Tuesday, September 26, 2023

What To Do If My Car Is Stolen

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What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

If you are the owner of the vehicle, you will be held responsible for your car since it cannot be left on the side of a highway or in an alley somewhere. The police will have the car towed to a lot where you will be charged per day it stays in there .

Of course, if your insurance company covers total theft, you and your insurer must discuss what will happen to the vehicle, but if it is cheaper to fix the car than to replace the vehicle, the insurer will opt to have it fixed instead.

It really is a big mess when these things happen because you have to pay tow fees, storage fees, repair for the damages, the cost of replacing things that got taken from the car, plus let us not forget about the huge amount of time this takes. You cannot simply tell the lot where your car is that you are not taking the car back, or to have them dispose of it because you are still responsible for it.

What Happens If Police Do Not Find Your Car

If the police cant find or recover your car, then if it is insured, your insurer will be able to settle the claim after a certain period.

Once the claim is settled, the insurance company effectively becomes the owner of the stolen car, so if the police find it following that period, they will surrender it to the relevant insurance company, which will then arrange to return it to you.

How Do Police Track Stolen Cars

After you have filed a police report for the stolen vehicle, you simply contact the Stolen Vehicle Monitoring center via the InControl Remote app and provide them with the police report number. The center will then work directly with the police to track the vehicle via GPS.

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Call The Police And File A Report

You should call the police within 24 hours of your car being stolen. When you file a police report after your car is taken, you will need your vehicles specific information. This may include your cars physical description , license plate number, and the vehicle identification number . You should also provide police with the specific date and time that the theft occurred.

What Happens When A Stolen Car Is Recovered After Settlement

How to handle car theft: What should I do if my car is stolen?

If my car is recovered after claims settlement

Even if you were already paid out for the total loss of your stolen car, you need to contact your insurance company if its found. Because your insurer already paid you, they will consider the recovered car to be their property, designating the car as a salvage title.

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Way 7 Check The City’s Transportation Website For Parking Violation When Your Car Was Stolen

You can track down your stolen car online via checking the parking violation. When your car was stolen, the car thief would park your car somewhere and then abandoned it.

The car was ticketed and put into the parking violation database, which is available online apparently.

You can follow the below steps to do a “stolen car” lookup online.

Step 1. Log into your city’s transportation website.

Step 2. Use your license plate to check whether your vehicle is in the database.

Step 3. Check the area where the violation takes place.

Step 4. Contact the police. They will search for your missing car and then release it to you if they find it.

Delays In Settling Claims

Claims can take a long time to settle but Financial Conduct Authority rules say that your insurer must either make a reasonable offer of settlement within three months.

There can be delays in settling the claim if neither side admits liability or if the claim isn’t fully quantified. This means that there isn’t enough written evidence to support the claim. You or the other driver may therefore be asked to send in more evidence. This may mean that the claim takes longer than three months to settle.

Once liability has been admitted and enough evidence has been produced for the claim to be quantified, your insurer should settle the claim within three months.

If it appears there are unreasonably long delays in settling the claim without good reason, you should complain to your insurer using their internal complaints process.

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What Should You Do If You See A Car That You Suspect Was Stolen

Police do not recommend searching for your stolen vehicle, but if you do happen to sight your stolen car or a car you suspect is stolen, do not approach the vehicle or anyone within it.

Instead, contact police and inform them of the location and description of the vehicle , as well as of any people within it.

If you locate a car that looks like its been abandoned, contact police and do not touch the vehicle, so that any evidence can be preserved.

Telling Your Insurance Company

Do I have insurance if my car is stolen

Next you need to call your insurer and let them know. Its crucial that you do this as soon as you can, as the quicker you get the ball rolling with any claim, the quicker it will be resolved and a payout made. Then you can get on with the more interesting task of finding your replacement car.

From the time you contact your insurer, and as long as they have all the details they need, they have 3 months to settle your claim. If they need further information from you, the claim may take longer.

