It is one thing to walk into a parking lot and realize you have forgotten where you parked. It is quite another to realize your vehicle has been stolen. Once you get over the initial shock, what should you do?
First you will need to call the police to file a report. This includes describing your car, SUV or truck, and providing information such as the vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number. If your vehicle has a system that allows GPS to help find your vehicle, let the police know. Some of these systems are OnStar by General Motors, Safety Connect by Toyota, or Blue Link by Hyundai.
You also will want to contact your insurance company. This not only alerts the insurance company to the theft, but it protects you if your car is damaged or hurts others while in the hands of the thief.
Your insurance company will ask a lot of the same questions as the police, but expect even more of them! And don’t be surprised if the insurer pokes into your personal affairs to see if the claim is fake. As many as 10 percent of casualty and property claims are actually fraudulent.
If you are leasing or paying on a vehicle loan, let your lender know and, finally, tell your state’s motor vehicle department.
Once you’ve made all those calls, perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to receive one of these two: a call from the police saying your vehicle has been found or a call from your insurance agent, letting you know your settlement is in the works.