A stolen car could be a lot of inconvenience. You won’t be able to go where you want to go, and you could face a hassle when reporting stolen registration, plates, identification and property within the vehicle. Plus, a stolen car equals a huge loss of an investment that you want to be able to replace.
With the help of your auto insurance, you can receive assistance covering the costs of a stolen car. Still, it isn’t something that you want to face in the first place, but even the best-prepared drivers cannot eliminate every safety risk.
Let’s take a closer look at the best ways to prevent vehicle theft, and how your auto insurance will be able to help you if the worst ever does happen.
Ways to Prevent Vehicle Theft
All cars are at-risk of theft, even if you live in an area you consider safe. Always do your due diligence to prevent theft by taking practical steps like:
- Leaving your car locked at all times, day and night, and both when driving and when parked.
- Arming your security system.
- Hiding items that are inside the vehicle so that they don’t attract and tempt thieves. Put away purses, wallets, cash, sunglasses, mobile devices, and even everyday possessions you might leave in the car, such as phone cords or clothing.
- Park in a garage or close to your home. Consider placing motion-activated lighting near the space where you park.
- Use a steering wheel lock on the vehicle.
- When parking in public, make a note of where you have parked and always park around other vehicles. If you park in isolated areas, then thieves have a better chance of making a clean getaway.
Car Insurance for Vehicle Theft
If you suddenly become the victim of vehicle theft, then immediately call the police. They can take a report of the incident, gather identifying information and start the search for the car.
Then, pull out your auto insurance policy and call your agent. Your agent will be able to immediately start a claim to cover the costs of your loss.
Keep in mind, auto insurance policies must include comprehensive damage insurance in order to cover theft. Comprehensive coverage pays for vehicle damage and losses that stem from anything other than a wreck. Theft falls under this umbrella, and if you do recover the car, then coverage can pay you for the necessary repairs.
Usually, comprehensive coverage will settle with you for the actual cash value of a stolen car, minus your deductible. This is the value of the car at the time of the wreck, rather than the value of a new car. However, if you increase your coverage to replacement cost value coverage, then you will receive a higher settlement for your losses. A deductible will still apply.
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