What to Do if Your Car Is Broken Into

Take pictures of the damage, file a police report and decide whether to get your insurance company involved.
Lacie GloverOct 3, 2017

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Discovering that your car has been broken into is the pits, but don’t panic. Follow these steps.

Take pictures of the damage if you can and make a list of any items stolen right away.

Your insurance company likely will require a police report if you file a claim for a car break-in. If a police officer is sent over, don’t move the vehicle until the officer comes. Or, you may have to file a report at the police station; you can ask when you call.

Have these handy to file a police report:

If any items stolen have your address and birthdate, you can place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit record by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. Whichever credit reporting company you call will contact the other two, so you won’t have to call all three. Here’s more from the Federal Trade Commission on .

If any credit or debit cards were taken, contact the card issuers or bank immediately to block access to the accounts and get replacement cards.

Insurance for a car break-in can fall under two coverage types:

Before you file a claim, remember:

Get any damage repaired right away so your vehicle isn't vulnerable to another theft.

No matter how diligent you are, break-ins are always possible. pays for the damage, but it's optional unless you have a loan or lease. Choosing a higher deductible can lower the cost to add the coverage, but if your deductible is too high, this insurance won’t pay out for small amounts of damage.

Some tips to prevent theft:

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