How to Avoid Auto Theft and Insurance Issues

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Published on July 1st, 2015 | by Joan Makai


Automobile theft can be a stressful experience. There may be a loan on the vehicle, and it needs to be repaid. Theft needs to be reported, and insurance claims need to be made in time. Children may have to be picked from school, or boss has some urgent work to that needs to be completed as of yesterday. It becomes difficult to prioritize so many things running in the mind.

Here are a few prevention measures which should be adopted to avoid auto theft and insurance issues –

  • Never keep anything valuable in the car. Valuables that catch the attention of thieves include electronic devices.
  • Always lock the car and close the glass completely. If you are going to leave it even for a minute. Do not leave it running and return to it. Do not get into the habit of keeping a spare key inside the car. Car thieves are more familiar with the places where those keys can be found in the car.
  • Use sophisticated technologies now available such as burglar alarms to electronically lock the doors. If multiple locking methods are used, it will take thieves longer to break open those car doors, and, therefore, chances of being spotted increase.
  • Parking principles should be strictly followed and these are, park the car in a place where there are sufficient light and adequate Lastly, park in such a way that the wheels are not straight but at an angle. This method prevents towing away your vehicle. The parking brake is another useful option.

But what should you do now that the vehicle is not where it should have been? Once you are sure that none of your family members has your vehicle, you need to follow the following steps.

  1. Call the police, and report the theft.
  2. After the police complaint, you need to check your insurance documents. In general three documents cover car theft, but insurance coverage that offers the best protection in case of car theft is the comprehensive insurance. This is followed by automobile insurance. Home insurance has a tiny component against such theft, if at all. In any event read the insurance paper thoroughly and understand their implications. Not all such documents include car theft. Without such coverage in the documents, there is no possibility of making those claims. Also, the nature of coverage also needs to be studied. Usually, claimed amount less deductible is what the insurance company will pay. But it is possible that your document entitles you to claim a total loss, which may include any valuables left in the car.
  3. If the insurance coverage is available for car theft, the next step is to call the insurance company, more specifically, the insurance agent.
  4. This agent will bring along insurance claims adjuster. This adjuster will study your police complaint and claims document. Also, the adjuster will also beat down the claim to what the insurance company considers as reasonable in such cases. There will be many questions to be answered because it is the duty of adjuster to examine whether there is any fraud.
  5. There is a time gap between the time the theft was noticed and reported to police and the time when insurance claim proceeding can be started. Usually, this period is about 30 days. This time gap is given because police often find the vehicle by then. Therefore, claim applications should be filed only after the period specified in the policy has lapsed.
  6. If there is outstanding automobile loan, the lender needs to be informed. If the insured has availed in auto loan, the lender insists on a comprehensive insurance, which includes car theft insurance. Lender is paid the amount by the insurance company. The insurance company also takes away the rights and claims to the vehicle when it pays the claim. Effectively, even if the car is discovered subsequently, the insured would have no rights to

Cars are expensive and it is not every day a person can buy one. Therefore, the least a person can do is, strictly adhere to car theft prevention methods, and also buy reasonable coverage against such thefts.

Photo Credit: rick via Compfight cc



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Joan Makai



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