Monday, May 13, 2024

What To Do If Your Car Gets Stolen

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Your Stolen Car Can Be Involved In An Accident

How to get your stolen vehicle back

If you reported the car as stolen, and it was later involved in an accident affecting other peoples properties, you are not liable for the damages if the suspect is not found. Additionally, your insurer will deal with any claims made against you.

However, the police will require proof that you were not driving the car. They will look for evidence to identify the driver, but your insurance may still cover the accident.

If you cant prove that you were not the driver when the accident happened, you may be liable for the damages, and your insurance policy may not cover you.

Get A Copy Of Your Police Records

You have the right to ask for a copy of records the police have about you. This is called a subject access request.

You might need a subject access request if you move to another country.

A subject access request has records from:

  • police forces in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey and the Isle of Man
  • the British Transport Police

Ways To Prevent Theft

You cant control what thieves do, but you can deter them from targeting your vehicle or make them easier to find with these tips:

  • Park in a garage or in well-lit, highly-trafficked areas: If your house has a garage, use it. Its an extra layer of protection. If you have to park on the street or in a city parking lot, try to find an area with lots of visibility and a lot of light. Thieves dont want to be seen, so if your car is visible to lots of pedestrians and vehicles passing by, a thief will probably choose another target.
  • Always lock your car: Dont make your car an easy target. Sometimes thieves simply look for vehicles that are left unlocked.
  • Install a GPS system: If your car has technology that makes it easy to track, the police have a much greater chance of recovering it.

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Request A Police Incident Report Copy

Effective Tuesday, July 6, 2021, SFPD Police Headquarters at 1245 Third Street will reopen to the public after a temporary closure due to the COVID pandemic.

You may request a police incident report in person at SFPD Police Headquarters during our normal business hours of 8 am-5 pm, Monday Friday .

The SFPD Crime Information Services Unit is responsible for processing incident report requests from the public, law enforcement agencies and other authorized organizations. The unit also processes local criminal background checks for agencies entitled to that information under the law. For all other requests that are not incident reports or local background checks, please contact the appropriate department within SFPD.

Some Insurers Cover The Cost Of Items In Your Stolen Car

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You may be able to claim for the cost of possessions left in your car when it was stolen if you have a fully comprehensive policy.

The amount you can claim varies between insurers and could be anything from £100 to £1,000.

Insurers may exclude items such as:

  • Cash
  • Tools
  • Stock for business purposes

Your insurer might also refuse to pay out if your items were left in view or there were no signs of a break-in to your car.

Third-party, fire and theft policies and third-party only policies don’t usually cover possessions so you might not be able to claim for them.

Check your policy document to find out exactly what you’re covered for. If anything’s unclear, have a word with your insurer to check.

If your car insurer doesn’t cover stolen items, you may be able to claim for personal possessions if you have a home insurance policy.

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Who Do You Need To Contact

If it turns out your car has been stolen, here are the calls you need to make:

  • The police on 101 – The police will give you a crime reference number, which youll need to start an insurance claim. Theyll need to know the make and model, colour and number plate of your car. Use the 101 non-emergency phone number to get through to your local police station.
  • Your car insurance provider – Contact your car insurance provider as soon as possible, to get the ball rolling on your insurance claim. Its a good idea to have your policy number to hand.
  • The DVLA – If your insurance claim goes ahead and your provider pays out for your car, youll need to let the DVLA know that you no longer own your car as its been bought by the insurance provider. Even if it never turns up again, the insurance provider now owns the stolen car, so the DVLA will need to update their records.

Theyll also refund you any remaining vehicle tax. This is calculated from the date they get your information, so dont delay. The exception is if you had personalised number plates. In this case, refunds dont happen automatically, so youll need to request one.

Theyll also refund you any remaining vehicle tax. This is calculated from the date they get your information, so dont delay. The exception is if you had personalised number plates. In this case, refunds dont happen automatically, so youll need to request one.

