What to do when your car is robbed, burglarized, broken into, whatever you want to call it :-)
You come outside, you are in a rush to get somewhere, you hop into your car and wham! You notice that your radio has been stolen! Here's what you'll need to know....
- 1 Don't try to straighten up the car or fix anything yet. First thing you want to do is call the police.
- 2 The police will come either very quickly or after a long, long time depending on where you are. Don't fret if you have to wait. Having your car broken into may feel like a major crime, but it's really very routine to the police and not a call that requires urgency.
- 3 If you are really in a hurry and don't feel like calling the police, check with your insurance company to see if contacting the police and filing a report is necessary. It might not be. That said, it is always a good idea to notify authorities regardless of insurance regulations.
- 4 The police may or may not check for finger prints. My car has been broken into 3 times (yeah, I have bad luck :-) and the police only checked prints once. Even then, the police officer admitted taking prints was only a 'dog and pony show'.
- 5 The police will ask you to write down everything that is missing and give them your notes right there. If you don't have time, or need to compose yourself, ask the police officer if there is a number you can fax the list to later or if you can drop it off at the station later. They may not let you do that, but it's worth a try.
- 6 Contact your insurance agent/insurance company. They'll ask you a number of questions about the condition of the car, etc. and they'll also ask that you see their insurance claims adjuster. The claims adjuster will look at your car and determine the extent of damage.
- 7 Your insurance company may tell you that you won't get much money or that only certain items such as things actually bolted to the car are insured. Don't be discouraged and drop the claim. SEE THE CLAIMS ADJUSTER REGARDLESS. Every time I saw the adjuster I got way more money than what my insurance agent lead me to believe
- 8 You'll probably have a choice of having the adjuster come out and visit your car (ie while you are at home or at work, etc) but that may take up to a few weeks. The faster way is to go out and visit the claims adjuster. Most are located at local auto body shops and your auto insurance company will tell you the closest location.
- 9 Another important point.... if you do any repairs to the car, no matter how minor, remember the time it took you and save your receipt. For some bizarre reason a radio thief also stole one of my spark plug wires (yep..spark plug wire). I went to an auto parts store and replaced it. I figured about 1 hour's worth of work between going to the store and doing the work. My insurance Co paid me $25, plus the cost of the wire for 1 hour of work.
- 10 You'll go to the claims adjuster. He'll look over the damage and give you a check right there less your deductible. Be sure to point out all the damage and let him know everything that is missing. Some of the items might not be covered but don't assume it isn't. Tell him or her anyway.
- 11Believe me, you'll never get your radio and things back. Just be sure to be honest, take good notes, call the police, call your insurance company and be REAL nice to the claims adjuster.
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