You’re running late for work. You run out the door to get in your car, but your car isn’t where you left it. Your car has been stolen. Now what?
According to the FBI, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 44 seconds. That means there are almost 2,000 cars stolen in the U.S. every day. Having your car stolen is a frightening experience, and hopefully something that you will never have to encounter If you do fall victim to vehicle theft, use these tips to help you deal with the crisis.
Make Sure Your Car Is Actually Stolen
We all have walked to our car in a busy parking lot or parking garage and haven’t been able to remember where we parked. Maybe, you parked on a different level or thought you parked somewhere else? Other things to consider include whether you parked in a “no parking” zone or in front of a fire hydrant. If you think your car has been towed, contact the local towing companies and see if they have your car prior to reporting your car as stolen.
Call the Police
If you determine that your car has been stolen, you should immediately call the local police and file a report. The police will ask for a detailed description of your car, including color, year, model and make. If you have any distinguishing features of your car, make sure to report this as well.
The police will also ask if you have the licence plate number and VIN number of your vehicle. If you haven’t already, write this information down and keep it somewhere safe at your home or even on your cell phone. This will help police locate your vehicle and make it harder for the thief to sell your car.
Modern technology has been able to help recover stolen cars and even prevent thefts before they happen. Services like OnStar and LoJack make it easy for you to locate your car in the event of a theft. If you left your computer or cell phone in your car when it was stolen, you may also be able to track the location of your device.
When you file a police report, inform authorities of any tracking device your car may have. This technology may very well be the lead police need to locate your car and get it safely returned to you in a timely manner.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After you report your car stolen, file a claim with your auto insurance company. If you are using Royce Williams Insurance Agency, you can call us at (615) 356-4800 or call our 24-hour claims at 1-800-386-6126 to report your car stolen.
Work with your insurance company and provide the police report, along with any personal property that was left in the car. Reporting a claim will not only help you get your car back to you, it can also help protect you if the thief causes damage to your vehicle or uses your car to cause damage to others.
Stop Theft Before It Happens
You can’t completely prevent car theft, but you can take steps to make it less likely for thieves to target your vehicle. Make sure to always lock your car and never leave spare keys in your vehicle. Further, never leave your car running, even if you think you’ll return shortly. A car alarm is a great deterrent for thieves. If your car didn’t come with an alarm system, you can get a car alarm affordably installed at most major electronic stores. Also, be sure to never leave valuables in your car.
Nobody expects to be a victim of a car theft, but knowing what to do and how to prevent theft will keep you better prepared. To help protect yourself in the event that your vehicle is stolen, make sure you have comprehensive coverage added to your auto insurance policy. If you have questions about your auto insurance policy and whether it covers auto theft or want to add comprehensive coverage to your existing policy, contact Royce Williams Insurance Agency at (615) 356-4800.