A stolen car can be a real headache that can have some serious side effects on your future insurance premiums and your lifestyle. There are several things you can do to help prevent theft, ensure that you are covered in case of theft and help lower car insurance rates in your area.
Making sure you lock your car is one of the smartest things you can do to prevent car theft. Parking in safe areas is always wise, and keeping the alarm on and testing it periodically are both very smart ideas as well.
Using the steering wheel locking gadget called “The Club” is also a fabulous way to prevent the theft of your car or SUV in the city. I know people who have kept the ignition coil in their apartment, and every time they needed to use the car they put the coil back into the car. For most people, this is extreme, but another great device that helps prevent car theft is a hidden kill switch that disables the ignition when it is in the off position.
Will I be Covered in Case of Theft?
If you are unlucky enough to have your car stolen, there is a very simple test that usually reveals whether you have insurance coverage for this theft. If you are saving money on your insurance premiums by carrying liability insurance only, and you do not have some form of comprehensive insurance, then a stolen car will probably not be covered by your insurance company. If you do have comprehensive insurance, it is likely that car theft will be covered, at least partially.
So the bottom line is that if you live in an area where you think there is a chance that your car could be stolen someday, then it is wise for you to carry comprehensive auto insurance. This is usually the only way to ensure that your car can be replaced if stolen. Liability insurance does nothing for car theft.
What to Do When Your Car is Stolen
One thing I have witnessed through a friend’s misfortune is that there are often a lot of steps that you must go through to make a claim on a stolen car, including police reports and putting together any other important information that can be gathered. The more information you have to support your claim that the car is stolen, the more likely your insurance company will cover it. Let’s say you can find an eyewitness or some video footage from a surveillance camera, and you can get that to the police. Then it helps your case with the insurance company in trying to get compensated.
Reducing Car Theft: How to Help Lower Rates in Your Area
We all pay for car theft in the higher insurance premiums, so we have a vested interest in seeing this crime reduced or eliminated. So what can you do when you think a car is being stolen? If you know that someone other than the owner is sniffing around a car, and that person is not armed, you can ask if they need help with anything. If it is a thief, he or she will probably abandon the attempted theft. Or, out of neighborly generosity, you can get out your cell phone camera and record the incident. Try and find the owner and help them report the car stolen. If it turns out to be nothing, then just delete the video. Often, crimes are committed where there are witnesses that are too busy or afraid to say or do something.