The last thing anyone wants to think about is their car being stolen; however, it happens a lot more than people think. According to the Insurance Information Institute , about 810,400 vehicles were stolen in the year 2020. If you live in a metropolitan area, you are more likely than those in rural areas to fall victim to car theft, based on a report by the FBI. You think it won’t happen to you but knowing steps of action just in case it does can be very helpful. The following steps will help you be better prepared for what to do after realizing your car was taken.
First, did you look hard enough?
It sounds silly, but you would be surprised by the number of people nationally who report a stolen vehicle only to find out they were on the wrong floor of the parking garage. After you have looked, truly looked, and realize it has been stolen, it is time to act.
Call the police
Provide the police with as much information as possible about your vehicle.
- VIN number
- The make, model, and color of your vehicle
- Where you last saw it
- If your vehicle has any special equipment and upgrades (this will help police separate it from other vehicles when looking)
- If your vehicle has a tracking device (this is common in newer cars and important for police to know so they can track it down more easily)
Tip: make sure to take a picture of your police report - you’ll need it for the next step.
Contact your insurance company
Remember the picture you took of your police report? Now is the time to give it to your insurance company along with other useful information such as:
- Date and time of the theft
- Last known location of your vehicle
- Location of all the keys to the vehicle
- Title of the car
- Names and contact info of anyone who has access to the vehicle
- Details of the car and the condition it was in when stolen
You may be curious – does car insurance cover a stolen vehicle? Probably so. Of course, every insurance policy may vary, but if you have comprehensive coverage, then yes, depending on terms of your specific policy, a stolen vehicle should be covered. Talk with your agent about your specific policy and make sure you’re prepared for unforeseen incidents like this.
Car theft is nearly impossible to avoid, but here are a few simple ways to reduce the chances.
- Park in well-lit and well-known areas if you can
- Keep your vehicle locked always
- Never leave your keys in the vehicle
- Make sure nothing valuable is out in the open of the vehicle