Posted : 06/23/2009
The worst has happened.
You only ran into the coffee shop for a second. You could even see your car from the shop window. But now you're in the parking lot and your car is not. It's gone. It's been stolen. What do you do now?
Once you file a claim, it will be assigned to a representative who will review next steps with you, give you an overview of what your policy covers and answer your questions.. If you're entitled to a rental car, your claim rep will help with that, too.
Car thefts are on the decline, so that's good news. The year 2008 was the fifth consecutive year of decline in motor vehicle theft, by 12.6 percent, the largest single-year percentage decrease since 1999, according the National Insurance Crime Bureau. But that's no comfort when it's your car that's stolen!
The first step, as always, is to ensure you have the right coverage to pay for the costs of a stolen vehicle. For example, most insurance companies wait an average of two to four weeks if the stolen car is not found before authorizing the purchase of a new car, so you could end up paying as much as $1,000 to rent a car during the interim if you don't have rental car or substitute transportation coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Most experts suggest reviewing auto policies once a year to make sure they will cover your needs if your vehicle is stolen or damaged in a crash.
Then review the list in the section above and keep that information in a safe location - somewhere other than your car. The information will come in handy for both your police and the claims reports.
Tips to Prevent Car Theft
Worried about the possibility of your car being stolen? If so, the National Insurance Crime Bureau urges you to follow a "layered approach" to auto theft protection by employing the following steps:
Other tips to consider, thanks to the Los Angeles Police Department:
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