Car Theft Advice: What to Do If Your Car is Stolen
There are few things worse than being the victim of a theft. But when it’s your car that has been stolen, the thief has also taken away your mobility and independence as well as a pricey possession. If you ever find yourself a victim of a car theft, here are four steps you should take to speed up the recovery and car insurance claim process.
Make sure you have your car’s information on hand. Keep a slip of paper in your wallet that reminds you of your car’s make, model, color, year, license plate number and even the VIN number. The quicker you contact your local authorities, the better the chance of them finding your stolen car.
The quicker you start the claim process, the quicker you’ll have the money you need to find yourself another car if yours isn’t retrieved. In most cases, your insurance company will give your local police a 30-day period to retrieve your car. If your car is found within that time it will be examined, repaired and usually returned to you. If it hasn’t been retrieved by the end of the wait period, your claim will reach a settlement, and that is when you will receive compensation for your stolen vehicle in order to purchase or lease another car. If your car is retrieved after that time, a salvage title may be given to the stolen car and it will be sent to a salvage yard.
If you are leasing your car or if your car has been financed, contact your lender or leasing agent. In both cases, the quicker these companies contact your insurance company, the quicker your claim can be processed.
If you had any costly personal belongings in your car, you may want to consider filing an insurance claim to cover the cost of these things as well. Depending on your car insurance policy, some of these items (like a car stereo, jumper cables, floor mats, etc.) may be covered under that policy. Other items like clothes, CDs and other electronics may have to be filed in a separate insurance claim through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
Losing your belongings to theft is always an unfortunate event. However, one reason you have car insurance is to protect yourself in circumstances such as these. If you feel like you may not have the right car insurance coverage to protect your car and your belongings, request one or more car insurance quotes today to make sure you have the protection you deserve.
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