You walked into the store, jingling your keys, fiddling with your phone, without a care in the world. A few minutes – or hours – later, you’re back out, bags in hand. You look around at where you’re sure you parked your car. You know you parked it under that street lamp and now it’s gone! What are you going to do?!
Here’s what you need to do if your vehicle is ever stolen.
- Breathe. Take a deep breath. Try not to panic. Your car might not be stolen.
- Think for a second. Are you behind on your payments? Did you park in a no-parking zone? It’s possible your car has been towed away or repossessed.
- If that’s not a possibility, think about the technology in your vehicle. Do you have GPS, OnStar, Safety Connect, Blue Link, or anything like that? This will help you in the next step.
- Call the police and report your vehicle stolen. They’ll ask for your vehicle identification number (VIN), your license plate number, the make and model of your vehicle, and anything to help identify your car.
- Make sure to tell them about any safety tech in your vehicle. They can contact those companies to help track down your car. Blue Link may even be able to disable the vehicle or stop it where it is.
- Make a quick list of everything you remember in your vehicle, all your personal possessions. If you keep a gun in your car, make sure you tell the police about it. They’ll want to know about that and may ask about your license for it.
- Now that the police report is filed, call your insurance company to start the claim process. They’ll ask for a lot of information, too. Be prepared to tell them the names of everyone who has access to your vehicle (including friends and roommates) and the location of all your sets of keys. When you get home, verify your keys are where you thought they were.
- Share the list you made of your personal belongings with the insurance company. This will likely be included in your claim.
- When you’re done, call your lender or leasing company if you’re still paying for your vehicle. They’ll be the beneficiary of most (if not all) of the claim the insurance company pays out. They may be able to work directly with your insurance company which gives you one less thing to worry about.
WHAT TO DO IN THE FUTURE?
Hopefully you never have your car stolen. To help prevent future theft and to help recover if it happens again, keep these things in mind:
- Always carry full coverage on your vehicle. Without comprehensive coverage, you won’t get anything if your vehicle is stolen.
- Keep your personal belongings, especially expensive ones, out of sight. Laptops and other big items should be kept with you or in the trunk.
- Lock your doors and roll up your windows, even in your own driveway. Some thefts are crimes of opportunity as a thief checks doors to see which one will open.
- Don’t leave your keys in or near your car. Not even as a back-up.
Check your insurance to make sure you have the coverage you need in case your vehicle is ever stolen. Contact Charlotte Insurance today, and we’ll answer any questions you have or provide an estimate to help you find the right auto insurance coverage.