Who Owns The Items Inside A Recovered Vehicle

In most cases, your auto insurance policy doesn’t cover personal items inside your vehicle. Renters or homeowners insurance most often protects items stolen from inside a car. If your car is recovered, the items inside it are still yours, even if the car itself is now the property of the insurance company.

Your policy also may pay for the cost of custom parts or modifications if you have custom parts and equipment coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage may pay up to a certain amount for custom parts, depending on your insurer, but any damage beyond this amount requires CPE coverage. This coverage protects upgrades and modifications to your vehicle, like rims or a custom stereo system. If your vehicle is stolen, this coverage will pay the additional replacement cost of those items, up to a specified limit.

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Does Car Insurance Cover Theft

What is a stolen car insurance payout? It depends. It could be a lot or nothing at all.

Comprehensive coverage will pay to replace your vehicle. You will have to pay the deductible amount you chose, and then your insurance company will pay you the actual cash value of your car.

“Comprehensive is much, much cheaper to buy than liability or collision, says Michelle Megna, editorial director at “And its pretty much a catch-all for everything that happens to a car thats not a collision: theft, vandalism, fire, even hitting a deer.’s rate data show that the average drivers yearly expenditure on comprehensive coverage is $192, though that amount varies by state and the value and theft record of the car insured.

Most insurance companies will sell you comprehensive coverage even if you dont buy collision. If I drove a theft-prone car like an older Honda, Id call it money well-spent, Megna says.

If you carry only liability, we have bad news: Recovery of the car is your only hope. There is no stolen car insurance payout.

Additionally, dont expect a rental to be covered unless youve bought rental reimbursement coverage or your policy happens to include it. Even then, youre typically limited to no more than 30 days with daily limits of $25 to $30. So youll probably be replacing your stolen vehicle before too long unless you want to drive around a rental indefinitely.

Do Not Leave A Vehicle Running And Unattended

Simple tricks to keep your car from being stolen

Never leave a car running unattended not even for a second. We sometimes stop at a gas station to grab something and pay for it real quick and that is making it extra easy for the thief to drive off in your car.

So, even if you are just running into a store for two minutes, turn off your car and take your keys with you.

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Report The Theft To Your Car Insurance Company

Even if you do not have comprehensive auto insurance, which covers vehicle thefts, you should still notify your carrier of any stolen vehicles immediately. Notifying your car insurance carrier of the vehicle theft could help protect you if the thief causes any damage using your car.

When you contact your insurance company, try to have as many of the following items available as possible:

  • Certificate of title for the vehicle and/or loan/lease paperwork.
  • Auto insurance policy number.
  • Location of all keys to the vehicle before and after the theft.
  • Names and contact information of everyone who had access to the vehicle.
  • A description of your vehicle, including mileage, options and service records if you have receipts for any upgrades or maintenance, have these available as well.
  • A list of any personal property stolen with your vehicle. Coverage for personal items varies from state to state, and your homeowners or renters insurance policy may provide additional coverage for personal items that were stolen.
  • Any finance or leasing company contact information and your account number, if applicable.

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

If youve 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, youll 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 companys guidelines allow.

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How Comprehensive Coverage Covers A Stolen Car

Comprehensive coverage is a type of car insurance that you can purchase as an add-on to your policy. Comprehensive coverage provides protection against theft or damage to your car due to events other than collision. These perils include:

  • Falling objects, like tree branches.
  • Vandalism.
  • Riot or civil disturbance.

The cost of comprehensive coverage varies among insurers. If you are leasing a car or if you purchased one through a lender, your lender will probably require you to purchase comprehensive coverage in order to protect their investment.

