It’s a traumatic incident when a car theft happens, it completely shatters you. Again and again trying to figure out where it could be, the thinking of car theft daunts can confuse you that you are not able to understand what to do. Africa Automotive News is here to help you! Below are some quick and important steps one must follow if encounters a car theft incidence:
1. Confirm if it is actually stolen
Before making any quick decision, make sure your car is actually stolen. It might sound silly, but may be due to wrong parking or some related reasons, it has been towed from its parking space. There are some local towing companies where you can ask for your vehicle by providing them the VIN of the vehicle.
Another possibility is that you forgot where you parked the car and mistakenly looking at a wrong place. So, don’t get panic! Just take a minute, breathe and now try to remember. This will save you from the trauma of losing your car.
2. Inform the police
If your car has not been towed and you even didn’t find it at the place, then it a major concern. Call the police immediately. In case, you are leasing your vehicle, also inform contact that lender and notify them of the theft so that they can also talk to the police as well as insurance company to discuss the case.
You need to give every single piece of information about the car; the VIN number, your car’s make and model, and where you last parked your vehicle. If you have a tracking device, like LoJack or OnStar, also provide that information to the police. Many new cars are manufactured, these days, with GPS technology so that police can track your car and thus stop the thieves. Once you’ve filed the police report, be sure to keep a copy on file or police report number. This will help you with your insurance claim.
3. List out the personal belongings in the Car
After you notify the police, wait for the police at the incident site. In the meantime, you can prepare a list of personal assets that were present in your stolen car, for instance–mobile, laptop, jewelry, shopping stuff, clothing or any other. Along with providing every necessary information about the car, make sure to provide this list to authorities so that if there is any mobile or laptop, it can’t be misused. You will also need to provide this list to your insurers in order to claim the losses on personal belongings if your vehicle comes under comprehensive coverage.
Also read: Driving safety tips every driver should know
4. Call your Insurance Company
The type of car insurance purchased will determine the loss or coverage covered by it. In the event of car theft, if you have purchased only liability coverage, it won’t be covered by your insurer. If it is found damaged then your insurer can cover the repairing cost.
No matter what insurance you have purchased, it is important to inform your insurer that your car is stolen. Depending on the insurance you carry for your vehicle, the insurance company will proceed further. In case, you are leasing your vehicle, also inform that lender and notify them of the theft so that they can also communicate with the insurer to discuss the case.
As we already explained that the people with the state minimum insurance cover are not reimbursed in the event of the stolen car. Different insurers provide different policies in Kenya. So, purchase car insurance in kenya that will cover you overall for all types of possible risks.
Now that you have informed the insurer about the car theft, stay calm and let the insurers proceed with the case. Having a fully comprehensive coverage doesn’t mean that you will be immediately paid out for the loss. The insurance company will properly investigate the matter and the reason behind is to rule out fraud cases. The car owner is the first suspect so the insurance agent examines deeply and if they find you right, they wait for a fixed period if the vehicle can be recovered before paying any claim.
When your vehicle is lost, you must be looking at a total loss claim. You will be reimbursed the actual cash value (ACV) of the car: which is evaluated as the amount you paid for the car, minus depreciation. Keep in mind that the ACV is most probably negotiable: it means that the insurance adjusters usually begin at the low end of a vehicle’s value, so don’t be fooled. Arm yourself with facts, and if they offer you an amount not worth, don’t be afraid to negotiate.
5. Inquire for your vehicle with DMV(Department of Motor Vehicles)
DMV, generally, keep complete logs of stolen cars. In case of car theft, they cooperate with police to find the vehicle, if required. This might help you get your car back. In case, you car is located, contact your insurer so that they can determine whether the vehicle needs to be repaired or replaced, if it got damaged in the event of theft.
6. Final Thoughts:
If you are still safe, it is good. But what if this happens to you? So, we recommend you to stay alert how to handle the situation if such daunting incident occurs. A good thumb rule can be to keep as little stuff in the car as possible. Never leave valuables such as laptops, jewelry etc inside the car. Also, keep the doors and windows locked whenever you park the car. Follow the parking rules and always park the car at a right place.