Dude, Where’s My Car?

“I can’t believe they would do that,” said my friend over her glass of wine.  This was the second person in the last two months who told me the story of going hiking and coming back to their parked car at the hike trailhead to find it broken into and their belongings stolen.  Car thefts and burglaries are on the rise in San Diego – just check out SANDAG’s 2016 Crime Report:

“The most striking increases in property crime were related to auto thefts and burglaries. Motor vehicle thefts increased 16 percent in the first half of 2016.”

Having your car or car possessions stolen can not only cause transportation problems, identity theft issues, the overall feeling of being violated, but also some severe financial complications.  Let’s be safe out there San Diegans!  The sad truth is that even if you take all the right precautions, it does not always prevent car theft or burglary.  First step is accepting that even despite your best effort, this may happen to your property.  Second step, make sure you are protected.  Get comprehensive car insurance which usually covers reimbursement at market value for your car if it is stolen OR repair to shattered windows, broken locks, stolen stereos, cosmetic damage and more if your car was broken into.  Important to know, comprehensive car insurance does not cover your personal items stolen from your car, such as your gym bag, watches, phone chargers, clothes, and so on.  Good news, your renters insurance or homeowners insurance will cover your personal items stolen from your car so make sure you are covered!  

Having had my own car stolen at one point, I can tell you, the feeling is disconcerting and stressful.  For those of you out there who have not had this happen, let’s keep it that way; let’s review precautions and procedure in case of car theft.

BE SAFE, PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CAR BREAK-INS OR THEFT

  • Make sure you have working car security, locks or a club steering lock for your car.
  • Park in a safe place (well lit).
  • Keep personal items out of plain sight inside your car.
  • Purchase comprehensive car insurance and renters or homeowners insurance to protect your car and personal belongings.
  • Keep your certificate of title for your car in a safe place (preferably not in the car in case it gets stolen).

IF YOUR CAR IS STOLEN

  • Call police or 911.
  • Do not touch anything.
  • File a police report.
  • Call your insurance and file a claim.
  • Cancel any credit or debit cards, if they were stolen.
  • Call the DMV if your driver’s license was stolen.
  • If your car is financed or leased, make sure your report the theft to your finance or leasing company.

Be safe out there, take the right precautions and get insurance coverage! Contact elpe Insurance Brokerage: www.myelpe.com

For a more comprehensive reading of SANDAG’s crime report, please see below link:

http://www.sandag.org/index.asp?newsid=924&fuseaction=news.detail

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