How to File a Claim for a Stolen Vehicle

November 7, 2013

Auto theft is an unfortunate reality of car ownership, and if you ever need to file a claim for a stolen car, be sure to follow the protocol. You have to be covered by comprehensive insurance if you plan on filing a car insurance claim for a stolen vehicle. If this ever happens to you, take the time to familiarize yourself with the process to make it easier on your nerves.

File Police Report

The thing to do first if your car has been stolen is to file a police report. Not only could they find your car tomorrow or in a month, but it will document the theft and produce a piece of evidence to go with your claim. In the police report you should give information about the stolen car as well as any objects that were stolen with the car.

Call Insurance Company

Your next step is to call the insurance company. If you do not carry comprehensive car insurance, though, it will be a useless call. Basic insurance coverage--even collision coverage will not cover car theft. If you do have comprehensive, however, the call you make to the insurance company is very important because it gets the claim going. If you have rental car coverage, the agent will set up that for you so you can get driving again.

Alternative Insurance

Your car insurance may not cover the goods that were stolen from inside the car. Fortunately, if you have homeowner's insurance, it will generally cover the stolen possessions. Contact that insurance company and be prepared to gather and provide receipts for everything of value inside the car that was stolen.

Learn more about Paying Insurance if your Car is Stolen >>

If you are a victim of car theft, file a police report, call your insurance company and gather receipts for anything that was stolen from within the car. With comprehensive coverage, your stolen car will be insured and you'll be back on the road in no time.

Related Questions and Answers

What is the Best Method to Locate a Stolen Car?

There are a few ways to locate a stolen car. None of them are a guarantee that you will ever see your vehicle again. A professional car thief can defeat most systems. Here are the best methods for finding your car. If your vehicle is equipped with Lo-Jack, you have a pretty good chance of locating it. When the police enter the VIN in to the Lo-Jack system, the system will send out a radio wave the police can use to find it. If your car has On-Star or a similar system, they should be able to help you find the car via GPS. Contact the police immediateiy and let them do their jobs. Investigating a car theft on your own can be dangerous.

Which States have the Most Stolen Cars?

California is the state that wins the most stolen car award. California is one of the most populous states in the nation, and has millions of cars on its roads. This makes it a prime target for car thieves. Texas and Florida win the second and third place spots. Georgia is number four and the top five is rounded out by Michigan. These states all have fairly high crime rates, so it is no surprise that car theft is high. Installing a Lo-Jack system can help the police find your vehicle if it is stolen. An alarm is also an excellent deterrent against car theft.

What are the Top 5 Least Stolen Cars?

In 2010, the least stolen cars were mainly mid-size sport utility vehicles. The list is topped by a large luxury car. The Volvo S80 was the least stolen car in America. Number two is the Saturn Vue four wheel drive. Third place is the Nissan Murano. Fourth place is the Saturn Vue again. This time the front wheel drive version. The top five is rounded out by the Honda Pilot. These are all pretty bland family vehicles which can explain their lack of appeal to a car thief. If you are worried about your vehicle being stolen, installing a Lo-Jack system can bring peace of mind.

Will I Go to Jail if I Bought a Stolen Car?

If you bought a stolen car unknowingly, then you will not go to jail. If the police come looking for the car, you will lose the vehicle and most likely, the money that you paid for it. There are stolen cars that are sold over the Internet, so it pays to be careful when buying a used car from a private seller. Pulling a CARFAX report on the VIN number can sometimes alert you to a stolen vehicle. In the majority of cases, the car thief will switch the VIN before putting it on the market. On the other hand, if the police can prove that you bought a car that you knew was stolen, there is a good chance you will go to jail for a bit.