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Stolen car? Here’s what to do

In this article:

Somebody stole my car! What should I do?

Will my insurance cover it?

What about the stuff that was in my car? Is it covered?

What happens to my insurance premium?

How can I reduce the risk of theft?

Somebody stole my car! What should I do?

1. Call the police as soon as possible

If you report the theft immediately, your vehicle is more likely to be found. You’ll also need a police report when you phone your insurer; your claims advisor will need the report number to open your claim.

When you call the police, they’ll ask you for:

  • Your insurance policy number or auto insurance certificate number
  • The location of the theft
  • Contact information for any witnesses

2. Call your insurer

Next, report the theft to your insurer and file a claim. They’ll ask you for:

  • Your police report number
  • Your insurance policy number or auto insurance certificate number
  • The location of the theft

Your claims advisor will review your car insurance coverage and explain the steps involved in the claims process. They’ll also tell you what you need to do to replace your vehicle or receive your settlement amount (if you’re eligible).

Will my insurance cover it?

In most cases, your insurer will wait 5 days to see if your vehicle is recovered. After that, if you’re eligible for compensation, it will be paid based on the settlement terms described in your policy.

What about the stuff that was in my car? Is it covered?

Generally speaking, your car insurance covers the vehicle itself and any attached equipment or items used to operate the vehicle, like the rims or the stereo system.

Everything else in your car is covered by your home insurance. In 2015, more than 22,600 thefts1 of personal items from vehicles were reported in Quebec. If it happens to you, you’ll need to report the theft to your home insurer (assuming you don’t have home and car insurance with the same company, of course) and file a separate claim for these items.

Tip: You can make your life easier and maybe even save money by bundling your home and car insurance with the same company. In some cases, you’ll only have one deductible to pay (either your home or car deductible, whichever is higher). And you’ll often get your settlement faster with only one insurer working on your claim. At Desjardins Insurance, you automatically get Double Contract Savings when you bundle your insurance.

What happens to my insurance premium?

Many different factors are used to calculate your car insurance premium, including where you live and your vehicle model. If your car is stolen and not recovered, your premium could go up.

The main factors affecting your premium2:

  • The drivers on your policy and their experience
  • Vehicle model and other features
  • Location
  • SAAQ driving record
  • Prior accidents and claims
  • Vehicle use
  • Coverage options and deductibles

How can I reduce the risk of theft?

Here are 10 ways to make your car and personal items less attractive to thieves:

  1. Install a satellite tracking system or engine immobilizer. Anti-theft devices, like anti-theft marking and flashing alert lights, can also deter thieves.
  2. Install an alarm system or locking steering wheel bar. Thieves can defeat these systems, but they still make your vehicle more difficult to steal.
  3. Always park in well-lit, busy areas.
  4. Make sure your windows are shut and doors and trunk are locked before leaving your vehicle (you could get a fine for not locking your doors, under the Highway Safety Code).
  5. When you park your car, block the wheels by turning them to the side and put the handbrake on. This makes your vehicle harder to steal.
  6. Put your personal items out of sight or take them with you. Leaving valuables in plain view on the seats is an invitation to thieves. Items are often stolen from cars simply because the thief sees an opportunity.
  7. If you leave any electronics in your vehicle, turn them off. Some thieves have devices that can detect signals from electronics, so it’s not enough to simply put them out of sight.
  8. Be extra careful when you’re outside the province: licence plates from other jurisdictions can be especially attractive to thieves.
  9. Remember that some vehicles are more likely to be stolen. You might want to keep this in mind when shopping for a new car.
  10. Get your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched on each window. It’s riskier and more expensive for thieves to steal vehicles with multiple VIN etchings, because they have to erase all of them before selling the car.

Now you know how to prevent car theft and what to do if it happens to you!

Learn more:
Preventing vehicle theft

Stolen car? Here’s what to do

You look around for your car, wondering if maybe you parked on a different street. Then you start to get worried—has it been stolen? Your heart’s thumping, you have so many questions… We’re here to help.

1. Prevent your car from being stolen

2. VIN tips

Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. The offers and savings may change without notice. The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails. The information provided is meant to be illustrative only and does not constitute or replace the advice of experts. Desjardins Insurance assumes no liability with regards to how such information is used.