What to do next if your car is broken into or damaged

Car break-ins happen, but what you do next can make all the difference

Nothing ruins a day quite like finding your car window smashed from an act of vandalism or theft.While unfortunately common, many people are unsure of what to do when it happens.

The solution? Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best, advises the team at Good Dog Auto Glass in Renton! After all, knowing what to do and who to call, will help you feel more in-control and better prepared.

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And should a broken window occur, here’s what to do next:

Assess the damage

Check on what matters the most, first.

Most break-ins happen when no one is around, so hopefully no one has been injured. If you had a pet in the car, make sure they’re okay and get them away from any broken glass.

If any credit or debit cards were stolen, contact your bank immediately to cancel the cards and report the incident to the credit bureau. If your phone has also been stolen, you may want to contact your phone provider and have your number suspended.

Document the damage

Is it just a window broken? Or is there body damage, too?

It’s important to understand the full extent of damage, while preserving any potential evidence for law enforcement. Take photos and notes to ensure you can file an accurate report with police and your insurance company.

Notify law enforcement

Chances are police will want to meet you at your vehicle to take a statement. Afterwards you’ll need to assess whether you can move the car safely yourself or get it towed.

Prevent further damage

Don’t try to roll up or down your window, this can cause further damage. You may need to temporarily patch the vehicle to keep rain/snow from damaging your interior. But if the forecast is calling for sunshine, leaving it exposed to the elements is actually the best option. Taping plastic over a window can result in lasting residue on your car. If you do need to tape something over the window, use blue painters tape, it’s less likely to leave behind a residue.

Contact your insurance company

Next you’ll want to contact your insurance provider but remember that you ultimately get to decide what happens next and who fixes your car. Not all insurance policies are created equal – you might have full coverage, partial coverage with a deductible to pay or you might be expected to pay entirely out of pocket. You can inform your provider which repair shop you would like to have repair your vehicle and the insurance company should pay a fair market value to the provider of your choice.

Book a repair appointment

Shopping around is smart, regardless of who foots the bill. Consider time, quality and experience when deciding where to go. Locally owned, small businesses are going to be more invested in ensuring you’re happy with the final outcome.

“We’re a family-owned business and our customers come first,” says Louis Bruskin, owner of Good Dog Auto Glass. “We have a two-hour turnaround time on standard window replacements and competitive pricing. But what really matters is our commitment to looking after the people in our community. When you’re replacing the window for your neighbor, you make sure it’s getting done right the first time and uphold your warranty if not.”

Find Good Dog Auto Glass online here or request a quote by phone at 206-617-9899 or online. Follow them on Facebook for the latest updates.

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