How to report a stolen car? Should you call a cop?

Call the police to file a complaint. They will likely add your information to a national theft database that will make it more difficult for the thief to sell or change the ownership of your car.

  • Tell the police the location of the robbery and a description of your vehicle and license plate number. If possible, include vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and registration.
  • Alert the police if your vehicle has a device that helps track and retrieve a stolen vehicle with GPS. Some popular services are LoJack ® , OnStar ®  and Safety Connect ® .
  • Find and save your title well. If your vehicle is leased or financed, also inform the lender or leasing company.

Are you covered for a car theft claim?

The comprehensive coverage of your auto insurance policy usually covers you for loss of a stolen vehicle. It can also cover repairs to your vehicle if it is recovered damaged. You will be responsible for your deductible in any situation.

However, some personal belongings you had in your car, such as a removable GPS, car seat, or laptop, may not qualify for coverage under your car policy. Instead, you may need to file a claim under your insurance policy homeowner or tenant or tenants . Talk to your agent to make sure you have adequate coverage. In order to have coverage for both your stolen vehicle and any belongings left inside, you may need to file two separate claims and be responsible for two deductibles.

Handling of the claim for the theft of your car

You can start a claim online or by phone at 1-800-421-3535 . We will need the information you gave the police, as well as the location of all your keys and a list of personal property in the car.

We’ll assign you a Nationwide claims assistant, who will ask you for essential information, check your insurance policy, and explain your policy coverage and deductible. The wizard will confirm the following information:

  • The information you gave the police
  • The location of all your keys
  • A list of all your personal property left in the car

In general, this is what your assistant will do:

  • It will explain the claim process
  • Answer any questions related to your claim
  • It will let you know if you are eligible for a car rental or alternative transportation refund while you don’t have a car.
  • He will consult the circumstances and details regarding the theft
  • It will take a statement from you and your witnesses
  • It will ask you where you keep the property title
  • Analyze police complaints

If your vehicle is recovered but is damaged

If your vehicle is found and damaged, you can choose the desired repair shop or one of our On Your Side Auto Repair Network ® to carry out any necessary repairs.

If your vehicle is not recovered

If you do not recover your vehicle, or if it is recovered but has serious damage, we may consider it a total loss. Your claims assistant will work closely with you throughout the process to calculate the fair market value for your vehicle.

If you have a loan on your vehicle, your claims assistant will help you coordinate the corresponding procedures with your creditor.

Tips to Help Discourage Vehicle Thieves

  • Always lock your vehicle, take it with you and avoid leaving an extra set of keys inside the vehicle.
  • Park in a well-lit area and hide valuables that may attract thieves.
  • If your vehicle does not have a factory anti-theft or alarm system, consider installing an aftermarket device. (In some states, we provide auto insurance discounts for anti-theft devices or alarms.)
  • Avoid leaving your vehicle running in your absence.

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