If you’ve ever walked up to your car and realized that it’s been broken into, you know what a terrible feeling that can be. You feel violated, cheated, and helpless. Not only does a break in feel terrible, but it can also become a financial hardship due to necessary repairs, stolen property and insurance deductibles. The whole experience can easily turn into a nightmare!
If your car is broken into, make sure to file a claim in a timely fashion. But while there’s no fool proof way to avoid theft, there’s a few steps you can take to prevent car thieves from targeting your vehicle.
Tip #1: Always Lock Your Car Doors
You just finished filling your car up at the gas station and now you want to run inside real quick to buy a soda. You don’t bother locking your car because you’ll be right back. Stop. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to steal your valuables. The laptop you left on the passenger seat will be gone faster than you can reach the store’s door. Always lock your car doors. A would-be thief will pass the opportunity up if there is the right deterrent.
Tip #2: Park in the Garage or a Well-Lit Area at Night
Sometimes you might pull up to your house, unload your cargo and decide to skip parking in the garage that night. You are thinking no one will mess with your car because it is in your driveway. Chances are high someone will at least glance inside your car window to check out what’s inside. It might be a curious kid, but it could also be someone interested in stealing your belongings.
Do yourself a favor and park in the garage. Don’t have a garage? Park under a light, even if it means walking a little farther to your doorstep. Thieves love the dark.
Tip #3: Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Store your purse, shopping bags, laptop and anything of value in your trunk. Better yet, leave what you can at home. But if you must have it, keep it out of sight. Thieves are looking for an easy hit. They don’t have time to pop open a trunk. They want to get inside and take what they can in less than a minute. If you have a SUV, purchase a cargo cover to hide items and deter thieves.
Tip #4: Set Your Car Alarm
Just as you should always lock your car, you should also set your car alarm. While many people think society has become indifferent to car alarms going off, the noise still draws attention. Someone will at the very least look in your car’s direction.
If the alarms goes on too long, someone is bound to investigate. Either case, this is attention a thief does not want. Remember, a thief’s main objective is to get your stuff fast!
Tip #5: Never Leave Your Keys in Your Car
Want to know what is worse that your car getting broken into? Walking up to your parking space and your whole car is gone! First, you might think you got confused about where you parked. However, soon enough you will realize your car has been stolen.
The thief was probably only looking for valuables when he hit the jackpot by finding your spare keys in your glove box. Now he has the option of investigating further and opening your trunk or just driving off to take his time searching around. Even worse, your house keys might be attached. Now you have to change the locks at home as well.
While these steps cannot guarantee your car won’t be targeted by a thief, they can go a long way in possibly preventing it. You may never know if what you did kept someone breaking into your car, but that is a good thing. That means it didn’t happen!
It is very stressful when your car gets broken into and valuables are stolen. The stress can elevate if you don’t have the right car insurance which covers damages and theft related to break-ins. It’s important to know if your policy covers things like damage to locks, windows and doors or theft of built-in stereo equipment, custom parts and property left in the car.