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Car Theft? Don’t Be Surprised When They Suspect You.

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 12/30/2012

Being a suspect in the car theft of their own vehicle is not what most victims expect.

car theft accusation

Being blamed for the car theft of you own vehicle is an unfortunate reality.

The sinking feeling you feel in your stomach when you discover that you have been a victim of car theft is horrible. But it is nothing compared to the feeling you get when your own car insurance company accuses you of possibly being the one who stole your car.

If you find yourself a suspect, there is nothing to panic about if you are innocent. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be on your guard and submit every personal piece of information your insurance company asks for either.

Why You Could Be a Suspect in Your Own Car Theft

Insurance companies are don’t like paying out claims as we all know, but they are also very sensitive to people trying to scam them out of more money than they are entitled to. Many people don’t think about it, but insurance companies are also victims of being scammed out of claim money for incidents that never happened or were staged; which is why they suspect everyone of trying to cheat them now.

Unfortunately for you, this means that as soon as you report a car theft you will be the first person they suspect. The primary reason they will suspect you is because of the money you will be paid if your car is never recovered.

What the Insurance Company May Ask from You

When you file a car theft claim, some of the items your insurance company may ask for may make you feel like you are dealing with the police, instead of your insurance company. Per, they may ask for “Phone records, banking information, loan agreements, divorce decrees and other items of this nature may be requested by your auto insurance provider as it searches to see if you had motive or would benefit from your car being stolen.”

How to Protect Yourself from Your Insurance Company

The primary way to protect yourself from being suspected in your own car theft is to file a police report as soon as you have discovered the theft. At least if the police are involved in investigating the theft, the insurance company won’t be able to think that you are avoiding involving law enforcement because you did in fact set up your own car theft.

If your insurance company is asking for documents that you feel they have no business asking you for, you need to first tell them no. Usually if you tell them no, that the documents they are asking for have no bearing on your car theft claim they won’t press the matter if they know they have no legal right to them.

However, if they persist you need to tell them that you will be contacting the Insurance Commissioner or Department of Insurance in your state to verify that they have a right to those documents.

You can also advise them that you will be consulting an attorney. But as soon as you say attorney many claims adjusters will tell you that they can no longer speak with you about the claim and that your attorney will need to send them a Letter of Representation before the claim can go any further. So use the attorney threat only as a last resort, or if you actually plan on consulting an attorney for your car theft claim.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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