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When Your Car Is Stolen

Jan 16, 2008
Knowing what to do when your car is stolen is important in terms of keeping a grip on the situation and coming to a reasonable resolution as quickly as possible. While there are many variables involved when your car is stolen, there are a number of things you can do to keep your cool and collect as much information as possible to file a complete claim with your insurance company.

Remain Calm and Ask Questions

Having your car stolen will doubtlessly produce a number of emotions, but you need to keep yourself calm so that you can think clearly. Think about any preventative measures you may have taken. Do you have copies of important documents in a safe place outside your car? This includes copies of your driver's license, vehicle registration information, and other documents. Having copies of these documents will make it easier to find your car or, at the very least, file a proper claim.

Do you have pictures of your car for insurance purposes? It's never a bad idea to have pictures of your vehicle to help with the process of finding your vehicle or putting together a solid claim. Pictures offer proof of value should you need to submit a claim. They'll also help police identify your car by using any identifying features or marks on the car.

Did you use any anti-theft measures and, if so, why did they fail? Car alarms and locking devices may fail, as car thieves are discovering ways to bypass the vehicle's security system to get what they want. Take stock of the anti-theft measures you have for your vehicle and volunteer that information to police, even if you're a little embarrassed that a car thief managed to get by your state-of-the-art security alarm.

The Next Step

After you have done a proper inventory in terms of your vehicle, remember to complete any instructions the police may give to you. Police will typically ask for any insurance documents, registration copies, vehicle pictures, serial numbers, and any receipts for car augmentations that may also be included. Always provide complete information to police.

Contact your insurance agency immediately after contacting the police. This will help in getting your claim processed and should also provide you with a rental car so that you can still travel. Always provide complete details with your insurance company and produce any documents they request. This will help in the overall processing of your claim.

If you happen to find your vehicle, take caution when proceeding. The thief could be nearby or you could be in some form of danger. Always call police when there are any changes to the case or if you made an error and discover your car has not been stolen. There are many embarrassing cases involving alleged car thefts.

Cooperation is Key

It's important to remember that police and insurance companies are there to help. Providing complete information is integral to getting a healthy resolution out of the problem. Be polite, patient, and kind when dealing with police and insurance companies and you should see rapid results.
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