Most of us rely on our personal vehicles to get from one location to the next. And by and large, we tend to treat our cars like our sanctuaries. So when your car is broken into, it can feel like a personal attack. We often feel vulnerable, scared, angry, and overwhelmed by the fact that someone would have such little disregard for our property.
As a result, you may feel frozen after a break-in. You probably feel violated but may not know what steps you can take to make things right. Although the person who participated in this criminal act might not be caught, there are a few things you should do to protect yourself. If your car is ever broken into, reference this list in the aftermath.
- Document the Damage: The first thing you’ll want to do is take note of the damage to your vehicle. Be sure to take photos of any damage to your car from a variety of angles and make a physical note of any damage you find. If you feel you’re probably in need of auto glass repairs, you’ll want to capture that damage with your smartphone camera. Take note of any vandalism and disturbances on the inside of the car, as well.
- Inventory Stolen Items: As part of this informal discovery process, you’ll want to figure out what’s missing from the interior of your car. If your stereo system or personal items have been stolen, you should make a note of that. Even if you had personal documents in your car that you can no longer find, that’s something you’ll want to inventory. There’s a potential for identity theft there, so you should monitor your accounts closely. If you suspect credit or debit cards have been taken, be sure to notify your bank or credit card company right away. Although these items might not be recovered, taking an inventory of everything that was stolen can help with your insurance claim.
- Contact Law Enforcement: After carefully documenting the damage to your car at the scene and figuring out which items might have been taken, you’ll want to call the police. Filing a police report can help others in your area and provide valuable information for your insurance company. You’ll need access to your registration, driver’s license, insurance information, any photos you took of the damage, and a list of your stolen property.
- File an Insurance Claim: Next, you’ll need to contact your insurer. Keep in mind that you may not actually want to file a formal claim, especially if the damage or stolen possessions don’t equate to a higher sum than your deductible. It’s also possible that your insurance rates could go up even if the crime wasn’t at all your fault. However, you still may be required to let your insurance company know about the break-in. And if you’re in need of auto glass repairs, this might actually be covered by your policy even if other damages are not.
- Get Your Car Fixed: Once you talk to your insurer, you can make an appointment for your car to be repaired. Your insurance company can recommend auto glass repair services that are local to you and are covered by your policy. If you happen to need windshield repair (which accounts for 30% of all auto insurance claims), your insurer can help to set you up with a reliable shop. If your car needs auto body repairs or other extensive damage fixes, they may also be able to recommend someone in the area. Even if your repairs aren’t covered by insurance, your insurer may be able to advise you on what it might cost out-of-pocket. And if your auto glass repairs and other damages are covered, your insurer can make sure these repairs are done quickly.
Whether or not you require car window repairs after a break-in, these events are always going to be stressful. But you can remove a lot of that anxiety by having your auto glass repairs done by a reputable provider. To learn more about the services we can provide following a break-in, crash, or other accident, please contact us today.