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What to Do If Your Vehicle Is Stolen

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare – returning from the parking lot only to discover that your vehicle has just been stolen! Unfortunately, this is an unexpected event that no one ever expects to happen. That’s why it can be so upsetting trying to figure out what to do after the initial shock.

We’re going to discuss some steps you should take after your vehicle is stolen. Hopefully, it will make the entire process a little easier to bear. Remaining calm and following some simple procedures will increase the chances of having your stolen vehicle recovered.


Call the Police

As soon as you discover that your car has been stolen, be sure to immediately contact the police. Provide a detailed description of your vehicle, as well as any unique features that may help them locate it. Remember to include your license plate number and a description of where the theft occurred. The faster you report the crime, the greater the chances you will have your car retrieved with minimal or no damage.


Follow Police Instructions

As difficult as it may be, you need to try to remain calm and resist the urge to become a vigilante. Instead of searching for your stolen vehicle yourself, follow all of the instructions from your local police. This may include submitting paperwork, a copy of your insurance papers or your vehicle registration to the police department. Complete all of these requests as quickly as possible, so the police won’t lose any valuable time searching for your missing vehicle.


Contact Your Insurance Provider

Once you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork to the police, you should call your insurance company. Your agent can start to process your insurance claim, while the police continue to search for your stolen vehicle. You should also qualify for a rental car at no cost, so don’t delay in contacting your insurance company. They deal with insurance claims on a daily basis, and can walk you through the necessary steps to try and recover your vehicle.


Contact the Police If You Find Your Car

You may end up locating your stolen vehicle before the police. If this is the case, don’t approach the car. Immediately contact the police instead and advise them of the exact location. You don’t want to risk facing the thief who may be hiding nearby. You also run the risk of damaging evidence inside or outside of the vehicle which may lead to an arrest.

Here are some common insurance questions:

What are accelerated death benefits?

Any insurance policy that offers accelerated death benefits pays partial or full policy death benefits while you are still living. However, there are various conditions that need to be met. For example, you need to provide proof that the policyholder has a terminal illness and is not expected to live 12 months, is living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility or has a specified disease that is life-threatening. For group term life policies, you are limited to receiving an accelerated benefit or 50% of your death benefit or $25,000 — whichever is higher. You should also be aware that the proceeds may be taxable and you may no longer be eligible to receive certain government benefits or Medicaid if you accept a payment from an accelerated death benefit policy.

What are accidental death benefits?

This type of benefits is paid to the beneficiary of an individual who has purchased a life insurance policy with an accidental death clause or an accidental death insurance policy and who dies due to an accident. This type of insurance policy requires an examination into the cause of death to determine if the policyholder has satisfied the specific policy’s definition of an accidental death. Many accidental death insurance policies will also pay benefits to a policyholder who has suffered a bodily injury that results in certain types of dismemberment. There are certain double or triple indemnity policies that will pay out two or three times higher than the policy’s face value. You should note that accidental death benefits are not normally paid for injuries or deaths resulting from any type of noncommercial aviation, illegal activities or war. An insurer must meet certain age requirements, and his/her death or dismemberment must occur within a predetermined time period following an accident in order to qualify for accidental death benefits.

What is an HMO?

An HMO or Health Maintenance Organization is one comprised of healthcare facilities and staff that provide a wide range of health services to an enrolled group of individuals for a set amount of prepaid money for a specified time period. The provided health services may include inpatient or outpatient hospitalization, ambulance service, medical consultations and treatments and home health services. They may even include certain pharmacy or dental services. An HMO plan will also cover the cost if you must visit a specialist such as an oncologist if your insurance provider gives you a referral.


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