Car prowls are on the rise and unrelenting. It doesn’t matter where you park your car because it can happen to you, and in some states it has become widespread. Woefully, our team here at Attorney Docs recently had our company-vehicle broken into and some equipment stolen, all while stationed in a popular and camera littered parking lot. Needless to say, everyone was shocked and upset; but the team was also at a loss about what to do because, and unfortunately, we did not receive any help from the local police department. So, when it came to managing the situation, it had to be done by ourselves. Thankfully we came back with insight on the situation, so here are our tips on what you need to do if your car gets broken into:
If someone has vandalized or broken into your car, the first steps you need to take are to document the damage, make a list of stolen items, and file a police report before you can get your car repaired or file any claims.
You need to evaluate and document all damage done to your vehicle including a detailed list of stolen property for later reporting. Your local police department may need to know about your case in order to investigate a broader crime due to vandals often targeting multiple cars in an area. Additionally, your insurance company will usually require a police report in order to process any claim you file. Call the police and ask if they’ll come assess the damage. If not, no worries, you’ll just need to file a report at a local station or over the phone. To file a report, you’ll need the following information:
- Your driver’s license
- Your vehicle’s registration information
- Your insurance card or policy declaration page
- The approximate date and time of the theft or vandalism
- A detailed list of any property that was stolen
- Photographs of the damage
Your auto insurance policy will be protected from any form of vandalism or car theft if you’ve added comprehensive insurance to your policy. However, comprehensive coverage will typically only pay for damages after you’ve paid your policy’s deductible, and any personal property you’ve had stolen from you car will not be covered by your comprehensive coverage (need homeowners or renters for any belongings in the vehicle). As a result, some might find it easier to pay for the repairs themselves. Also, your insurance claim will go much smoother and your reimbursement will be much more accurate if you are able to prove that you owned the items that were stolen, and how much they cost. Look for sales receipts, credit card bills, and photos of the items that were stolen.
Unfortunately, you’re not alone. A car break-in is a scene that too many Americans encounter each year. After those initial feelings of shock and disappointment subside, you will need to take action because no one else is going to do it for you.
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