What to do if the car is stolen?

If your car is stolen, it is important to take immediate action to increase the chances of its recovery. Here are the recommended steps to take:

1. Contact the police

When reporting the theft, provide as much accurate information as possible about your car, including its make, model, year, color, license plate number, and any unique identifying features like a bumper sticker or noticeable damage. The police will create a stolen vehicle report, which is crucial for insurance claims and increasing the chances of recovery. Ensure you obtain a copy of the police report for your records.

2. Notify your insurance company

Contact your auto insurance company immediately to report the theft. Provide them with the police report number and any other requested information. They will guide you through the claims process, explain what coverage you have, and assist in filing a claim. Certain policies may cover rental cars or alternative transportation while your claim is being processed, so inquire about these options.

3. Inform the DMV

Report the theft to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). They can place an alert or a “stop” on your vehicle’s record, preventing unauthorized transfers of ownership or vehicle registration. This helps protect you from potential liability if the stolen car is involved in any illegal activities.

4. Activate GPS tracking devices or mobile apps

If your car is equipped with a GPS tracking device or mobile app, contact the tracking provider immediately to activate the tracking feature. This can help pinpoint the location of your stolen vehicle. Provide the tracking information to the police, allowing them to take necessary action.

5. Utilize social media and personal networks

Share information about your stolen car on social media platforms. Include relevant details such as photos, a description, and the police report number. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances to share the post, increasing visibility. Sometimes, people who come across stolen vehicles may recognize them and provide valuable leads.

6. Monitor online platforms and local ads

Continuously check online platforms, local classified ads, and car auction websites for any listings that match your stolen vehicle’s description. Stolen cars are sometimes quickly sold illegally, so vigilant monitoring can lead to potential recovery.

7. File a report with NICB

Report the theft to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a nonprofit organization that collaborates with law enforcement agencies to prevent insurance fraud. They can assist in sharing information about the stolen car across their network and help locate it. Provide them with the necessary details and the police report number.

Remember, it’s crucial to prioritize your personal safety throughout this process. Do not attempt to confront thieves or recover the vehicle yourself as it can be dangerous. Leave the recovery process to the police and any professionals involved.