Vehicle Stolen, Now What?
It's every car owner's worst nightmare: you arrive at your parking spot to discover that your vehicle has been stolen! Unfortunately, vehicle theft occurs more frequently than you might think, with one theft occurring every minute in the United States.
Your first reaction may be to panic if you discover that your car has been stolen. While that desire is understandable, it is critical that you remain calm and take the necessary steps to report your vehicle theft to the police and to your auto insurance company.
The sooner you take action, the sooner you'll be able to get back behind the wheel.
Submit a Police Report
The first step is to contact your local police department and report the theft. This serves two functions. First, the police department can provide you with a stolen vehicle report, which your insurance company will require when you file a claim.
Notifying the police about your vehicle also allows local patrol officers to keep an eye out for it. While it is not always possible, there is always the possibility that police will recover your vehicle!
Please contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
The next step is to notify your auto insurance company of the theft. Most auto insurance companies now allow you to submit claims online or over the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Even if you don't have comprehensive coverage that covers vehicle theft, you should notify your insurance company that your car was stolen because you'll want to make sure you're protected in the event that the person who stole your vehicle causes damage to other property with your car.
What You'll Need to File Your Claim
Another critical step in notifying your insurance company of the theft is filing your insurance claim. The specific documentation required to file a claim varies by insurance carrier, but there are a few things you will almost certainly need to provide in order to make your claim.
To begin, you will undoubtedly require a copy of your vehicle title as well as a copy of your police report. Your insurance agent will also collect a detailed description of your vehicle, which may include information such as:
The approximate mileage of your vehicle at the time of theft
Service records from the last few years or proof of upgrades
Checking the make, model, and year
If your vehicle contained any personal property at the time of the theft, you may be asked to provide an itemized list.
Understanding Theft Insurance Coverage
If your vehicle is stolen, hopefully you have comprehensive theft coverage in place; the right coverage will reimburse you for a replacement vehicle worth at least as much as the current market value of your car. Remember that depreciation will need to be factored in, so this will most likely not be the price you paid for the car when you bought it.
You may also be entitled to a temporary replacement in the form of a rental vehicle until your claim is approved and you can purchase a permanent replacement, depending on your coverage. This is excellent coverage to have because the claims process for a stolen vehicle can be lengthy.
A vehicle theft can be a frightening and unsettling experience; however, with the right coverage and by taking the necessary steps immediately after the theft, you can get through this difficult time and get back on the road.
Contact us today for more information on auto theft insurance coverage or to ensure you're properly covered.