What to do When Your Car is Stolen
Each year there are approximately 700,000 automobile thefts in the United States. That is an alarming number, which should give you caution the next time you leave your car unattended. The U.S has about 253 Million cars nationwide, which puts your chance at having your vehicle stolen at less than 0.003 percent. Don’t get too comfortable, though, because it can happen to any of us at anytime. Let’s check out some smart tips on what to do when your car is stolen and some useful advice on how to save on your insurance coverage. Get your free quote at good to go insurance and save up to $600 online.
You go shopping for some groceries and walk out to your car. Surely you remember parking it right there by the light post, but it is nowhere to be seen. You frantically scour the entire parking lot two times looking for your beloved 2007 Honda Accord that’s been with you in sun and snow for years. After a few more minutes the realization sinks in, the car was probably robbed. Your mind is flooded with questions. How could it happen so fast? Who do I call first, the police or insurance agent? What will happen to my vehicle?
Call the Police First
After you are certain your automobile was stolen, the first call you need to make is to the police. The police will do some basic investigation work and ask you several questions. They will speculate on when and how the robbery took place. A police report will be written up, and that gives the key details of the crime. This is an important piece of info, as your insurance company will carefully review it. If your automobile is later found, your insurer will cover the cost of repairing it, if you have comprehensive coverage and the damages on your car can be reasonably tagged to the crime. If your car is badly damaged, it may take up to several weeks for the auto body shop to make repairs. Most good comprehensive policies have rental allowances. This will get you back on the road in a nice new rental car while the necessary repairs are being made.
Call Your Insurance Agent and Start a Claim
In many stolen vehicle cases, the car is never found. If you have protected your vehicle with quality comprehensive insurance, then you are in luck. An insurance representative will help you file a claim for the full value of your vehicle at the time it was stolen. If you just bought your car, it might have depreciated several thousand dollars in the past year, but you can still buy a nearly similar replacement with the same mileage and model.
So for example, let’s say you had a 2015 Ford truck that you purchased for $42,000 brand new. It might be only worth $33,000 at the time the crime occurred and your insurer wants to settle for that amount. You should be able to shop around, especially with so many online portals and find a similar truck, mileage and even color for the claim settlement amount. While many people think this is unfair, it is the way insurers have processed stolen vehicle claims for decades.
Some insurers like Liberty Mutual now have full replacement value insurance coverage
This means if your car is totaled or stolen, you can get it replaced new. The drawback is the premiums are going to be a lot higher than a reasonable policy, but it might make sense to you.
Chances are you did not read every word of your declaration page on your policy. Don’t worry and give your insurance company a call right after you talk to the police. They will get a claim going right away and go through the details of your coverage in plain English that you can easily understand.
Shop for a New Automobile
Once your stolen vehicle claim is processed and you have the funds available, you can start shopping for a replacement. A great online resource is Autotrader.com and CarMax.com These sites will allow you to search by area, model, price and even color. After you have selected the vehicle, go the extra mile and get an insurance check-up. At sites like good to go insurance, you can save hundreds in just a few minutes and get a better policy. Get your free quote today and lower your coverage by 15% or more.