Security and Safety

Your Car Was Broken Into or Stolen. What Next?

By Abi Grise Morgan 6.30.21

In 2019 alone, Texas drivers lost $177,293,103 in stolen property from motor vehicles. If that sounds like a doozy, consider this: The 76,687 motor vehicle thefts in Texas that same year totaled losses of $1,280,352,206.

Even if you always practice safety measures such as parking in well-lit spaces and diligently locking your doors, car thefts and robberies happen to the best of us — and they can leave you panicked and overwhelmed. If your car is broken into or stolen, follow this guide to get all your ducks in a row and get back on the road sooner than you might expect.

What to Do if Your Car Is Stolen

Step 1: File a police report.
The police will ask you questions about your vehicle to help with identification. It helps to always keep this information handy, perhaps saved as a note on your phone:

  • Make, model, year, and color of your car
  • License plate number
  • VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Distinct characteristics of your car (dents, scrapes, aftermarket modifications, tires)

Step 2: Call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent.
They’ll ask when and where the theft occurred and make sure you’ve filed a police report. You’ll talk about what your policy covers in the event of a theft or robbery. If your policy includes comprehensive auto insurance, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance will pay out the value of your vehicle as well as a daily $20 stipend to cover your travel expenses (up to $600 total) until you can purchase a new vehicle. The daily stipend begins 48 hours after your call, so file quickly! To get ahead of the game, start your insurance claim online.

Step 3: Know what to do if your vehicle is recovered.
Cars are often stolen and deconstructed for parts. Even if your vehicle is recovered by police, it may be missing critical components. Your adjuster will determine whether or not your vehicle is considered totaled or not, depending on the damage.

What to Do if Your Car Is Broken Into

Step 1: Don’t touch your vehicle.
There could be fingerprints on the doorhandle or side paneling that will help investigators identify the thief. Instead, take photos of the damage and make a list of any stolen items.

Step 2: File a police report.
You’ll need the following information for the police report:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • List of stolen items
  • Photos

Step 3: Protect your bank accounts and identity.
If your purse or wallet was stolen from inside the vehicle, freeze your credit and debit cards and place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit record through Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This will prevent identity thieves from emptying your accounts or opening credit lines in your name.

Step 4: Call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent.
They will help you review your coverage and decide whether you would like to file a claim. Comprehensive coverage will pay for damage to your car, provided the damage exceeds your deductible. When your car has been broken into, your renters or homeowners policy covers property stolen from inside your vehicle, provided the damage exceeds your deductible. If your losses or damage do not exceed your deductible, it may make more sense not to file a claim, since you won’t get a payout. You can begin your claim online, too.

Keep Your Policy Up to Date

Car thefts and robberies are never fun, but you can take comfort in the support you’ll receive from your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent. They’ve dealt with these situations before and will help guide you. The best thing you can do is prepare for the unexpected by regularly reviewing and updating your policy with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to make sure you’ve got the best coverage for your needs.

Click here for some tips on minimizing the risk of auto theft happening to you.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance