Having someone steal from you is one of the worst experiences you'll have. You feel violated—unsafe. The world is a little darker and more dangerous. Not to mention, your property is either gone or damaged.
It's such an upsetting experience that you may find yourself overwhelmed and unsure of exactly how to move forward. Find out what to do if someone stole your hubcap so you can handle the situation and do what's needed to make yourself whole again.
Filing a Police Report
Whenever you experience any type of theft or damage to your property, call the police right away. Before you worry about your insurance or recovering from your loss, take this step.
There are multiple reasons why this is your first step. For one, insurance will not cover the cost of your stolen hubcaps without a police report proving that the theft actually happened.
But even if insurance won't cover the theft, there's another reason why you must file a police report. While the vast majority of theft cases like this never get solved, it's always better to have a paper trail and have a record that the theft happened.
Crime data is fed into databases and studied and actually helps to dictate how often and when police patrol certain areas. Reporting the crime makes it more likely that a future crime will not happen.
There is also an outside chance that the details and methods of the theft match a known offender that police are searching for, and your case could become part of the evidence that convicts this person.
This will prevent others from suffering a theft or perhaps an even more dangerous crime, as some people escalate their crimes over time.
Everything else you have to do to try to recover from the theft will go more smoothly if you call the police and file an official report. Ask for a copy of the report so that you have it.
If you can't get the report, get the official case number from the report and get all the other relevant information, such as your police precinct and the name of the responding officer who took the report.
What Did You Lose?
You will be asked about the value of your property for the report. If you don't already know the exact value of the hubcaps or don't already have a pretty good idea, look them up online.
Factory hubcaps or after-market hubcaps will be listed online, so you should be able to find them pretty easily. If you can't find your exact hubcaps or you aren't sure of the exact brand name of the hubcaps, look for a close approximation.
If possible, find the receipt for the cost of your hubcaps. If you have factory hubcaps, look for the automaker's official website and find the exact cost of those hubcaps or the hubcaps that are most like your own that are currently being made by the company.
Print out or screenshot the prices you find online so you know the value of your hubcaps and can verify their value. You'll need this information for insurance if you're filing a claim and the police need it for their report.
What Does Insurance Cover?
A stolen hubcap is the sort of thing that insurance is supposed to cover, right? After all, car insurance is a requirement in most U.S. states. So does insurance cover the cost of replacing a stolen hubcap? Yes, it does...but only certain policies cover this problem.
If all you have is a minimum liability policy as required by most states, your policy only covers injury and property damage that you cause to others. Any theft or vandalism that occurs to your own vehicle is not covered at all under a minimum liability policy.
Only comprehensive insurance coverage will cover theft, and not all comprehensive policies cover this loss. These policies can vary greatly in what they cover and what they do not.
Some policies do cover basic theft up to a certain amount, while others may not cover it at all. In order to find out if your comprehensive policy covers your theft, you'll have to take a few extra steps.
Look at your insurance card. You may be able to look the policy information up online and find out if theft is covered, or there may be a phone number you can call. If you work with an insurance agent, you can always contact this person and ask them to check your policy to find out about your level of coverage.
Once you find out whether or not your theft will be covered, you'll know how to proceed.
When You're Covered
When your theft is covered by insurance, you will be asked to provide the insurance company with several pieces of information. They will want a copy of the police report or the police report number. You will also be asked to provide proof of the cost of the hubcaps, such as a receipt if they're not factory hubcaps.
You may also be required to get estimates for the cost of repairing the damage and replacing the hubcaps. Often, you will get two estimates on your own and a third estimate using a company recommended by the insurance company.
Once you complete the tasks required of you by the insurance company, you will be able to move forward with your claim. The insurance company will issue a check that you will use to pay for the repair and replacement of hubcaps.
This process can take weeks, though many companies do strive to resolve claims as quickly as they can.
Making a claim on your insurance can make the cost of your insurance go up. This is an unfortunate fact of having insurance that also works in the other direction. If you do not make an insurance claim for a long time, you will enjoy lower rates.
