Having your property stolen can be a traumatic experience. Whether it’s a car, a laptop, or a piece of jewelry, the first thing you should do is report the theft to the police. But what other steps should you take to protect yourself legally and financially? Here are some important things to keep in mind.
Contact your insurance company
If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the theft. Your insurance policy may cover the loss, depending on the circumstances of the theft and the limits of your coverage.
Be sure to keep records of everything related to the theft. This includes the police report, any receipts or appraisals for the stolen property, and any correspondence with your insurance company. You may need these records later on if you decide to file a claim or take legal action.
Freeze your accounts
If your stolen property included credit cards, debit cards, or other financial accounts, contact your bank or credit card company to freeze the accounts. This will prevent the thief from using your accounts and racking up charges in your name.
Monitor your credit
Check your credit report to make sure that the thief hasn’t opened any new accounts in your name. You can get a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once a year by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
Consider legal action
If you know who stole your property, you may want to consider taking legal action against them. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit to recover the value of the stolen property or to seek damages for emotional distress or other losses.