Immediate Steps to Take if Your Car Is Stolen

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), auto theft rates were up 1% nationwide in 2023. This continues the troubling trend dating back to 2019, where theft rates have risen between 25 and 30%.


 This staggering rise in thefts should be a top priority of vehicle owners and the insurance carriers that insure them. In previous blogs, we discussed prevention tips, but what do you do if fall victim to this trend anyway?


With this piece, we’ll outline exactly what steps to take if your car is stolen. 

 1. Report the theft to the police 

When filing your report, have the following information about your vehicle handy:


    • Make, model, year, and color 
    • License plate number 
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN #) 


Be mindful of additional details that can aid in recovering your vehicle including where your car was parked at the time of the theft, the approximate time of the theft, and whether you have GPS installed in the stolen vehicle. 


2. Notify your insurance companies 

If you carry comprehensive coverage, aka “other than collision” coverage, your policy may help pay to replace your vehicle up to the policy’s coverage limit. However, please be aware you will still need to pay a deductible for car repairs.


If your car is leased or financed, your lender may require you to carry comprehensive coverage until your loan is paid in full. And if you own your vehicle, comprehensive coverage is optional.


Your auto policy does not cover personal property like tools and valuables stolen from your vehicle. Instead, you will have to file a report through your home, renters, or condo insurance to recover the cost of your stolen valuables. 


3. Contact your financial institutions 

    • Report the theft to your lender/lienholder if your car is leased or financed 
    • Reach out to your bank and lenders if you believe your credit or debit card information is compromised – they will most likely issue you cards with new account numbers.
    • Set up a temporary fraud security alert on your credit history 


Documents like your vehicle registration contain personal information thieves can use to steal your identity. This alert notifies lenders they should take extra steps to verify your identity before approving any new credit requests. Following an auto theft, you should review your credit reports regularly. 


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For more converge on auto theft, please visit our blog