A Few Things You’ll Need

What to do when your car gets stolen

When you contact GEICO, have the following information available:

  • Certificate of Title for the vehicle.
  • Location of all keys to the vehicle before and after the theft.
  • Names and contact information of everyone who had access to the vehicle.
  • A description of your vehicle, including mileage, options, service records, and upgrades*if you have receipts for any upgrades or maintenance, please have these available as well.
  • A list of personal property stolen with your vehicle. Coverage for personal items varies from state to state, and your homeowners or renters insurance policy may provide additional coverage for personal items that were stolen.
  • Please include any finance or leasing company contact information and your account number, if applicable.

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Does Liability Insurance Cover A Stolen Car

No. Liability insurance will cover you if you cause bodily injury or property damage to someone else, but it won’t cover a stolen vehicle. Collision coverage won’t protect you from theft either. Comprehensive is the only coverage that can cover car theft or damage to your car caused by a theft or break-in.

How To Get A Police Report For A Car Accident

After you have been in a car accident, one of the first questions your insurance provider will ask you is do you have a copy of the police report? Obtaining accident reports is a similar process to the one above, but it is generally a bit easier because in most cases, there is no criminal investigation. If you are in a car accident, you will receive a slip with an incident number on it. To obtain your police report, simply visit the police department that the report was filed from and trade the sheet for the actual report. If you do not obtain your police report, your insurance company will have to request a copy via mail, and it will take a bit longer.

There are also resources online that house accident reports, like LexisNexis and Buycrash. However, the safest and quickest option to is visit your local Police Desk as soon as possible after the accident. Accident reports can be ready to pick-up as early as 24 hours after the accident, and up to a week. Another way to get a copy of a police report is through your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Now that you know about how to get a copy of a police report, check out How To File a Police Report.

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Gap Coverage: For Loan And Lease Payoffs

If your car is stolen, your insurer will pay you the actual cash value of the vehicle minus your deductible. It’s possible that the ACV amount wouldn’t be sufficient to pay off your loan or lease due to factors like interest and depreciation. If the amount you owe is greater than the value of your vehicle, consider purchasing gap coverage, which can cover a percentage of the difference between the balance owed and the ACV. At Progressive, we refer to this as “loan/lease payoff” coverage, and it only costs around $5 per month on average.

Report Your Car Stolen To Your Insurance Company

Tips for Keeping Your Car From Being Stolen

The sooner you let your insurance company know about your car being stolen, the better. This will set the claims process into motion and get you back on the road as soon as possible.

After your insurer has received all of the information about your car they will start processing the claim.

Unfortunately, without a tracker installed, the chances of getting your car back are pretty slim. Having a tracking device is very important.

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S After Your Car Is Recovered Or Determined To Be Lost

If your car is stolen and then recovered, youll want to check and see if any personal property has been taken. Comprehensive coverage wont cover stolen property that wasnt a part of the carsuch as a phone or a laptop. However, if you have renters insurance or a homeowners policy, you may be covered.

Next, you should have your car examined by a claims adjuster to determine any damage to the stolen vehicle while it was out of your custody. You wont be liable for this damage so long as your insurance company was contacted after the vehicle was stolen. Insurers typically have a waiting period of around 30 days before accepting a loss on a stolen vehicle.

Once your insurers threshold is reached, youll receive a payment reflecting the value of your car minus the deductible and a determined depreciation amount. In the case that the car is financed or leased, this amount will be paid to the financing or leasing company. If you own the car, you can negotiate with your insurer for a higher value than the initial offer.

Having a third-party assessment for the vehicle can help with your negotiation. You should get assessments regularly, but in the event that you dont have one, you can find comparable cars online to determine the value of your stolen vehicle.

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.

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Easiest Way To Get A Police Report In Nyc

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How To Get A Nyc Police Report 30 Days After It Was Filed

What to Do If Your Car Is Stolen

Accident Reports are held at the NYPD precinct for 30 days before being forwarded to the New York State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

After 30 days from the date of the accident report, all requests must be made to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles :

your New York police report and/or driver reports from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. See more about police accident reports at NYS DMV and Whats the difference between a police report and a certified police report?

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