What to Do if Your Car is Stolen: A 5 Step Guide

Owning a car is a practical necessity for a lot of people. At the same time, it can also be a very valuable asset that will require a big investment to purchase and care for. Unfortunately, vehicles are stolen from time to time. While this can be a challenging situation, it is important that you react appropriately if your car is stolen. There are five steps that should be followed if your vehicle is stolen.

Check Your GPS

If your car has been stolen, the first thing that you should try and do is track it down on your own. If you have a GPS in your vehicle, you should have access to a GPS tracking system. Many of these devices can be connected to an application on your phone or other device and will find the exact location of where your car is. If it has been disabled, you may at least be able to tell where the vehicle was before the device was turned off and you lost the ability to identify where it is now.

GPS tracking

Contact the Police

Whether you are able to find your vehicle or not through the use of GPS, it is a good idea to contact the police. A law enforcement officer will be able to file an official police report. When this happens, the vehicle will end up being placed in a larger system.

If your license plate or VIN is ever looked up in the system by another law enforcement officer, it will show a report that your vehicle has been stolen. This will likely lead to the recovery of your vehicle. If you do know where the vehicle is through your GPS data, you should share it with the police. It is important that you do not try to recover it on your own as you could be putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

Call the Insurance Company

After you have filed a formal police report, it is also important to contact your insurance company. If you have a full auto insurance plan that includes collision and comprehensive insurance protection, you should have the support that will provide reimbursement for a stolen vehicle. Depending on your plan, you may also receive assistance to rent a car for a period of time. The insurance company will need to start a full investigation into the claim and will benefit from any information that you have, which can include the police report or your GPS tracking information.

Follow Up

While it is always a good idea to file a full police report and insurance claim, it is important to remember that the insurance companies and law enforcement offices are dealing with many similar situations at the same time. If you are not careful, it is possible that your claim and report could be lost in the shuffle.

If this happens, your reimbursement or vehicle recovery could take longer than you want. To ensure that this does not happen, you should be in the habit of following up with the relevant parties on a recurring basis until the situation is finalized. This may not necessarily lead to vehicle recovery, but it could help you receive an insurance claim faster.

Prepare to Get New Vehicle

When you have a vehicle that has been stolen, you will hope to get it back quickly. However, there are a lot of situations when the vehicle will not be recovered and you will need to get a new one. In these situations, you should be prepared to purchase a new vehicle.

If you have proper insurance in place, you should receive some money from the company to help replace the vehicle. However, you will need to make sure that you use insurance proceeds to pay off your existing auto loan first. Anything leftover can then be used to buy a new car or put forth a down payment on a new one.

If your vehicle has been stolen, it is important that you follow the proper steps that can help you recover it or receive appropriate reimbursement from your insurance provider. By following these five steps, you can receive a proper resolution to your vehicle theft claim on a more timely basis.

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