Few feelings are as scary as walking back to a parking structure to discover your vehicle is missing. Depending on your auto insurance policy, you may be covered for the total value of your car. Before you have a panic attack, make sure to follow these steps immediately after your car is stolen.
Make Sure It’s Really Stolen
Before you worry too much, you should consider whether someone actually did steal your car. It may be possible you forgot where you parked and you need to go one more level up. Another possibility is that your car was towed. Most parking structures and lots have signs saying what towing service they work with. You should contact the local impound lot to see if your car was taken. While you will probably have to spend a few hundred dollars to get it out, it is better than having it stolen.
Contact the Police
After you have exhausted all other options, you can be confident your car was stolen. At this point, you need to call the police. You will need to provide the cops with the make and model of your vehicle along with the VIN and where it was located last. You should also give them information related to tracking devices found inside your car, such as OnStar or LoJack. The police will make a report, and you should keep a copy of this report yourself to give to the insurance company.
Report Stolen Car to Insurance Agency
Regardless if you have stolen vehicle coverage, you will need to report to your insurance company so that they know you no longer possess your car. Even if you have coverage, you may still need to wait a while to see the money. Insurance companies routinely deal with people who lie and report their cars stolen so that they can get some easy money. After an investigation, if you have coverage, you will receive reimbursement for the actual cash value of the vehicle.
Call the DMV
During the investigation process, you will need to report your car missing to the DMV. This organization maintains a database of all local stolen cars. The DMV also works with law enforcement, and they can help locate your stolen vehicle.
Search for It Online
Most people steal cars to resell. You can try taking matters into your own hands by searching for your vehicle on Craigslist or other forums. It can be a long shot, but there is a chance you can locate it on your own.
Vent It Out
After you have done everything within your power, the most you can do at this point is to have a good cry about it. It is natural to feel frustrated and angry, so make sure to spend time with friends and family members to vent. You should also remember that in 2013, 89.4 percent of stolen cars were ultimately recovered. That means there is a high likelihood you will be reunited with your car soon.
Your mind will be more at ease after your car is stolen if you have insurance. Compare rates and see which policy is best for you by calling BOLT Insurance at 1-800-216-4174.