Walking outside to discover that your vehicle is no longer there, and has been stolen is a dreadful feeling. And yet, according to the 2013 statistics by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, a person goes through this experience about every three and half minutes in Canada—about 420 cars are stolen each day. It is one of the most frequent police-reported offences in Canada, and the cost really adds up. The cost of car theft to the government, consumers, police and insurance companies is estimated to be at $1 billion annually.
We have provided some tips to ensure that you have a smooth insurance claims process and are able to recover from the loss easily, if you suspect that your vehicle is stolen.
Call the police
The sooner you contact the proper authorities, the more likely you are to recover your vehicle. You should provide as many details about the vehicle as you can. Information such as the vehicle's make, model, license plate number, and VIN number will be useful to relay.
Report the stolen car to your insurer
After completing a police report, the next step is to contact your car insurance company, and make a claim. You may also want to consider contacting your local motor vehicle department, as they typically maintain a database of stolen vehicles.
If your car is on loan or leased, report the vehicle theft to your finance or leasing company
If your vehicle is still under finance or under a lease, you should inform the company of the theft. Finance companies typically work directly with insurance companies following vehicle theft.
While these tips will make the claims and recovery process easier, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of car theft. Make certain that you always lock your car and take your keys with you. Never leave your vehicle running unattended, or keep spare keys hidden in your car. Additonally, parking in well-let areas and hiding valuables that might attract theives can also reduce your risk.
How insurance can help
Having the right auto policy can be invaluable following the theft of your vehicle. If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurer can help with the cost involved to replace your car. Many policies can even provide rental car coverage until your vehicle is either recovered or considered lost.
For more information on auto insurance, contact our licensed brokers