Realizing that somebody has broken out one of your car windows can be an alarming situation. You may feel as though your privacy has been violated--and depending on whether the motive was vandalism or theft, you might also have personal items missing. As uncertain as everything may feel right now, there are a few steps you can (and should) take right away to begin moving towards normalcy once again.
File a Police Report
First and foremost, if you have even an inkling that the damage to your car was caused by another person (as opposed to natural causes, like a fallen tree branch), you should file a police report as soon as possible. Contact your local police department's non-emergency line, and they'll dispatch an officer to your location. If you have any security footage (or have neighbors with security cameras), be sure to let the officer know to aid in his or her investigation.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Next, it's time to file a claim with your auto insurance policy. Hopefully, you have comprehensive coverage in place, which typically covers auto glass damage related to theft, vandalism, or even an "act of god." Your insurance agent will be able to walk you through the steps of filing a claim so you can get your auto glass replaced and be back on the road as quickly as possible.
Document the Damage
More than likely, your insurance claim will require some documentation of the incident. You may be able to expedite your claim by providing photos of the damage and the surrounding area to your insurance agent directly. If you have a copy of your police report, you may also want to pass this along to your agent, as this will likely be needed to process your claim. If any of your possessions have been stolen, be sure to document this, along with an estimation of their value.
Schedule Auto Glass Replacement
One of the biggest hassles of dealing with a broken-out car window is not being able to safely use your car until the glass is cleaned up and replaced. This is where finding a reputable auto glass shop can make all the difference. When looking for an auto glass replacement professional, search for one that will bill your insurance company directly. Ideally, they'll also be able to send their service technicians directly to you.
Dealing with a broken car window is stressful, but taking the right steps can make all the difference.