Are Stolen Cars Ever Recovered
In the U.S., stolen cars are recovered approximately 20% of the time, according to a study by ValuePenguin.
Rates vary by region. Midwest drivers see stolen car recovery rates of 24%, whereas those living in the Northeast may get their cars back only 14% of the time.
Recovered vehicles arent always found in good condition. An estimated 30% of recovered cars have been damaged.
Way 4 Use Gps Device To Locate Your Stolen Car
If you’ve installed a GPS tracking system, like OnStar, LoJack, etc. to your vehicle, the company of the tracker can help you determine the location of your stolen car, and even shut it down.
No matter where your car got stolen, such as the dealership, driveway, garage, valet parking, or a mechanic shop, you can trace your stolen vehicle with the GPS quickly.
What Happens To Your Car When It Gets Stolen And How Thats Changed During The Pandemic As Numbers Have Been On The Rise
My blue Toyota Highlander SUV was in our driveway in Toronto at 3:01 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30.
At 3:02 a.m. someone used a high-tech device to unlock the door and start the engine. The thief backed the Toyota out of the driveway and headed up the street, just over a kilometre, past our local high school, and turned right after some train tracks. Most likely the thief had a buddy in a second vehicle who dropped him at our house, then shadowed him up the road.
My Toyota stopped at the side of a small park at 3:05 a.m., according to the internal tracking device. Then all electronic trace of the five-month-old vehicle vanished. Gone with it a brand-new orbital sander, some tie-down straps, golf clubs, two kilograms of bread flour, and a two-pack of Werthers hard candies.
Roughly 80,000 cars are stolen in Canada each year 25,000 of those in Ontario, with most of those from the GTA. Its a growing number due to the pandemic, with supply chain issues reducing the number of new cars for sale or lease.
Police and insurance investigators told me this theft was likely carried out by a web of local and international car-theft rings with connections to the Middle East and terrorism. They told me the Toyota, like most cars stolen by these rings, would never be seen again.
They were wrong. This is one stolen vehicles journey.
Step one accomplished. Probably less than a minute and the thief was inside.
A Toronto police officer called me.
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What Happens If My Car Is Recovered After The Claim Has Been Paid
If the claim has already been paid, then your insurance company owns the vehicle. First, you must report the recovery of your vehicle right away and let your insurance company know. In most cases, they will send a team to retrieve the vehicle. If you haven’t bought a new vehicle, your insurance company may offer you the option to buy back the car. The exact procedure varies from company to company, so it’s best to check with your insurer about what your options are.
According to the FBI, approximately 721,885 vehicles were stolen in 2019. Only a small number of cars are ever returned after they disappear.
How To Make Your Car Harder To Steal
Although car crime can be a random crime, there are certain steps you can take to make your car harder to steal. Often, a potential thief will see that you have these features and will be deterred, preventing any damage at all. By contrast, some steps will make your car much easier to steal.
For example, if you leave your car to heat up in the morning by running the engine with the keys in the ignition, then you are making your car extremely easy to steal .
The following tips will make it harder and less attractive for a thief to steal your car:
- Dont have identifying information on your keychain. If you lose your keys,a thief can find your address and then steal your car without having to do any damage. Again, your insurance may not cover this.
- Lock all doors, windows, and the trunk. Do this every time you leave the car, even if just for a minute or two.
Ultimately, in an ideal world, we wouldnt have to worry about car theft however, knowing what to do and being prepared for every eventuality is the key to getting life back to normal if your car is stolen. Having your car stolen can be a traumatic and stressful event, but luckily there are ways to prevent it, to mitigate it, and recover from it.
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If Your Car Isn’t Recovered
If the police never find your car and you have comprehensive coverage, the insurance company declares the vehicle a total loss and writes you a check according to what the car is worth and what your policy specifies. Youll need to provide the insurance company with any remaining keys and also the vehicle title and other proof of ownership. You’re effectively signing over the vehicle to the insurance company, so if the car is later found totaled, the company will be entitled to any salvage value it may have.