However, this usually only happens if youre claiming for an accident, and theres some debate about who is to blame, or something like that, rather than the car being stolen. When the car has been stolen you should only need to give them the crime reference number to prove your case.

What you may find is that your insurer wants to wait to see if the car is recovered. If they decide not to do this, and pay you out for the car, then its later recovered, theyll keep it.

Your insurer should pay out what you would have been able to get for it, had you sold it. If this happens, you should call the DVLA and let them know that youve been paid out. To do this you need to fill in a V5C/3 form, which is a notification of sale or transfer part of your V5C registration document. Along with this, youll also need to send a letter stating when you were paid out, how much you were paid and the name of your insurance company. Then you need to send the rest of your V5C to your insurance company.

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What If Your Stolen Car Is Recovered

Great! The police have called and your car has been found! But what now?

You must tell your insurer straight away. Youll also need to find out if the car has been damaged, used to commit another crime or is possibly unsafe to drive. This is all information the police will be able to help you with.

The police will arrange for your car to recovered which you will be charged for .

If you have theft coverage, your insurer will assess the damage to your car and decide what needs to be done next. This could either be a repair job or the worst-case scenario, a write-off.

Am I Liable For The Stolen Car

Typically, you wont be held liable for your car after its been stolen. If the thief gets in a wreck, for example, that damage wont be attributed to your car insurance policy.

However, many states have laws in place that penalize you for negligence that led to the theft. You can be ticketed if youre caught leaving your car unlocked, leaving it running or leaving keys inside the car. Worse yet, its possible to have claims filed against you if your car was stolen due to your negligence and the thief caused damage while driving your car. In cases such as this, the insurance company will pay our liability claims up to your limits, and you can expect to see higher car insurance rates in the future.

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How Can Owners Better Protect Themselves To Reduce The Chances Of Their Car Being Stolen

Modern cars are required to have an engine immobiliser and therefore cannot be hotwired, however, thieves are still finding other ways.

Thieves stealing cars arent always those with hot-wiring skills. Opportunistic thieves will take any opportunity to steal cars, including walking into your home and grabbing your keys right off your bench if they see them sitting there.

In Queensland, for example, one in two cars are stolen using the cars keys.

So, half of the time, cars are stolen by opportunistic thieves who have been able to get their hands on the keys.

Those stealing these keys and cars arent necessarily going to great lengths to do so, which tells us that thieves will take any easy opportunity to steal cars.

There are a couple of simple things we can do make it more difficult for them. This means protecting not only our cars, but our keys as well.

Consider these tips when it comes to securing your car and home:

  • Store your car keys out of sight, even if youre home or if the car is parked in a garage.
  • Key lock your doors and windows, even when home.
  • Make sure your garage is locked.
  • Consider installing a door lock on the internal door to your garage, especially if your door leads directly into your home.
  • Consider installing a car alarm .
  • Consider installing security screens to the Australian Standard, and motion sensor lights.
  • Report Your Claim Online Or By Phone

    What To Do When Your Car Gets Stolen

    After contacting the police, you can report the theft online or call GEICO at 1-800-841-3000 to report the stolen vehicle as soon as possible. Our claims representatives are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. If you do not have comprehensive physical damage coverage, you should still notify us of any stolen vehicles immediately. Notifying GEICO of the vehicle theft could help protect you if the thief causes damage to others with your car.

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    Does Car Insurance Cover Auto Theft

    Legal minimum auto insurance policies do not cover you if your car is stolen. Basic car insurance only covers liability, which pays out in the event of you being at fault for injuries or property damage due to a car accident. Car theft falls outside these criteria. In order to have coverage in the event of your car being stolen, you need to buy comprehensive coverage.

