Your Car has been Broken Into. Now what?
While thousands of car break ins happen each year, you may find yourself unprepared to deal with such an unfortunate situation. While having your car broken into may be stressful and inconvenient, don’t panic. These steps will help you best deal with what to do in the case of a burglarized or damaged car.
Leave the Car As Is. It is important to keep the car parked where you left it and remain outside the vehicle. Tampering with the evidence could hinder the police’s ability to assess the crime scene and find the thief. The police may even dust for prints in order to find the perpetrator so your best bet is to stay outside until the cops have arrived.
Notify the Police. Often times, the Police Force will send an officer to assess the vehicle and do an on-scene report. However, you may be asked to file a report at the police station. If this is the case, do NOT take the vehicle in question. Leave the car at the scene and ask a friend for help or take public transportation. Remember to bring your driver’s license, car insurance, vehicle registration information, photos of damaged car, and list of stolen items.
Take photos. Examine the car from every angle and take pictures of any damage the thief may have ensued upon your vehicle. Take pictures of the windshield, window, car locks, and anything that is broken, scratched, or dented.
Make a List of Stolen Items. Make a detailed list of everything you notice is missing from your car. The more specific your list is, the more likely your insurance company is to reimburse you greater for your items.
Cancel Credit Cards. Having your car broken into is bad but having your money or identity stolen from you is even worse. Let your bank know right away and make sure they are alerted of theft or possible fraud. Call a credit company such as Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian to place a 90 day fraud alert on your credit cards.
File an Insurance Claim. Deciding whether or not to file an insurance claim may depend on how much was damage was done to your car and the expense of what had been stolen. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover stolen belongings from the car as long as they are not affixed the car. Comprehensive auto coverage will pay for any damage done to the car, less the deductible. Keep in mind, your rates may go up at the time of renewal once you file a claim. You also may not receive money if your deductible exceeds the dollar amount of the damage or theft in the break in incident.
Preventative Measures. Remember to always lock your car and roll up your windows. Try to park in well lit areas that are not remote or out of the public view. If you have any valuables that you must leave in your car, hide them out of view such as under a seat or beneath a cover.
Despite such a frightening and troublesome occurrence, taking these steps after a car break in will help ensure that you are back on the road in no time!
Have questions? Give us a call!
AZ Insurance Team 480-535-5709 https://www.azinsuranceteam.com
*All policies are a little different and this may not be applicable to your insurance policy, talk to your agent to see what your policy covers.*