Here is a checklist if you think your car has been stolen.
1. Determine if your car is actually missing
Was your car stolen or have you simply misplaced it? Or maybe it was towed or maybe a family member has borrowed it without letting you know?
Try to rule out these things before you report your car stolen.
2. Call the police and report a stolen car
It’s important to act fast and report the car stolen with the local Police.
Try to have this information on hand:
- Insurance card with the VIN number
- Your license plate number
- The make, model, and colour of the vehicle
- Where you last had the vehicle
- Tracking information if your vehicle has GPS technology
Most insurance companies will not take a claim unless you have completed a Police report, so it’s important that you do so first and gather a copy to give to your insurance provider.
3. Contact your insurance provider to submit a claim
Your insurance provider will ask for the following information and complete a thorough investigation before reimbursing you:
- Vehicle title
- Primary and spare keys
- Names of anyone who has access to your car
- Location and time of where you last left your car
- List of all items (personal property) that was stolen with the car
Types of insurance plans:
If you have limited liability coverage you are more than likely not going to be covered for vehicle theft, although they may cover property damage (so have your list of missing items on hand).
If you have comprehensive coverage they will typically reimburse you for the actual cash value (ACV) which is how much you paid minus depreciation. ACV will be negotiable, so do your research on the value of the vehicle.
To find out what your vehicle is worth, check out your country’s car evaluation site:
- United States: https://www.kbb.com/
- Australia: https://www.carsales.com.au/car-valuations/
- United Kingdom: http://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-valuation
Keep in mind that during the investigation you are the number one suspect. Unfortunately, there are people out there that abuse the system and commit fraud. Be prepared to wait around 2-8 weeks for the investigation and allow time for authorities to find your missing vehicle.
Note: If you are leasing or financing you will want to contact the lender and have them work with your insurance provider.
4. Report it to your Local Vehicle Registration Agency
Once you have submitted a Police report and insurance claim ask your local vehicle registration agency if they have a database of reported stolen cars. Some agencies will work with Police to recover missing cars.
- United States: http://www.dmvusa.com/
- Australia: http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/transport-and-regional/registration-and-licences
- United Kingdom: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency\
5. Do your own research
During the waiting period, you can take matters into your own hands. Start by check online selling forums or websites where thieves could be trying to sell it. It’s worth a look.
Prevention is better than cure. How to avoid your car being stolen in the first place.
- Always lock your car/windows
- Keep your car clean (don’t have personal items in plain site)
- Get tinted windows to prevent people from looking in
- Don’t keep your spare keys near your car (if you keep it in your garage and leave your garage open)
- Never leave your car running and unattended
- Park in well-lit areas
- Talk to you car dealership about getting GPS technology installed
If you do end up finding your car we’re happy to hear that! However, make sure to contact your insurance provider to assess the damage, repair and missing personal items as they may cover it.
Here at Cammy, we are committed to decreasing crime worldwide, which is why we want to provide you with the tools are resources to protect yourself and your communities.