In hot weather there could be a dramatic increase in the number of cars being stolen as owners leave their vehicles unattended with their windows or roofs open. Motorists that fail to take precautions to secure their vehicles could invalidate their insurance policies if either their  car or items inside are stolen.

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s Executive Director says: “Cars are becoming increasingly difficult to steal thanks to advanced security systems and immobilisers but during the summer months opportunistic thieves will be keeping an eye out for vehicles that are left open and unattended.”

“Motorists must be aware that if their vehicle or possessions are stolen under such circumstances, insurers may not pay out as policies include a ‘reasonable care’ clause, whereby the insurer may reject a claim on the grounds of the policyholder being ‘reckless’ in not safeguarding the vehicle. Most policies also have a “keys in car” or “vehicle left unattended” clause which exclude claims in these circumstances.“

To help reduce your chances of being a victim of car crime, BIBA offers motorists the following advice:

  • Never leave windows open or convertible roofs down when the car is unoccupied
  • Don’t leave your doors unlocked when leaving the vehicle
  • Never leave the keys in the ignition when you are not driving the car
  • Park in well-lit areas as this could deter thieves
  • Never leave valuables on display whilst you are driving or when you leave the vehicle

To ensure quality cover at competitive premiums, motorists should contact their broker. To find your nearest local BIBA broker visit the ‘Find a Broker’ section or contact BIBA’s dedicated consumer helpline – 0370 950 1790.

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