First, dial 911
By calling the police as soon as you realize your car was stolen, you increase your chances of getting it back.
If there are witnesses, provide their names and contact information. This useful information strengthens the police report.
Promptly informing law enforcement agencies can also save lives. Each year, forty people die and many others are injured after a car is stolen1. In the hands of a criminal, a stolen vehicle can be a serious danger, since thieves often have no regard for public safety or the rules of the road.
Next, file a claim
Once you have reported the theft, contact your insurer and prepare your claim with it.
Make sure you have the following information on hand:
- The police report number
- Your car insurance policy number
- Where your car was stolen.
The claims adjuster will check your car insurance coverage and inform you of the steps in your claim process. The adjuster will also provide you with the steps to follow to replace your car or to receive your compensation, if applicable.
Note that in general, you must wait five days for your insurer to confirm that your car has not been found2. Afterward, if your claim is considered as receivable by your insurer, it will compensate you according to the terms of your insurance contract.
And the property in your car?
Your car insurance only covers your vehicle and any equipment that is attached to it or used to operate it, such as the stereo system.
The items in the car which are not used to operate it are covered by your home insurance policy. If applicable, you must file a separate claim. But make sure that these items are worth the cost of the steps. Making a claim for a box of tissues or flip-flops is not worth the trouble!
Finally, to avoid these hassles, take precautions and stay vigilant. Consult the articles How to protect your vehicle from theft and Vehicle theft: Protect your electronic key in our Advice Zone for easy and effective tips to protect yourself from theft.