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Auto theft and break-ins are frequent occurrences. Peter Vitale, an insurance pro from Michigan, has witnessed many victims of these violations make mistakes filing a claim if a claim can be filed at all. Many people are unaware of what their insurance covers and the steps to take after their automobile has been broken into or stolen.

According to Peter Vitale, it begins when people assume state minimum auto insurance includes coverage for auto theft and break-ins, but this is untrue. Unless required by a financial institution to purchase coverage because the car is still being financed, additional coverage called comprehensive coverage must be added to the plan.

Comprehensive coverage reimburses the owner if an incident occurs. A deductible is required if the car is stolen and the amount covered depends on the amount paid for. It is common in Michigan to base reimbursement on an estimated amount unless extra policies are purchased. It will cover damages done during a break-in. If personal items are taken the owner will need to prove the items were in the car and have information about their value.

Document everything for break-ins. Take pictures of the car, where the incident occurred, and make a list of missing items. The pictures and list should be given to the police. Immediately file the insurance claim and have the evidence collected, policy number, and police report to hand over.

File a police report if the car is stolen. Provide all the details and documents asked for, which will include when and where it happened and the style of the car. Give a copy of the report to your insurance along with a copy of the title. If in Michigan contact the DMV, other states may have a different name for this office. The DMV has a large database of cars reported stolen. This helps return the car if someone tries to register it.

Peter Vitale insists that being informed about what is in your insurance policy and knowing what steps to take if an incident occurs will lessen the burden and speed up the process of filing a claim.