Tuesday, September 26, 2023

What To Do When Car Is Stolen

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States With The Most Car Thefts

What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

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

State

How To Prevent Car Theft

Car theft is incredibly frustrating and stressful. You may feel like you and your property are no longer safe. And youll probably be more worried about car theft than your friends and family, who may take their security for granted. But you dont have to panic every time you park your car in a new place.

You cant completely prevent car theftyou cant control other people. But you can take steps to drastically reduce the likelihood that a car thief will choose your car. And you can make preparations to ensure that if your car is ever stolen again, you can recover it quickly.

To reduce the odds of car theft, you should:

  • Park in well lit, visible areas. Car thieves are more likely to target vehicles in locations where no one can watch.
  • Limit the number of people who have keys or access to your car. The more keys there are, and the more hands they pass through, the more likely they are to wind up in the wrong hands.
  • Dont leave valuables or bags visible. Thieves often break into cars for valuable items and then decide to steal the car itself.
  • Never leave the keys in the ignition.
  • Always lock your car doors.
  • To help ensure a speedy recovery in the event that your car is stolen, you should:

  • Get a GPS tracker for your car. This will help you learn the moment your car is stolen and it will lead the police right to it.
  • Make sure you have your license plate information somewhere other than your vehicle registration.
  • What Happens If Your Car Is Stolen And Never Found

    As you would expect, once you call the police, theyll come to wherever you are, and youll file a report with them. Give them a detailed description of the vehicle as well as the VIN and license plate number. The police will take down all relevant details, and then the search is on.

    The big question you’ll then have is — will I ever see my stolen vehicle again? And: will the police judge me for my back seat? Seriously, there are a lot of fast food wrappers back there, and a couple of empty bags of chips when I went on that road trip

    Well see what the authorities say about your back seat, but the odds of you seeing your stolen vehicle again are eh. Not terrible, but not good either.

    Progressive Insurance analyzed its auto insurance claims several years ago and found that roughly 46% of stolen cars were recovered nationwide. Recovery rates varied widely by state. If you live in Washington, with a 71% recovery rate, your chances are good. Not so much in Michigan . The NHTSA cites slightly higher recovery rates based on more recent data. It says 59% of stolen vehicles are recovered.

    The police will add your vehicle information to state and national databases that will make it harder for the thieves to sell your vehicle.

    But what happens if you file a comprehensive claim for your stolen car, buy a new one and then your old vehicle is found?

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    Go To The Police Impound Lot

    If the local police recover the stolen car, the officer assigned to your case will inform you to contact the impound lot.

    You will need proof of registrations to recover the car from the impound. You may also try to recover the car without registration, but it almost never works.

    The impound lot will also request your proof of insurance to recover the car from impound. And you will pay a fee in the region of $100 and above to recover the car. If you have no money, you can retrieve the car for free.

    Inquire from the impound lot whether the car needs repairs. If it does, hire a tow vehicle to pick up the car.

    Make Sure Your Car Has Really Been Stolen

    What To Do When Your Car Gets Stolen

    Its sounds funny, but weve all been there when weve been inside the store or at a meeting for too long and realize were standing in the parking lot forgetting where we parked. Take a few minutes after initially panicking to think and recall where you parked. If you parked in a tow-away zone, check the impound/tow service before making a stolen vehicle report. You might save some embarrassment and paperwork.

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    A Few Things You’ll Need

    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.

    * Coverage for upgrades and custom items may be limitedyour claims examiner can provide you with more information.

    Could My Car Insurance Claim Be Rejected

    There is a possibility your claim could be rejected if the insurer thinks you hadnt been careful enough. If you lost your car keys, but they were left in or around the car, you are unlikely to have your claim covered. If there is no sign of break-in, you may have to prove your keys werent easily accessible. Your insurer could also argue you did not secure your car well enough.

    If you disagree with your car insurance for rejecting your claim, you have every right to dispute the decision. In this situation, the best thing to do is make sure you have enough supporting evidence to back up your argument. You should also make an official complaint to your insurer if they are taking too much time to settle your claim for no valid reason.

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    Check For Possible Cctv Recordings

    In this age of rapidly expanding technology, it is common for businesses of all kinds to have security cameras installed outside of their business. Let’s put it this way, in most cities, someone somewhere is watching. This could be a parking lot or garage, street parking, or even parking near an ATM that has a camera. It is worth checking with any businesses near where you were parked to see if they might have captured the car thief on camera.

    How Do You File A Claim For A Stolen Car

    5 things to do if your car is stolen

    When you file a car insurance claim for a stolen vehicle, expect your insurer to open a investigation.

    You will be expected to provide the following information :

    • When and where the incident occurred : The time, date and location it was stolen.
    • Vehicle details : Year, make, model, kilometers, other distinguishing marks .
    • Police report : Insurers will want a copy of your police report.

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    Check It Is Locked And Then Check Again

    You can never be too sure. Whether youre parked at home, or whilst youre out and about, double check your car is locked . There are instances when thieves can block the signal from your key to your car if you press a button to lock it – so you’ll think it’s locked and actually, it isn’t! Once you’ve pressed the lock button, just try the handle to check it is definitely locked to be on the safe side.

    Report Your Claim Online Or By Phone

    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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    Making A Claim If Your Car Is Stolen

    If your car is stolen, even for a short time, tell the police and your insurer immediately and check to see if your policy covers the cost of a replacement vehicle. If youre paying your premium by instalments you may have to keep paying until your policy is due for renewal.

