What do you need to know when your vehicle is stolen? GEICO has you covered

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 24, 2014 – Picture this: You're having a nice day out at your local shopping mall picking up a few items, but when you head out to the parking lot, panic immediately sets in. Your car is gone!

While this scenario is all too familiar for some, what's often not fully clear is what to do next and what will happen when you report the vehicle as stolen to your insurance company. GEICO offers the following questions and answers about reporting a stolen vehicle and what you can expect from your insurance company.

Q: What is the first thing I should do when I find out my vehicle has been stolen?
A: Your first step should always be to call the police. They will take down a report and ask for any information that is pertinent to their investigation. After the police have the information they need, then report the theft to your insurance company.

Q: What will my insurance company need to know when I report my vehicle stolen?
A: Your insurer will want as much useful information as you can provide, including a description of the vehicle, details on when and where the vehicle was stolen, whether the vehicle has any tracking systems, whether you contacted the police after the theft, whether you had personal property in the vehicle and other details.

Q: What if my vehicle is financed or leased?
A: Be sure to let your financing or leasing company know about the theft. Your insurer can work directly with the company to help expedite the claims process.

Q: Will my insurer cover a rental vehicle while the claim is sorted out?
A: Many customers may need a rental vehicle to use while their claim is being processed, while their vehicle is repaired or when shopping for a replacement vehicle. Review your policy and contact your claims examiner to find out if a rental is covered under your policy.

Q: What happens if the vehicle is recovered? Will any damages to it be covered?
A: The answer to this is that it all depends when the vehicle is recovered and what kind of coverage is on the insurance policy. If the claim is still being investigated and the loss has not been paid, the insurance company will have to determine whether the car can be, or needs to be, repaired. If the vehicle is a total loss, the loss would be paid on that basis, subject to any deductible. If the vehicle is recovered after you have had the claim settled, then the insurer would typically retain possession of the recovered vehicle.

More information on what to do after a theft and reporting a claim can be found at the GEICO Claims Center.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.