.
  • Don’t leave your packages out for too long: Install a lockbox on your front porch or use other technology-enabled security devices to keep your packages safe until you get home. If that is not an option, check with your management office to see if they might hold packages for you in a safe spot.
  • Get to know your neighbors: Ship your order to a trusted neighbor who you know will be home during delivery hours or ask them to check your doorstep if you are waiting for something to arrive.
  • Bring your home to your work for a change: If your employer permits it, use your work address rather than your home address for deliveries.

For a complete summary of PEMCO’s proprietary poll results visit, where you’ll find responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in October 2019.

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 578 respondents in Washington and 427 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.2 and 4.8% respectively at the 95% confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

Supplemental interviews were conducted with people living in the Seattle metro area, including King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, and those in the Portland metro area, including Clackamas, Marion, Multnomah and Washington counties. The sample size, 578 respondents in the Seattle area and 509 in the Portland area, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.2% and +/- 4.4% respectively at the 95% confidence level.

About PEMCO Insurance

PEMCO Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. We are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener environments; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more. To learn more, visit


Derek Wing
PEMCO Insurance

Jordyn Bauerlein
Firmani + Associates Inc.