A car is stolen every 46 seconds in the US. While it can be a frightening and disappointing experience, you can get through it with these five simple steps.
1. Verify that is was stolen
Maybe you forgot you actually parked your car somewhere else today. It happens to everyone! So, the first thing to do is to take a deep breath and think. Did you park somewhere unusual today or last night? Was it towed? Is there a tow-away zone nearby?
2. Call the police
When you’re sure it’s been stolen, contact the police. They’ll take a report and want a description of the vehicle, your vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number if you have them available, your vehicle registration, and your driver’s license. They will also ask if you’ve noticed anything suspicious or if you might know anyone who would have a motive for stealing your car. Finally, let the police know if you have LoJack, OnStar, Safety Connect, Blue Link, or another system that can help them locate it.
3. Call your auto insurance company
Your next immediate step is to call your insurance company and tell them everything you can, including a detailed description of the vehicle, where all your vehicle keys are, and any valuables in your car. They may start to work on a theft claim, if it’s covered by your policy. Also, you may be able to get the car removed from your policy, so you can stop paying premiums on it. This can also help protect you from liability if the thief uses your car to cause damage.
4. Prevent theft before it happens
Some cars are stolen because a thief sees an opportunity. Lock your car, don’t leave your regular keys or spare keys in the car, don’t leave your car on and unattended, and keep your windows rolled up. Park under good street lighting, and hide your valuables. Get a car alarm system, which can sometimes lower your insurance premiums.
5. Get excited about what's next
Once the shock of the theft is over, shopping for a new car can be enjoyable, and you may even be able to upgrade to a nicer vehicle that fits your needs. If you put your energy into finding something better, it can turn into a positive situation.
It’s great for your peace of mind to add comprehensive coverage to your vehicle insurance, which will reimburse you for your expenses after a theft--including a vehicle rental until you can find a new car. If you’re looking for car insurance in Torrance, CA, contact us today to talk to a friendly and experienced agent who will help you find the best policy for your needs and budget.