Thinking Quickly: What to do if Your Vehicle is Stolen
Discovering that one of your most prized valuables – and one that you use often – has been stolen or damaged can be worrisome and overwhelming. Dealing with a stolen vehicle is not easy, but with the right form of insurance coverage, it can make the process easier to overcome. Thousands of vehicles are stolen each year in the United States, and 2017 will more than likely prove to be no different. Read on to learn what you can do if a vehicle theft ever occurs to you.
Protect Your Vehicle
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, nearly 65,000 cars and trucks are stolen every year in Texas. So, before getting into what to do if your vehicle is stolen, here are a few tips on how to prevent it from ever happening:
- Always lock your vehicle. This should go without saying, but sometimes we give the benefit of the doubt to places where we think our car or truck will be safe. Fortunately, most new vehicle models lock automatically a minute or so after the engine has been switched off, but do the right thing and double check to make sure all locks are secure.
- Take all important and/or expensive valuables with you after parking, even when at home. Do not give a potential thief the incentive to break into your vehicle. Anything of value that is noticeable from the outside is sure to draw attention.
- Install an anti-theft device. A loud alarm can alert you or someone else that a theft might be in progress.
- Park in a well-lit, populated area. If out shopping at night, park your vehicle under a streetlamp or near an area with heavy foot traffic where people are sure to know that a theft is taking place.
If Your Vehicle Has Been Stolen
The first thing you’ll want to do if your vehicle is missing is to remain calm. Gather your thoughts and try to remember where you parked, or see if you accidently parked in a tow zone. If illegal parking isn’t the case, call the police immediately. It’s always a good idea to keep your car or truck’s information in your purse, wallet or smartphone.
Having the year, make and model is fine, but it will really help the authorities if you have VIN and license plate numbers, too. More information, such as any distinguishing marks or features (dents, stickers, decals, etc.), could be helpful in locating it.
Call Your Insurance Provider
After you’ve alerted police and filed a report, the next step is to call your insurance provider regarding your missing vehicle. Even if you only have liability coverage, it is extremely important to contact the company and inform it of the situation. If your vehicle is involved in an accident where someone has been injured, your insurer will know that you personally were not liable. Also, let your insurance company know if there were valuables in the vehicle at the time it was stolen. It’s quite possible that you can be compensated for these items.
You Can Count on Us
Shepard Walton King realizes that your car or truck is a vital part of your life. We work hard to prepare you when the unthinkable happens. No matter what happens on the road, we will be here for you. Contact our insurance agency in McAllen today to learn more about how we can help you.
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