Think about what your car means to you? Transportation and a source of pride at minimum. If it suddenly disappeared, you have a big problem on your hands. No one wants to face the prospect of vehicle theft. However, it’s a very real threat.
Car theft in 2016 resulted in an average dollar loss of $7,680/theft. That’s a lot of personal loss for anyone to have to endure. The good news for drivers is that many qualify for insurance coverage for theft.
Preventing Vehicle Theft
If you have comprehensive insurance, your policy will likely cover you for car theft. It might help you repair damage to the car, replace a complete loss, and cover other costs. Talk to your insurance agent about the best value for your theft coverage. Strong protection can help you in multiple instances of vehicle loss.
However, even if you have insurance, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect the car. You can help reduce the chances of vehicle theft by:
- Locking the car at all times--even in your own driveway.
- Not leaving valuables on clear view inside the vehicle.
- Arming your emergency alarm at all times.
- Installing GPS tracking devices in the vehicle. This can assist authorities in searching for the car.
- Placing theft deterrents, like wheel locks, in the car.
- Parking in well-lighted areas close to your residence or place of work.
Always make an effort to ask yourself if your car will remain safe wherever you go. Know when to take extra safety care as needed.
If Theft Occurs
Sometimes, you just can’t avoid vehicle theft. Today’s thieves are crafty, after all. If you experience theft, immediately take steps to control the situation.
- Contact the police. Report the vehicle’s make, model, plate numbers and any distinguishing features. If you have any clues as to what might have happened, share them on the police report. You might also need to notify your state DMV, neighborhood watch or another authority.
- Call your insurer immediately at 800-286-6353. Do this whether you have guaranteed theft coverage or not. The insurer will need to know that you do not have possession of the vehicle.
- Notify friends and family of the loss so that they can keep a lookout. You might also notify your local community watch, and even local news. However, don't publicize the theft without asking the police first.
- Think about whether you have any important possessions in the car. This might include cash, credit cards, ID or valuable belongings. You should report these items stolen and take immediate steps to block access to them.
Car theft is a worrisome situation. However, don’t let it get you down. The police, your insurer and other authorities will work with you to make the loss as easy to bear as possible.
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