One of the most devastating things that can happen to your vehicle is someone breaking in. They may have taken a few things, dismembered parts inside or broken windows, and the shock may leave you confused about what to do next. Even though you may appreciate the fact that at least your car is still there, it could be an absolute wreck and possibly not even drivable. Hopefully this will never be an actual issue in your life, but if this should happen at some point, here are the following steps to take after a car burglary.
The first step of this process will likely coincide with you natural instinct: call the police. Do your best to not touch anything inside or on your car because it is now a crime scene, and you want to give law enforcement the highest chance of finding any incriminating evidence. If you are at a store parking lot, it might even serve you to ask the security guard (if there is one) about any potential security cameras in the area that could have caught something on film. It is also important to take pictures of everything if you can because this can be handy for an insurance claim. You will also want to file a police report no matter what because this will be helpful information to give to your insurance company.
Once your police report has been filed, look to see what was stolen. If you had any personal information such as personal identification, credit cards or anything with your address on it, you may want to inform your banks so that your money isn’t get stolen. In addition to that, it is a good idea to let your credit card company know about the incident as well to catch any fraudulent charges ahead of time.
Next, make sure you file a claim with your insurance company. Take all the information that you compiled along with your police report and photographs of your car, and file your claim. Just make sure that whatever you claim as stolen or broken exceeds your deductible, and also cross-check with your home owners insurance to see if anything can be filed under that claim as well.
Following your claim, replace all your broken items in your car. Oftentimes car burglaries include broken windows and doors, and in order to prevent further damage to your vehicle it’s important that you make it as safe as possible again. Although it might be costly at first, you will be much better off this way so that it won’t encourage someone else to rob you again.
After the incident, take note of things you can do to prevent another one in the future. When possible, park in well-lit and crowded areas, and try to stay away from empty and secluded parking lots. If you have a parking garage near your work or places where you go frequently, be mindful to try and use those places a little more often.
Stephanie Wilmsmeyer is a State Farm agent offering the best service for car insurance Columbia MO has to offer.