Practical Advice for Anyone Who Has Had Their Vehicle Vandalized
It happens to thousands of people on a daily basis: you leave the house, work or a local establishment and head to your car, only to find that a window has been busted and your valuables have been seized. Car vandalism is a serious crime and occurs almost always when you least expect it. The most popular way that would be thieves decide to gain access to your automobile is through a side window, which is much easier to break than a windshield. Despite the fact that your car may have an alarm, a thief only needs a few seconds to grab what he or she is looking for in most cases.
The real question is: when you stumble upon this situation, how do you react? It can be vital to make the right decisions in the imminent aftermath of a burglary or vandalism incident, but your head may be less than clear due to the trauma. Because of this, it is always a good idea to memorize what steps need to be taken whenever your car has been compromised by an intruder. In the following article, we will discuss the basic tips and pieces of advice you should remember whenever your car falls victim to a thief.
Contact Law Enforcement
The very first action that you should take in the aftermath of a theft or vandalism is to contact your local law enforcement agency. Once you have done so, they will be able to tell you whether or not a police report needs to be filed concerning the accident. In some cases, vandalism is not reported in the same way that other crimes are, so you may have no real method of recourse in this case. Nevertheless, it is always important to have the name and information of the officer with whom you spoke on-hand, in case your insurance company or financial institution requires more information about the incident.
Contact Your Financial Institutions
Depending on what items you had in your automobile at the time of the vandalism or burglary, you may need to contact your financial institutions to alert them of any stolen cards or travelers’ checks. Some people have developed a nasty habit of leaving extra credit cards, a wallet or cash in plain sight within their automobile. Not only can this encourage a theft, but it can also create added misery for you in the form of having to contact multiple institutions. The sooner that you contact the banks and credit unions with which you do business, the more likely they will be able to prevent any damage from being done to your finances or credit.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After you have alerted the authorities and canceled any credit or debit cards that may have been stolen, the next entity you need to contact is your insurance company. They will be able to provide you with information on what coverage options you have in the wake of the vandalism and which auto shops can respond quickly. The Auto Glass Safety Council recommends that you contact auto glass technicians independently of what your insurance company may recommend, as coverage usually extends to all auto glass shops and your insurance company may encourage you to do business with one that gets them a better deal (as opposed to the one that will provide the most effective repairs).
Selecting an Auto Glass Shop
While you may be in a rush and feel like all auto glass repair shops are created equally, this can be a bad decision. We highly recommend that you check out local search results for reviews of auto glass shops to see what others have said. When you find one that is well-reviewed, only then should you proceed to make an appointment with an auto glass technician. In most cases, the repairs can be performed the same day and from the location where the damage occurred, which means that you will not have to move your vehicle while its windows are compromised.
There are plenty of other considerations to make in the wake of your car being vandalized. If your wallet or purse was stolen and it contained your driver’s license, then you will need to procure a new one from the DMV. In addition to this, any keys to your home that were left in your car may have been taken; combined with your driver’s license, the thief may now have access to your home. Because of this, changing your locks may be needed. Your cell phone could have also been in the vehicle, so you may also need to contact your service provider to alert them of this issue.
If your automobile is vandalized by a thief, there are a few simple tips you need to remember. First and foremost: contact the authorities. They may have additional information for you that is not covered here. After that, be sure to contact the bank and insurance company to verify that you are covered and that any potentially-stolen credit cards are not used in the aftermath. You will then want to locate an auto glass shop that is qualified to make the repairs, and assess the situation to see if anything else of importance was stolen. You cannot prevent a break-in, but you can take steps to minimize the chances and ensure as smooth of a resolution as possible in the aftermath.