Incidences of vehicle break-ins increase during the holiday season. Learn what to do in the high-stress situation of experiencing theft.
You would be surprised how bold thieves are when it comes to vehicle break-ins. One London, Ontario area woman installed a hidden camera on the dashboard of her pickup truck, only to find that over the course of 36 hours the camera caught four different people breaking into her vehicle.
This incredible news report was covered on CBC. It garnered a response from local London Councillor, Phil Squire. Squire reminded residents to take the time to report thefts and to not take matters into their own hands. Below we have outlined what other steps you can take if you experience a vehicle break-in.
Your Stay-Calm Checklist after a Vehicle Break-In
These crimes are often crimes of opportunity. Here’s what to do if you are a victim of a vehicle break-in.
1. Check to see if anything has been taken
Do a full survey of your vehicle to see if the thief did indeed manage to take anything. If so, make a log of the items so they can be included on the police report or for the insurance company.
Also, note any damage to the vehicle as a result of the theft. Take photographs of the damage so that you have documented proof of the theft. This information can be provided to the police and your insurance company.
2. Assess and respond to potential identity theft
If the vehicle break-in resulted in the loss of credit cards, debit cards, or your personal identification, call the relevant company immediately.
Reporting these cards stolen right away will allow you to deactivate them before the thief can take advantage. This will also start the process of receiving new cards and identification. Reporting these items stolen will also protect you from legal repercussions if a crime is committed with your name or cards.
3. File a report with your local police
Depending on the severity of the crime and where it occurred, the reporting process may differ. Typically, thefts under $5000 can be reported online but you can always call the London Police Department at 519-661-5670. The London Police have details on how and when to file a report here.
Regardless of the severity of your break-in, reporting it to the police will help the city have an accurate crime report. Your break-in may also have been part of a larger string of break-ins. A crime report keeps the community safe and allows others the opportunity to take precautionary measures.
4. Call your insurance broker
Calling your insurance broker to report the incident as quickly as possible will help us to advise you on your options. Your broker can counsel you on the best course of action to get you back on the road.
If you choose to file a claim with the insurance company, you will need to provide proof of a police report. We recommend having this step taken care of before filing the claim. It makes everyone's life a little easier!
If your vehicle sustained damage, this claim would be filed under your automobile policy. This includes damage or loss of items attached to the vehicle, like a stereo system. If you also had purchases or items from inside the vehicle stolen, your property policy would support their replacement. This means that two separate deductibles would apply and be filed separately with the relevant broker or company. We will be here to advise you through this process.
Understand what steps to take in the case of a stressful vehicle break-in. Limit your exposure to potential identity fraud and prepare the materials needed for reporting to police. Your insurance broker will be able to support and guide you through this tough situation to make it as seamless as possible.
What does your vehicle insurance protect?
If you are not sure what your vehicle insurance covers, we invite you to talk to one of our insurance brokers today to get a free vehicle insurance quote.
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