    Your insurer may wait to see if the vehicle is found. If they settle your claim and the vehicle is then found they will keep the vehicle. If your car isn’t found your insurer should pay you its market value, which is what you could have sold it for.

    If you’re not satisfied with how much the insurer offers you, try to prove the car was worth more, by using car price guides or prices in local papers.

    An insurance pay-out may end your policy but this depends on the policy. If you paid the full amount up front, you probably won’t get the rest of your premium refunded.

    Auto Insurance Alberta: What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

    What to do if your car is stolen and recovered

    According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, 93,000 vehicles were stolen in this country in 2010 and at least 250 cars are stolen every day. Although the number of vehicle thefts is in decline due to stolen vehicle task forces and factory-installed anti-theft devices, car theft remains a significant risk to all car owners.

    Whether you left your vehicle in a parking lot or on your own property, discovering its been stolen is a horrible experience. Its normal to feel confused, angry, and frustrated after discovering you car has been stolen. At Lanes Insurance, we hope this never happens to you, but in case it does we guarantee adequate coverage at the best possible rates. Comprehensive coverage is very affordable, and if your car has an anti-theft system or an anti-theft device installed youre eligible for a discount.

    Thieves often switch the license plates between a stolen car and another vehicle, making it more difficult for the police to recover. The sooner you report the theft to the police, the greater the likelihood your vehicle will be recovered.

    The police will ask for the following information when they take your report:

    • Your contact information
    • The year, make, and model of your vehicle
    • Your vehicles VIN
    • The time and location you last saw your vehicle

    Contact Your Alberta Auto Insurance Agent

    Follow Up With Your Insurance Agent and the Police

    Follow-up with your insurance agent to check the status of your claim as needed.

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    Prepare For The Third Degree

    Expect some tough questions if your claim appears even slightly suspicious. Don’t take it personally.

    Roughly $80 billion in fraudulent insurance claims are made every year, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. A fair number of car theft claims are what the industry calls owner give-ups thefts made with the cooperation of the insured owner.

    Investigators may look into your financial history, such as late payments, or your phone records and posts you may have made on social media. Adjusters will often record conversations, and at times it may feel like an interrogation.

    Among the potential red flags for investigators:

    • The vehicle was recently put up for sale.
    • The vehicle is over mileage on a lease.
    • The drivers license was recently suspended..
    • Recent increases in coverage.

    Rejection Of Car Theft Claim

    Your claim can get rejected due to several reasons including –

    • If you did not file a claim timely.
    • If your insurer has reasons to believe that you have not taken adequate steps to protect your car.
    • Mismatch in the documents submitted.
    • If you’re using a personal vehicle for commercial use.
    • You can’t present two sets of keys to the insurer.

    While there are other factors too, these usually top the list. In case your claim is rejected, and you are not happy with the decision, you can also approach the insurer ombudsman to get the issue settled. Reputable insurers are mostly known to have a hassle-free claim filing process to help you get the reimbursement as quickly as possible.

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    What To Do When Your Car Is Stolen

    It can feel like a real-life nightmare when you discover your car isn’t where you parked it. Before reporting it stolen, rule out these possibilities:

    • Was it parked illegally and towed away?
    • If you’re behind on payments, was it repossessed?
    • Was it impounded or claimed by a creditor?

    If your car was indeed stolen, immediately file a report. Keep in mind that having a tracking device on your vehicle may help police recover it. After filing a police report, contact your insurance company right away to file a car theft claim.

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

    How to get your stolen vehicle back

    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.
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    Does Your Car Insurance Cover Theft

    Unfortunately, not all car insurance plans cover theft. If you opted for the minimum insurance policy your state requires, it likely only includes coverage to protect other people and drivers if youre ever at fault in an accident.

    To receive compensation when your car is stolen, you need comprehensive insurance coverage. Depending on the kind of coverage you have, youll likely need to pay a deductible of some kind, but your insurance company will begin the process of determining the value of your car and paying you accordingly. Your level of coverage may impact what percentage of that value your insurance will repay. You might be able to dispute this value if you have reason to believe their estimate is wrong .If youre eligible for compensation, dont expect to see it immediately. Your insurance company will probably withhold payment for a set period of time in case your car is recovered. They would prefer you get your car back, too!

    How Much Do You Get Paid By Insurance If Your Car Is Stolen

    If your automobile is stolen and not recovered, it will be considered a total loss. You will work with your insurer to agree upon the market value or actual cash value . This is the amount you will be paid out. You will not be reimbursed for the original value of the vehicle or the cost of a replacement.

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    Talk To Your Insurance Company

    You may be surprised to know that not all auto insurance providers insure vehicles for car theft. Once you have a police case number, youll need to share that with your insurance provider and explain what happened. You can provide the same details you shared in the police report, and the insurance company will ask for a copy of the police report to support your insurance claim.

    How much you will be reimbursed for the stolen vehicle will depend on your insurance policys coverage. Most insurance companies will provide up to the state minimum, and this varies from state to state. Youll need comprehensive coverage to qualify for reimbursement of a stolen vehicle, and how much you receive will depend on the value of the car and other factors.

    If your insurance company does provide coverage for a stolen car, they will investigate the situation on their own. They will take steps to rule out all possibilities of fraudthey want to make sure youre not hiding the vehicle or attempting to file a claim when the car hasnt really been stolen. The adjuster might ask you questions, such as where you last parked your car, if there were any security and/or anti-theft devices in the vehicle, and details from your police report. There may be a waiting period to confirm that you dont have the car anymore, and this can be as long as 7 days to 2 weeks, depending on the carrier.

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