What Happens If Someone Steals My Car
If your car is stolen, you need to contact law enforcement and file a stolen vehicle report first. Insurers wont honor an auto theft claim unless a police report has been filed. You should be prepared to tell the police everything you know about your stolen vehicle.
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What Insurance Companies In The United States Or Australia Do When A Stolen Car They Paid For Is Recovered
From my experience if the vehicle is recovered within a year the insurance company will most likely want it signed over to them or have you purchase it back from them . Over a year it will often depend on the value of the car. Something that still has lot of value they will take the same approach, as it will recover money for the insurance company.
The complexity comes in that they likely have written the car off their books and there are more paperwork and implications to the insurance company. Thus if there is not sufficient value in the vehicle for them to recover it they may simply not want to deal with it.
Once they have written it off it is considered âdisposed ofâ on their booksâ¦ if that ends up in a junkyard or in your hands is really not relevant at that point, it only matters if getting the car back can recover enough money for the insurance company to make the added effort worthwhile.
Stolen Car Insurance Payout
Are the Contents Of My Vehicle Covered?Comprehensive coverage covers your vehicle, but it does not cover the contents of your vehicle. If you have renters or homeowners insurance coverage, however, then you can make a claim through these policies.
What Happens If My Car is Recovered? If your car is recovered at any point before, during, or after the claims process, then contact your insurance company immediately. The company can assess the damages. Sometimes, the car is still considered a total loss and the insurance company will reimburse you for the actual cash value of your vehicle. In other cases, theres minor damage to your vehicle that can be repaired to make your vehicle whole again.
What Happens When a Leased or Financed Vehicle is Stolen? When a leased or financed vehicle is stolen, you need to report the stolen property to your financing or leasing company as soon as possible.
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How To Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen In The Future
While it may be too late to protect your stolen car, there are several things you can do to ensure that your next vehicle is safer from thieves. Some of these measures will even help lower your auto insurance cost.
Here are some simple tips to reduce the chances of your car being stolen:
- Close your windows
- Install a car alarm system
- Install a GPS tracking system
- Keep valuables out of sight
- Lock your vehicle
- Park your vehicle in safe areas
- Store keys in a safe area away from your vehicle
- Turn off the ignition when not operating the vehicle
- Use a physical anti-theft device
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
How To Tell Your Insurance Company Your Car Has Been Stolen
Its important to let your insurer know as soon as possible that your car has been stolen – the quicker you get the ball rolling with any claim, the quicker it will be resolved and a payout made. Once your payout has been settled, you can get on with the more interesting task of finding your new car.
So long as you give your insurance company all the details they need and the crime reference number to prove your case, they have three months from the date you contacted them to settle your claim.
If they need any further information, the claim may take longer. But this usually only happens if youre claiming for an accident and theres some debate about who is to blame.
Your insurer should pay out the market rate for the car. This is the amount you can expect to get had you sold it, taking into account its age, mileage, and condition. If you have a classic car, they should pay you the valuation agreed in your policy.
If youre not happy with the amount they want to give you, you can challenge it. This would be the same process as challenging the amount being offered for a write-off, which weve covered in our blog What happens if my car is written off while Im still paying finance?
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States With The Most Car Thefts
Automobile thefts are rising nationwide. In 2019, almost 800,000 cars were stolen. In 2020, that number rose to nearly 875,000. Some states, however, have been hit particularly hard by the rise in crime. Auto thefts have increased by more than 25% in 10 states over the last decade.Change in automobile thefts by state 2010 – 2019
What Happens When A Car Is Stolen And Then Recovered
Auto theft laws and procedures vary from state to state. But in most states, after a vehicle is reported stolen, the vehicle description, license plate number, vehicle identification number and registered owner information will be entered into the Statewide Stolen Vehicle System and the National Crime Information Center . The SVS and NCIC systems are accessible by virtually all law enforcement agencies nationwide. It is up to the registered owner to contact his or her vehicle insurance company and financial institution to report that the vehicle was stolen. Unfortunately, most vehicles are not recovered.
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What Will My Insurance Company Do
As mentioned above, what your insurance company can or will do depends on the insurance policy you hold with them.
