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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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How to survive car theft, break-ins

He exits the retail store and walks down the row of cars only to find his car’s passenger window shattered. He looks to see his stereo gone, gas money from the ashtray stolen and the contents of his glove box ransacked.

For me, this was no joke, but a harsh reality.

This horrible incident came upon me because I was very careless; I forgot to put the club on my car. Even though all four doors were locked, the second night I had my car it was broken into and all my possessions, including my portable CD player and entire CD collection was stolen.

After getting over the initial shock of having your personal belongings plundered, you must quickly take steps to ensure that you receive the appropriate help you need.

Filing an insurance claim can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket, especially as a new driver. However, this may be the only way for some people to pay for the damage. Keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to contact you insurance provider.

First of all, call the police and be sure to get a case number. If there is significant damage and/or items stolen, be sure the officer is aware. Next, take pictures on your own for personal record in case a more intense insurance case begins.

Call your insurance provider and let them know all the possible details you can give. If necessary, request that an assessor come to the vehicle and determine the value of the damage. He/she will take notes of the damage, money lost, stolen items and take pictures for insurance records. Ask your insurance provider which tow company they would prefer you use.

For new or inexperienced insurance buyers, State Farm Insurance has an easily understandable website where drivers can get the facts without the obligation of purchasing a plan.

“[An auto insurance policy is] a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay a premium, and in exchange, the insurance company promises to pay for specific car-related financial losses during the term of the policy” www.statefarminsurance.com.

For many young people, the official lingo involved can create confusion and uncertainty, but the world is at your fingertips on the Internet. Do your part and know the facts. I suggest visiting your insurance provider’s website to find out their policies and deductible offers.

The deductible is the portion of a covered loss that is your responsibility, according to www.statefarminsurance.com. The deductible applies to each covered loss. Although deductibles vary by state, they are typically available in amounts such as $100, $250, $500 or $1000. When deciding what price deductible you want think about how much you are willing to pay out of pocket if you do have a accident or break-in.

Modern insurance companies mold their policies to accommodate any type of accident or break-in. In order to take full advantage of your insurance benefits you must know your options.

In many states every driver is required to carry certain liability coverage in order to get a drivers license. If you do not have coverage, you will be responsible for the full cost of all repairs.

Common coverage includes, liability coverage, which pays for accidental bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage, personal injury coverage, medical coverage, collision coverage for repairs, comprehensive coverage to repay lost or stolen items and emergency road service.

The price for auto insurance varies by company and by what type of coverage you buy, what kind of car you drive, where you drive, how much you drive, your age, sex, marital status and your driving record.

Never think, “Oh, that won’t happen to me”, because it very likely might. I was sure that my neighborhood was safe; obviously, I was wrong. Be aware of your surroundings and location at all times, even during day light hours. Sometimes getting involved in your neighborhood watch program can save a lot of worry also.

If your car, like mine, is in the top three most stolen cars in Fresno County, you should use some kind of deterrent, like a club or an alarm. Park your car in an area that is easily viewed from a door or window in your home so you can look out quickly if necissary.

Often, being over-prepared and super safe can and will save you.

If you park your car in your driveway you can install a motion sensor light that shines on your car and will be activated if anyone is near it.

For more information on car insurance visit the State Farm, Progressive or Geico insurance websites.

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