BusinessTech reports that with the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions, road crime has returned to around 60% of pre-pandemic figures.
While hijackings and car theft dropped to nearly zero at the start of lockdown back in March, Charles Morgan, Operations Executive at Netstar, tells BusinessTech that “now that we’ve all adjusted to the new reality, our records show we are heading back towards business as usual, in the mainstream and the illicit economy”.
With car theft back in business, it’s important to know what to do if it happens to you.
Here are practical steps to take if your car is stolen.
First, report it
1. Visit your local police department ASAP to report your car as stolen.
Time is of the essence, as a stolen car can be used to commit other crimes and you want the authorities to know that the car is no longer in your possession.
According to Carinfo.co.za, “The police department will ask you questions and fill out all the paperwork for you, though you’ll almost certainly need to go down to the station and sign the report”.
Provide as much information for the report as you can, including your personal details and identification; the make, model, year and colour, vehicle identification number (VIN), and any distinguishing features about your car (e.g. marks or dents).
It helps to have original or certified copies of your driver’s licence, vehicle title and registration documents to speed things along.
Please don’t dial the national emergency number unless your life and safety are at risk e.g., you’re alone in an isolated place and somebody is threatening you.
2. Sign the statement in person.
Make sure you read, check and sign the report and take the details (name, position, office number) of the officer who helps you.
3. Get a case number.
The assisting officer will provide you with a case number. Keep this handy for all further dealings on the subject.
4. Get a copy of the report
Ask the assisting officer for an official copy of the report. This could be used in insurance paperwork for your claim.
5. Notify your car insurance company of the theft as soon as possible.
It is very important to follow the required steps so that when you claim, it is unencumbered and stress-free.
6. Let us help.
If you have an active Roadside Emergency Benefit with your dotsure.co.za car cover, we will help you in a roadside emergency by letting your loved ones know what has happened.*
Then, if your car is recovered
The show’s not over if your car is recovered. In fact, it’s just begun.
- The investigating officer handling the case will inform you that they have found it.
- They will ask you to head down to the police impound lot to identify the car.
- They will also request that you provide proof of ownership of the car, like the registration documents or bill of sale.
- If your car is not insured, skip to 9 with all repair or replacement costs to your account.
- If your car is insured and has been damaged, your insurance company may advise on the damage assessment procedure (depending on your policy terms and conditions and the driving condition of the car).
- After assessment, the assessor will either declare that your vehicle can be repaired or should be written off, dependent on the extent of the damages suffered.
- If your vehicle is a write-off, and you are comprehensively insured at the time, your insurer will compensate you in line with your policy terms and conditions.*
- If the car can be repaired, your insurer will cover the cost of repairs according to the type of cover you have at the time. This may mean a cash contribution to you, or the insurer will advise where the car can be taken to for repairs, and the costs will be covered up to the limits in your policy.*
- Once it is repaired, you need a police clearance certificate from your local licencing authority before you can resume possession of the car.
- To get this certificate, “take the forms, along with supporting documents and your car,” Joburg.co.za advises, “to the SAPS Clearance Unit – which fills out the forms and grants clearance status to the vehicle.
- Once you’ve submitted these forms to the licensing authority, they will clear it on their systems and you’re good to go.
Whether it’s recovered or not, still submit a claim if the car is insured
Here are your options to get hold of us when you need to submit a claim:
- With dotsure.co.za, this is the easy part – you can submit a claim in minutes through your Manage Portal online. Simply log in to (or register for) your dotsure.co.za Manage Portal account here; alternatively
- phone us on 0861 dotsure (368 7873); or
- email us at: email@example.com; or
- live chat to a consultant via the online chat bubble at the bottom of the page on www.dotsure.co.za; or
- submit your details on our Contact Us page to request a call back at a time that suits you.
Once your claim has been logged, one of our claims consultants will be in contact with you to register your claim. They will verify and request any additional information they may require to process your claim and will explain the process that will follow. You will be provided with the name of your personal claims consultant as well as your claim number for future reference. Throughout the process you will be kept updated on the progress of your claim and can even view this on your Manage Portal at any time.
Uh oh – what if the car is recovered after you’ve claimed on it?
It can happen that once your insured car is replaced, the authorities find the original car. What now? Joburg.co.za points out that you are legally obliged to let your insurer know. Not doing so could constitute fraud and lead to prosecution. In such an instance, dotsure.co.za will assess and conclude the process on a per case basis.*
Protect yourself against the financial fallout of having a car stolen or highjacked with dotsure.co.za vehicle insurance. Get an obligation-free quote online in minutes here.
*T&Cs apply and are obtainable by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Claims decisions subject to factual merits of incident.
Take these simple steps if:
- you’re in a car accident
- you hit a dog on the road
- you hit a pedestrian or cyclist
- you’re driving alone and feel unsafe.