Having your car stolen will no doubt leave you with a lot of worries and unanswered questions. To make sure you have the best chance of recovering it, you should take steps to make sure that things work in your favor. Read on to see five things you should do if your car has been stolen.

1. Call the Police and File a Report

This should be the very first thing you do when you discover that your car has been stolen. This is because there’s a chance that the thief who stole your car is on record, which would make the whole process end a lot faster. Share all details surrounding the theft such as where the car was, the people who may have had access to it or the keys, where you were at the time, and the exact moment you realized the car had been stolen. Versions of red flag laws have been enacted in 19 states as well as the District of Columbia and, if your state is one of those, there is a good chance of your vehicle being recovered.

2. Notify Your Loan Company

If your car is financed or on a lease, you need to report the theft to your financing company immediately. Doing this will also expedite your claims process because your lease company may choose to speak with your insurance company, keeping the busy issues on the back end and enabling you to have a stress-free transition. It may interest you to know that the Bureau of Justice Statistics says that seven out of 10 convicted felons will serve an average time of about five years in jail or prison. If the thief who stole your car gets caught and is convicted, you can be sure of justice being served.

3. Contact Your Insurance Company

The next step to take is to contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. Be prepared to file out forms and share documents like the car’s certificate of title, receipts for maintenance or upgrades done to the vehicle, and a list of the personal items stolen along with your vehicle, among other things. With one theft of a motor vehicle reported in the United States every 41 seconds, it is possible that you will have to wait for some time before your issues are resolved. While it is important to do a follow-up after filing, you don’t need to add undue pressure on the whole issue as this won’t solve much. Do your part and let the relevant parties do theirs as well.

4. If Your Car Is Recovered, Have it Inspected

Sometimes, your stolen car may be recovered, albeit with a few fresh dents or none at all if you’re lucky. If it is found, you should let your insurance company know and they will often pay for repairing it. A full inspection will reveal anything that is wrong and that may not be immediately visible, which is why it’s important. While items like laptops and cellphones stolen along with the car may not be covered by the car’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance may help you get those replaced.

To avoid the hassle that comes with having your car stolen and trying to get it back or have insurance reinstate you, it is wise to always make sure your car is safe from theft in the first place. Keeping it locked at all times and making sure that no valuable items in the car are clearly visible from the outside are two measures you can take to make sure your car stays safe. If you do all this but it still gets stolen, have no worries as you may recover it if you follow the steps outlined above.