When someone steals anything, that brings emotions of anger, frustration, desperation to find it etc. but what if it is your car? Yes, it only gets worse since the car thief may get into an accident and your insurer may hold you responsible. Instead of panicking, you may follow certain steps to ensure that this does not happen and also successfully claim for theft.
What Happens When Your Car Is Stolen?
As per Insurance Bureau of Canada every year the threat posed by car thefts are increasing. Many people lose their lives or get severe injuries when a car thief recklessly drives with no care for road safety. Thieves don’t bother about rules of the road or if they hit someone when in a hurry to sell off the car for a profit. They use these funds for criminal activities and there could be 2 outcomes for your stolen car. Either the police may track down and recover your car or it may never ever be found again.
In case you are fortunate and recover your car then you must notify the police right away. Mostly it may not happen and when the police recover a stolen car they return it to the legal owner of the car. But it could be in a very bad condition, beyond repair. The thieves may have damaged the car when they tried to break into it and also any valuable parts could be missing. When the damage is so bad that it is not worth repairing then your insurance company may declare it as a total loss. However, if the repairs are not too major then your insurance company may pay for that.
If a stolen car is never found then that means that the thieves have changed its appearance by repainting, removing all identification and even putting a new VIN. They would do everything possible to ship the car outside Canada as that is where the profits are.
How To File A Stolen Vehicle Report?
It is a terrible feeling of loss to discover that someone stole your car along with maybe some valuables too. Most cities in Ontario allow you to file a stolen vehicle report online when the value of stolen car and items is more than $5000. You get an occurrence number that you may use for your insurance claim too. After you submit your report a police officer reviews your report. In case they need more information, they contact you for further details. Or, you go to the nearest police station to report the theft of your car and get an incident number.
How To Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen?
- Do not leave your car keys inside the car, not even in your secret hiding place under the mat.
- Never keep your car windows open, doors unlocked and don’t leave your car running.
- Always lock your garage when you park your car and if outside in your driveway, it should be well lit.
- The vehicle registration and insurance documents should never be kept in the car, unattended, not even copies.
- Ensure that you do not leave any valuables or even a bag in the car that can be easily seen.
- If you need to Valet Park then give only the ignition key.
- Don’t respond to any suspicious emails or phone calls asking for your vehicle VIN. Ask more questions to confirm authenticity. Try to check why they need it but don’t give any vital information. You may instead call that organization to check if they called you.