If you have suffered an unexpected loss, you may be wondering if you should cancel your car insurance if your car is stolen. The time to make that decision is after you have filed a claim and it has been resolved satisfactorily. As long as you have comprehensive coverage in force at the time of the loss, your insurance company should compensate you for the cash value of your vehicle (as long as your car is not recovered).
File a Police Report
The first thing you need to do once you realize your car is stolen is to file a police report. You will need to make sure you have the police report number, since your insurance company will need this information.
Contact Your Auto Insurance Provider
Next you’ll need to call your insurance company to report the claim. A number of providers have toll-free numbers specifically for this purpose.
The insurance company representative will need to know the date and time that you last saw your car. You will also be asked for the make and model of your car and its vehicle identification number (VIN).
Tell the insurance company which police departments took your report and the report number. You will also need to confirm your contact information to the insurance company.
Dealing with the Claims Representative
Once your auto insurance company has taken your claim, you will be contacted by a claims representative. This person will go over what your policy covers with you, including whether you are entitled to a rental car while you’re claim is being processed. This is the person who can answer any questions about your coverage and the next steps.
If your car is not recovered by the police, the insurance company would settle your claim based on your car’s cash value at the time of the incident. Once the insurance company presents a figure to you, you have the option of accepting it or turning it down. If you don’t feel that the figure you’re being offered is fair, be prepared to back up your claim by producing copies of receipts for any improvements you made on the vehicle.
You can also do your homework to find out what similar vehicles are currently selling for. Keep in mind that the auto insurance company is basing its assessment on the condition of your car at the time it was stolen including the mileage and whether it was kept in good repair. You may need to produce receipts for any work you had done on your car to confirm that it was well cared for.
Once your insurance claim is been settled following the theft of your car, you can cancel your coverage if you decide to take the money and not replace your vehicle. You also have the option of buying a new car and changing providers if you wish.