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What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

What just happened?! Your car was right here, right where you parked it. And now it’s gone! Now what?! With a million thoughts running through your head, trying to figure out what’s next isn’t easy. The best approach, take a deep breath and break this situation down into sensible steps.

Think about it. Before jumping to worst-case conclusions, take a minute to think things through. Ask yourself: “Am I absolutely positive this is where I parked?” “Did I accidentally park in a tow-away zone?” “Am I caught up on all my loan payments?” If you’re sure there are no other explanations other than theft, it’s time to call the police.

Report it. The sooner you report your stolen car to the police, the better your chances of getting it back. You’ll need to provide a detailed description of your vehicle, license plate number, driver’s license and VIN #. In most cases, the police will add your info to nationwide records, making it harder for thieves to sell or re-title your car.

Tech-track it. Got a tech-savvy car? If your vehicle is equipped with the latest tech tools like GM’s OnStar or Toyota’s Safety Connect, the police can use GPS to locate it. Some of the newer systems, including Hyundai’s Blue Link, can gradually reduce a stolen car’s engine power to slow it down or immobilize it. Technology-1, thief-0!

Tell your agent about it. The very next call on your list should be your insurance agent. Letting them know can help protect you from liability if the thief causes injury or damage with your car. Besides offering insurance insight, your agent can provide a calming voice of reason and help you get things back to normal, sooner.

Learn from it. You’re upset, and that’s ok. It’s not every day a thief drives away in your car. Once your emotions level out, think about lessons learned. It’s estimated that up to 50 percent of stolen vehicles can be directly tied to owner oversight. So, keep your car locked, don’t leave it running unattended, park in well-lit areas, and include comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy to protect your pocketbook.

A stolen car is definitely not part of your plan. But it happens. Consider this a bump in the road on your much bigger journey. If you follow these steps you’ll be back on that road in no time — with new-found peace of mind.

Want to learn more about keeping your car out of the hands of thieves? An American Family Insurance agent has the know-how you need.

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Related Topics: On The Road , Car Insurance , Car Safety