When You're Not Covered
If insurance doesn't cover the cost of replacing your hubcap, then the duty will fall upon you to do it. Unless you personally know the person who stole your hubcap and you can somehow convince them to do the right thing, there is no chance that you will be reimbursed for your loss.
Even if the person who committed the crime is convicted and sentenced, the chances that you will receive any compensation are slim to none.
This means that you will need to buy a new hubcap or perhaps an entirely new set of hubcaps if you'd rather have four that match. But even if you're going to have to take a loss on the loss you've suffered, there are ways to make the most and spend the least on fixing this situation.
How to Find Hubcaps
If you had a factory hubcap that was stolen, meaning the hubcaps that came with the car from the manufacturer, start calling salvage lots. These may also be called junkyards and what they are, basically, are car graveyards.
Old vehicles are taken to these places, and often, there are usable pieces and parts still attached to these calls. So call all the places like this in your area, tell them the make and model of your car, and ask if they have any of the same or very similar cars on the lot that have hubcaps.
You may be able to find a salvage yard that has a junked car with hubcaps exactly like the one that was stolen from you. From here, you'll only need to agree upon a price and a time to pick up your hubcap.
If you have after-market hubcaps that you purchased on your own, it may be an option to go back to that same store or dealer and purchase a new hubcap.
If your hubcaps are no longer available because they aren't being made anymore, you can always scour auction sites and reseller sites to find out if someone has one of these older hubcaps in stock or for sale secondhand.
But if you need to get an all-new hubcap or even four new hubcaps because your other options are exhausted, you've got some shopping to do.
Get the measurements for your hubcap. They are sold in sizes, generally ranging from 14-inch to 17-inch sizes. You can always measure one of your existing hubcaps if you're not sure about the size, or go online and look up the make, model, and year of your car to find out the hubcap measurement.
You can't begin to narrow down your hubcap options until you have this information.
Look for hubcaps online to get an idea of prices. By searching online, you should be able to get a look at what your local retailers are selling hubcaps for, and you can see what retailers are selling them for.
You can actually purchase hubcaps on Amazon and through many well-known buying sites, so take the time to hunt around for a good deal in order to save yourself as much money as possible. If you put in the work and take a little time, you will find a good deal that hopefully won't be too painful for you to pay.
Of course, you don't want to spend a lot of money getting your car back in order only to have another theft happen. When you've suffered from theft, your first order of business may be to repair the damage and recover the loss.
But once you get your new hubcaps, you're probably thinking about the fact that you don't want them to get stolen, too. After all, you don’t want to go through all of this a second time.
So what can you do to keep this from happening to you in the future? There is one fairly simple and affordable answer: steel cable ties. They are incredibly easy to use, and affordable, and no thief is getting through them. It's just not going to work if they try.
Using cable ties to secure your hubcaps is a quick and easy solution to this problem.
If you don't like the look of the steel cable ties, you can always look for hubcaps that are designed to prevent theft. There are also anti-theft nuts and bolts available, so you can secure your hubcaps with one of these and turn hubcaps into a more theft-proof design.
Stolen Hubcap FAQ
Having something taken from you is a jarring experience, and anyone would be understandably shaken. Knowing what to do and how to recover from the loss is essential.
Keep moving forward and working toward making yourself whole again, and you will be able to recover from the theft and even take steps to prevent theft in the future.
How Much Do Hubcaps Cost?
As soon as you realize you've had someone take something from you, it's only natural to assess the damage and try to figure out the value of what you have lost. But car parts always run the gamut when it comes to price.
There are designs that are more affordable and others that are extremely pricey, depending on the materials used, the name brand, the features, and the overall looks of the design. People are willing to pay more for something that looks really good. You may pay anywhere from $25 to $1,000 per hubcap.
Why Do People Steal Hubcaps?
You may have all sorts of expensive items in your car...so why would anyone take your hubcaps? Anything that's on a vehicle, including the hubcaps, can be sold for money. The hubcaps are something that is easily accessible that can be quickly and easily sold, which makes them a frequent target for thieves.
How Easy Is It to Replace Hubcaps?
There are three main types of hubcaps: pop-on, screw-on, and bolt-on. All three of these types are relatively easy to remove and replace. You can find detailed instructions and video tutorials online if you need any assistance.