Last year, 810,400 vehicles were stolen which is the highest annual number of stolen cars since 2008. Vehicle theft is at a peak and so are vehicle break-ins. Both are troubling but a break-in offers more hope.

When you notice that you are the victim of a car break-in, the steps you take after are very important. Although there is plenty of reason to panic, try to remain calm. Use the following tips as a guide through this process.

Record the Damage

If you’ve approached your car only to realize that you’re the victim of a car break-in, document the details from the outside. Take pictures of any visibly damaged areas without getting into the car.

By attempting to get inside of the vehicle, you might taint the evidence.

File a Police Report

After assessing the damages of auto burglary, you should contact the police to file a report. Depending on the severity of the crime, the reporting process might be different.

To file the police report you’ll need the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Insurance information
  • Description of the damages
  • Description of anything that was stolen

You can then begin the process to file a claim with your insurance provider.

File an Insurance Claim

When your car is burglarized, you can decide whether or not to file an insurance claim. If the dollar amount of the damages exceeds the deductible, you should consider filing a claim.

Broken car windows or scratched paint get filed on an auto insurance policy. Stolen personal items need to be addressed through a different policy like a renters claim or homeowners policy.

Your insurance agent will need to know the police report number and additional information about the car break-in.

Fix the Damages

Your insurance provider will guide you on how to get your car repaired. If you don’t choose to file an insurance claim and need new windows, you can hire Woodchester Auto Glass LTD.

If important personal items like credit cards or Social Security numbers got stolen during the break-in, cancel them. The burglar will have everything they need to steal your identity with this information.

Protect Your Car for the Future

Once you’ve finished dealing with the aftermath of a car break-in, you likely won’t want to go through the process again. There are some common safety practices to follow to protect your vehicle:

  • Not parking your vehicle in poorly lit or remote areas
  • Not leaving your car unattended for days at a time
  • Keeping your car doors locked
  • Rolling up windows all the way
  • Removing or hiding valuables in the car

You can also consider installing a car alarm system if the above safety methods didn’t work for you before.

Dealing With a Car Break-in the Right Way

When you first notice that your car has been broken into, your first thought might be to panic. If you want any chance of gaining your belongings back and fixing the damages with no out-of-pocket costs, the above steps are a must.

Always avoid getting inside of the vehicle after a car break-in to have an officer create a report without tainted evidence. You can then file an insurance claim and fix vehicle damages.

Follow safety precautions to avoid this problem in the future. Don’t forget to keep coming back to our blog for more.