Auto Theft Insurance Claims
Discovering that your car has been stolen can be a scary and bewildering experience.
We understand how you feel. When you file an auto theft claim, we act with urgency to get you back behind the wheel and on the road with minimal inconvenience to you.
What to do if your car is stolen
- Call the police to file a report. They’ll likely add your information to national theft databases that will make it harder for the thief to sell or re-title your car.
- Give police the location of the theft and a description of your vehicle and license plate number. If possible, your vehicle identification (VIN) and registration numbers.
- Let them know if your vehicle has a device (LoJack®, OnStar®, Safety Connect®, etc.) that helps track and recover a stolen vehicle through GPS.
- Call our On Your Side® Claims Service at 1-800-421-3535.
- Give the claims representative the information you gave police, as well as the location of all your keys and a list of any personal property inside the car.
- If your car is leased or financed, also alert the lender or leasing company.
Are you covered for the auto theft loss?
The comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy typically covers you for a stolen car loss. It may also cover repairs to your vehicle if it is recovered damaged, minus your deductible.
However, some personal belongings that were in your car – such as a removable GPS, car seat, laptop, etc. – may not qualify for coverage under your auto policy. Instead, you may need to file a claim under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Talk to your agent to make sure you have adequate coverage. To be reimbursed for both your stolen car and any belongings inside, you may need to file two separate claims and pay two deductibles.
Handling your stolen car claim
You may start a claim online or by calling our On Your Side® Claims Service at 1-800-421-3535.
You will be assigned a Nationwide claims representative, who will gather any essential information, review your insurance policy, and explain coverages in your policy and your deductible.
The representative will walk you through the claims process, answer any questions related to your claim and let you know whether you’re eligible for rental car or transportation reimbursement while you’re without your car.
Investigating your claim
The claims representative will review the circumstances and details surrounding the theft, take statements from you and any witnesses, and review police reports. We will issue payment on your loss as soon as the investigation is completed and your claim verified.
If your car is recovered, but damaged
If your car is not recovered
If your vehicle is not recovered – or is recovered but damaged beyond repair – it will be considered a total loss.
Your claims representative will work closely with you throughout the process. We work with a third party to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle, and you’ll receive a vehicle valuation report.
If you have a loan on your vehicle your claim representative will assist you in working with your loan company.
Make sure you have the right coverages
Be sure you’re adequately protected in the event that your vehicle is stolen.
Talk to your Nationwide agent today to verify or add coverages to your policy.
How to help prevent a car theft
About half of stolen cars incidences are preventable, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
Here are some tips to help deter car thieves:
- Always lock your car, take your keys with you and avoid keeping a spare set hidden in your car.
- Park in a well-lit area and hide any valuables that might attract thieves.
- If your vehicle does not have a factory-installed anti-theft or alarm system, consider having an after-market device installed. (In some states, we provide auto insurance discounts for anti-theft devices or alarms.)