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Car Sense

My Car Was Broken Into. Now What?

You walk out the door, ready to start your day. Then your heart sinks as you notice broken glass surrounding your car.

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. A car break-in is a scene that too many Americans encounter each year. And after those initial feelings of shock and disappointment subside, you may be left wondering what to do next.

Here are some steps you should take if your vehicle has been broken into:  

  • Check your surroundings. Before you do anything else, look around to make sure you’re safe. Most of the time vehicle burglars are only after your valuables and quickly leave the scene. But if anything makes you feel uncomfortable, leave your vehicle and find a safe place to call for help.
  • Record what you lost. If your car was broken into, chances are the thief found something of value. Check for missing purses, wallets, smartphones and other electronics. Then, make a list of anything that was taken. It’s also a good idea to take photos of your vehicle damage for reference.
  • File a police report. To make a report, call the police office’s non-emergency number – not 911. While not all break-ins can be investigated, the report will help officers track local crime trends and can provide documentation for your insurer if you file a claim.
  • Protect yourself from identity theft. If you discover any credit or debit cards are missing, immediately notify your bank to cancel the old cards and order replacements. They’ll also help monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.
    • Pro tip: Getting back to normal after identity theft can be a lengthy, expensive process. Before you have to handle it alone, ask your Erie Insurance agent about adding identity theft recovery coverage to your homeowners or renters policy for around $20 a year.
  • File an insurance claim. Should you file a claim or not? Here’s where a local, independent insurance agent can walk you through the process and help you understand what to do next. Damage to your car from a break-in is typically covered under your auto policy’s comprehensive coverage, but if any of your belongings were taken, they might be covered under your homeowners or renters policy.

One more thing: While break-ins are never completely preventable, you can take some steps to help lower your risk. Always lock your car doors, roll up your windows and keep valuables out of sight.

If you do have to file a claim, know that we're on it. Your claim is how we start making things right for you, resetting the damage and distress of an unexpected loss so you can relax, rebound and get back to your life. Learn more about our award-winning claims service and what makes ERIE different.

Follow these five steps… and learn how to reduce your risk of it happening again. /blog/car-break-in Erie Insurance https://www.erieinsurance.com/-/media/images/erieinsurance/erieinsurancelogo.png

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.


The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of August 2018 and may be changed at any time. 


Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 


The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia, New York and Wisconsin.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 


Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.


Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.