What To Do If Your Car Gets Stolen | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

A suddenly absent or missing car is certainly heart-pounding. If you find yourself a victim of car theft, we hope the following checklist will help.

Stolen Car Checklist:

1. Triple check to make sure your car hasn't been stolen.

We've all been there: standing in the spot you’re certain you parked in, panicking, then remembering you actually parked on the other side of the street, or one level up in the parking lot. If you find yourself in this position, take a minute, breathe, and think.

Another possibility: your car’s been towed. You might save yourself some heartache (and paperwork) if you check the impound first before making a stolen vehicle report.


2. Call the police.

If you haven’t misplaced your car, and it hasn't been towed, you might actually be in the stolen-car boat. In that case, call the police ASAP. The sooner you call, the quicker your car may be recovered. You’ll need to file a police report in which you tell them everything about your car: the VIN number, your car’s make and model, and where you last had your vehicle. If you have a tracking device, give the police that information as well. Once you’ve made the police report, be sure to keep a copy on file (you’ll need it for your insurance claim).


3. Call your car insurance carrier and report your car stolen ASAP.

Report your car stolen no matter what type of auto insurance policy you have: your insurance company will need to know you aren’t in possession of your vehicle. What happens after you report it to your insurer depends on what kind of insurance policy you carry.

If you want insurance coverage for your vehicle if you’re at fault, or if your car is stolen, vandalized, damaged by mother nature, you’ll need comprehensive auto insurance.

Note that having comprehensive insurance doesn’t give you an immediate payout -be prepared for delays. Your insurance company will investigate the claim because the truth is that the vehicle owner is always the number one suspect when a car is stolen. Your insurance company will have to rule out fraud before they pay you. Also, most insurers will wait to see if the stolen vehicle is recovered before paying your claim (anywhere from two to eight weeks).

If everything checks out, you’re looking at a total loss claim, and your insurer will reimburse you for the actual cash value of the car: how much you paid, minus depreciation. You’ll then receive payment for the cash value minus your deductible. Keep in mind that the cash value is negotiable: insurance adjusters usually begin at the low end of a vehicle’s value, so arm yourself with research and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

4. Report the car stolen to ICBC.

ICBC keeps a database of stolen cars and often works with the police to reunite a recovered vehicle with its rightful owner.


Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services