Can you imagine how it would feel to park your car somewhere, only to find it missing later on? Many people experience this tragedy on a daily basis. In fact, according to CNBC.com, “Roughly 800,000 to one million cars are stolen in America every single year.” These numbers are extraordinary, making car theft a common occurrence all across the country. This also means that the insurance claim process can be quite complex and tedious.
If you are prepared to report your car as stolen, there are a few important things you should know about car insurance coverage for stolen vehicles, as well as the investigation process for car theft claims. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about filing an insurance claim for a stolen car.
FIRST: Was Your Car Really Stolen?
Once you have noticed that your car is missing, it is wise to reconsider all the possibilities before making an insurance claim and police report. You can check for parking signs to see if it had been towed, ask friends and family if they borrowed your vehicle, or call your car loan company to see if it was repossessed. When there is no other possible reason for your car to be missing, then it is safe to move forward with filing an insurance claim and police report.
Insurance Coverage for Stolen Cars
In order to have insurance coverage in the case that your car is stolen, you must have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy. This is something that is required in all states. If your vehicle is stolen off of your personal property, you cannot file it under your home owners’ insurance policy; you must have an auto policy with comprehensive coverage to cover the loss.
Car Theft Claims Process
When you are sure your car has been stolen, you must report it to the police immediately for documentation. At the same time, you must notify your auto insurance carrier. Most carriers operate using a 30-day claim waiting period to see if the car is ever recovered, which generally begins on the date of theft. Furthermore, comprehensive coverage does not cover personal belongings that are stolen out of a vehicle. Items like phones, computers, clothing, jewelry, equipment, and more, could be covered in a renter’s or home insurance policy, but not in an auto policy.
Car Theft Investigations
Car theft claims are taken very seriously at insurance companies. They are investigated closely by adjusters to ensure that fraud is not at play. Filing a fraudulent car theft insurance claim is a felony punishable by prison time, fines, and more. They will record all conversations with clients, and ask very detailed and intrusive questions. As long as you are not committing a crime, you shouldn’t take the investigation process personally. The insurance adjuster is just doing their job.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Fraud Charges
Fraud crimes are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the particulars of a person’s case. If you were recently arrested on facing fraud charges in Indiana, you are facing hefty fines, imprisonment, and other severe penalties. The best step you can take toward securing your rights and protecting your freedoms is calling a licensed fraud lawyer for tough and aggressive criminal defense; otherwise, you risk be sentenced to the maximum levels of punishment in Indiana.