    Tips For Deterring Car Thieves

    There are many ways our identity can be comprised. Be proactive by implementing extra security measures:

    Consider adding identity theft protection. While adding identity theft protection won’t prevent identity theft, it allows you to monitor key warning signs and provides automated alerts if the system detects a threat. If you become a victim of identity theft, you’ll have experts working on your behalf to restore and reclaim your identity.

    Don’t leave items in your car. Leaving a laptop or purse unattended in your vehicle is an invitation to car thieves. Once they’ve gained access to retrieve the targeted item, thieves might consider stealing other valuables, too, such as your car registration.

    Always lock your car. Even if you’re at home and it’s parked in your driveway, locking your vehicle is an essential added security measure.

    Be mindful of where you park. Whether you’re running a quick errand or will be parked in a spot for several hours, park in a visible, high-traffic area whenever possible. This safety measure is especially critical when parking at night, as someone is less likely to break into your car if you’re parked in a well-lit spot with lots of activity.

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    Immediately Contact Law Enforcement And Your Lenders

    The first thing you should do is notify your local law enforcement authority that your car was broken into and tell them what items were stolen. A police report is a vital document when recovering from any account fraud or other crimes using your identity. Should any of your accounts be used fraudulently, your lenders may ask for copies of this report as part of their investigation process, which brings us to our next step.

    Because the thieves may have access to your account numbers, the next step should be to notify your bank and your lenders so they can take steps to protect any accounts that may have been compromised, such as your bank accounts and credit card accounts. They will probably close your accounts to new charges and issue new cards for you with new account numbers.

    The third step is to add a temporary security alert to your credit history and go over your credit reports and scores. This alert notifies lenders that someone may be trying to apply for credit in your name and asks that they take extra steps to verify the identity of the applicant before approving new credit or service requests.

    File A Claim With Your Insurance Company

    How to get your stolen vehicle back

    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.

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    Report Your Stolen Car To Your Leasing Or Financing Company

    If your stolen vehicle is financed or leased, youll need to contact the financing or leasing company. In this scenario, the insurance company pays a claim out to the financing or leasing company and you’re no longer be liable for payments.

    Have your financing or leasing company contact your insurer directly, so that the claims process moves quickly.

    What Happens If Your Car Is Stolen And Recovered

    If your car is found, what happens next is a case-by-case scenario. If the car is retrieved, your auto insurance company will see if any damages are repairable and will cover the cost of repairs up to your comprehensive coverage limits. If the car is unrepairable when found, they will pay you out at actual cash value minus your deductible.

    If your claim has been paid out before the car is recovered, it depends on your auto insurer. They may take ownership of the car to recoup their costs, or they may require you to return the claim payout.

    As soon as you get your car back, you should inspect it for any damage or items inside that don’t belong to you.

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    How Long Does It Take For The Insurance Company To Pay Out On Your Stolen Car

    A 2: If you’ve had the comprehensive insurance for your car, you should file a “car stolen” insurance claim at once. The insurance company will investigate the case before paying out for your loss.

    Car insurance companies typically have a waiting period of 30 days, before they will pay a stolen car claim, as it gives time to see if the car would be recovered.

    If your car is recovered but comes back damaged, the car insurance company will determine whether the car can be repaired or is a total loss. If your vehicle is considered as a total loss, you’ll get the actual cash value of your car from the company.

    If your stolen car reappears after your insurance settlement, your insurance company will retain the ownership of the vehicle. The vehicle would be sold for salvage or at an auction.

    You can buy your stolen car back if the laws and the insurance company’s guidelines allow.

    Contact Your Insurance Provider

    What Can I Do If My Car Is Stolen?

    Once the police are on the case, youll need to make a few more phone calls to help get everything sorted out. The most important of these calls should be to your insurance company. Hopefully youll have Comprehensive or Third Party Fire and Theft insurance, which cover you against theft. If you only have Third Party insurance, at least youll have a chance to remove that particular vehicle from your policy, so you dont end up paying money to keep it insured.

    If youre insured with Budget Direct, you can make a car insurance claim online, or call us on .

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