It is no secret that there is an increase in vehicle thefts every Holiday Season, whether it’s the vehicle itself or items inside. This is the time of year that parking lots become thief magnets. However, there are some simple, proactive steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim, and what to do if you do become one according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau:
Lock your vehicle, engage your alarm system, and keep shopping bags, cell phones, tablets, purses, backpacks and other personal property out of sight, preferably in your trunk if you are unable to carry it with you.
Park in well-lit areas.
If personal property is stolen from your vehicle, depending on coverage, it may be covered under homeowners or renter’s policy.
If your vehicle is stolen, report the theft to the police and contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Keep a record of your license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) and a copy of your registration to help identify and locate your car after a theft.
Check with your insurance carrier regarding rental car coverage until you are able to replace a stolen vehicle.
If your stolen vehicle is recovered, insurance may cover the impounding and towing fees. But beware of abusive vehicle towing and storage practices that are designed to make it difficult to gain access to the vehicle in order to charge higher fees.