If you have comprehensive coverage, then your insurance company will cover your car. Comprehensive policies are as the name suggests the broadest type of insurance, and cover theft, vandalism, and breakdowns.
However, if you only have liability or third-party insurance coverage, then insurance companies wont cover you. In these instances, you will be responsible for replacing your vehicle yourself.
If you do have comprehensive coverage, your insurance provider will ask for the police report and then determine a period of time to wait before further action .
Once this time has passed, your insurance company will pay you the current market value of your car. If your car is found but is damaged, the insurance company will pay the repair costs, minus the deductible.
If you have comprehensive coverage, you may also be able to claim back the cost of valuable items that were in the car when it was stolen. However, if your car was broken into but not stolen, insurance will only cover the permanent features of the car, such as a stereo or built-in navigation system.
Other features such as your phone , will not be covered. These may be covered under renters or homeowners insurance, so check your policy.
How Long Does The Insurance Claims Process Take For A Stolen Car
On average, it takes 11 days for a automobile to be found and 30% of recovered vehicles come back with damages.
Most companies have a minimum waiting period before closing the claim. Typically it is 30 days. This happens to see if your vehicle can be recovered. Since companies are different in how they handle claims, ask them about the expected time frame.
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Resold With A Fake Vin
A car thief may cover up the crime by installing a fake VIN plate on the stolen vehicle, which is known as VIN Cloning. The car thief takes the VIN from a legally registered car, installs counterfeit VIN plates, and forges title documents for the stolen car. Unsuspecting dealerships and buyers are led to believe that the vehicle is legitimate.
How To Reduce The Chances Of Your Car Being Stolen
Here are a few ways to discourage thieves from stealing your car:
- Keep your car locked at all times.
- Never leave your keys in the vehicle.
- Make sure valuables are not visible in the car.
- Do not leave the title in the vehicle.
- Park in well-lit and well-known areas.
- Install an anti-theft system in the vehicle.
- Have the VIN etched in the vehicle’s glass.
- Track your car with a GPS tracking device.
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What Do You Do If Your Car Is Stolen
Once you are positive your vehicle has been stolen, contact the police immediately to file a police report and follow their instructions. Call your insurer to inform them about the situation. Contacting them also protects you if your automobile is used to cause harm or commit a crime.
Here are the three key steps to take if your vehicle has been stolen :
What Happens If Your Car Is Stolen And You Still Owe Money
Unfortunately, when your car is stolen you are still obligated to make payments on it. If your insurance claim payout is approved, you can use the claims check to pay against any amount owed. If the payout amount is less than the amount financed, it will be your responsibility to pay the difference. If you have gap insurance, check with your insurance agent to see if it will cover the difference.
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File A Claim With Your Insurance Company
Once you complete the police report, contact your auto insurer.
This step is especially important if you have comprehensive coverage. That’s because it is the only form of car insurance that covers damaged or stolen vehicles.
Auto insurers usually have online systems to file claims quickly, but it is highly recommended that you call and talk to your own dedicated agent. This way you can answer any questions they may have immediately and reduce the amount of back-and-forth in an already time-sensitive situation.
When you file a claim, your car insurance company typically needs:
- Your certificate of title.
- Details such as mileage, service records and any upgrades installed in the car.
- A description of what happened, including the estimated date and time of the theft and any photos you have of the location of theft.
Your car insurance provider may require additional information, such as the location of all the vehicles keys and contact information of anyone who had access to your car. It is the insurers job to be thorough in the task of recovering your car in order to avoid a claim payout and going through the hassle of buying a replacement car, so be as helpful as you can.
Along those lines, expect some deep questioning when you file your claim. Fraudulent auto theft claims happen, and this makes insurers jittery about auto theft claims. Be as direct as possible with your insurer, and answer their questions as fully as possible.
Will You Get A Ved Refund
If your car is not found within a week, you can call DVLA and ask for a refund on your vehicle excise duty . You can do this by filling in a V33 form. To get this form, write to DVLA at the following address – DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AL.
If you pay VED in monthly installments, you wont get a refund but will need to make sure you cancel the payments with DVLA and your bank.
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