Having your vehicle stolen is a nightmare scenario for any car owner. In 2018 alone, nearly 750,000 cars were stolen in the United States. A stolen vehicle can affect your life in countless ways, from work to not being able to pick up your kids.
If you’re the victim of car theft, keep reading to find out how to report it.
Reporting a Stolen Vehicle to the Police
If your car has been stolen, the first thing you should do is call the police. They’ll set you up with a stolen vehicle report. Without a stolen vehicle report, your insurance company won’t be able to do anything.
The police will ask you some basic questions about your car. These may include color, make model and year, license plate, and VIN. They may ask you to fill out the form right over the phone, online, or in person.
The police may also come for a visit. Whatever their procedure, cooperate fully. It’ll make the process much smoother, and you have nothing to worry about.
You are not the one in the wrong here.
Reporting a Stolen Vehicle to Your Insurance Company
After you’ve dealt with the police, it’s time to call your insurance company.
Not all insurance policies cover stolen vehicles. If you’re not sure whether yours does, ask your insurance company first thing. Even if you know your insurance doesn’t cover it, you still need to contact the insurance company.
It’s a good idea to look into stolen vehicle recovery insurance and procedures right when you get a car. It’s always best to be safe just in case.
The insurance company will probably want to know some of the same information the police did. This includes:
- Vehicle description
- License plate
- Location of the vehicle when stolen
- Last known whereabouts of the vehicle
- Vehicle title
- Anything that was inside the car when it was taken
Do your best to truthfully recall everything the insurers ask about your vehicle. Without accurate information, they can’t work out an accurate price assessment. Insurance companies investigate thefts before paying out, and inconsistencies make them skeptical.
Your insurer might even be able to hook you up with a rental car depending on your insurance policy. They’ll cover some if not all of the rental costs.
Reporting a Stolen Vehicle to Your Leasing/Financing Company
If you finance or lease your car, call the financing company next. They’re the ones who get the payout from your insurance company in this case. Give them the information they need to contact your insurer directly.
They’ll deal with the rest from there.
Take Care of Your Stolen Vehicle
It’s important to report your stolen vehicle to the proper authorities right away. The longer you let it wait, the less the police and your insurer will be able to do for you. If you report it soon enough, they may even be able to track the vehicle down!
Being the victim of a car thief is never a fun time. But there are people out there who will help you get back on the road.
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