How To File A Car Insurance Claim For Auto Theft
If you have reason to believe your vehicle has been stolen, take these 5 steps to file an auto theft insurance claim:
1) Call the Police
Don't hesitate. Call immediately and be ready to provide all pertinent vehicle identification information, including license plate number and vehicle make, model, and color. The faster you call and file a police report, the better your chances for recovery.
2) Contact Your Car Insurance Company
After contacting the police, follow up immediately with a call to your auto insurance company. Be prepared to provide the following information:
- The car's title.
- Names and phone numbers of anyone else who may have had access to the vehicle.
- Location of all keys for the vehicle, before and after the theft.
- All vehicle identification information, including mileage and service records.
- A list of all personal property inside the vehicle during the time of theft, including your purse or wallet.
- The name and number of your leasing or financing company, if applicable.
Don't take it personally if your insurance company asks questions that, in your mind, imply suspicion. Auto insurance fraud runs rampant these days, requiring insurance companies to be more thorough with the gathering-information process.
NOTE: Auto theft is covered under comprehensive insurance. This applies to vehicle damages not caused by a car accident. Examples include vandalism, fire, and, of course, theft.
3) Contact Your Lienholder
If your vehicle is leased or financed, you will need to notify your lienholder. This will help expedite the claims process.
4) File for Rental Reimbursement
Depending on your car insurance policy, you may be able to file for immediate rental car reimbursement, or for public transportation costs (taxi, bus, subway).
5) Wait for Recovery
Depending on your car insurance company your car must go unrecovered for anywhere from 20 to 30 days before you'll be issued a settlement check. If your car is not recovered, depending on your insurance coverage, you should be compensated for the full value of your vehicle.
If, however, your car is recovered your auto insurance company will then assess if any damages incurred before deciding, if at all, on a claim amount. Again, much of this depends on the terms of your auto insurance policy.