Protecting your car and belongings

Unfortunately, car crime is very common, however, you can help prevent it.

It is a condition of your policy that you must do all you can to keep your car and its contents safe. If you do not do this, you may not be able to claim under this policy. We hope you find the following tips useful.

Close all windows, including the sunroof, when you leave your car – even if you are just leaving it for a short time.

Lock your car even if it is on your drive or in your garage or you are just leaving it for a short time (for example, at a petrol station). Do not forget to lock the boot.

Take the car keys with you. Never leave your keys in your car or leave the engine running, even if you are only leaving your car for a few minutes.

You should never leave your personal belongings on display in your car. If you cannot take them with you when you leave your car, lock them away in the glove compartment or boot.

Remove all radio, stereo and portable satellite-navigation equipment if possible when you leave your car.

Fit an alarm or immobiliser to your car and make sure you use it. Car thieves will often avoid cars that have an alarm or immobiliser.

If your car doesn't have an alarm or immobiliser fitted, you should consider fitting one approved by Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre. You can find details of these devices at www.thatcham.org

Park your car carefully. Where and how you park your car can be important for your safety and the security of your car. The 'Park Mark' safer parking award is given to parking areas if they achieve a standard of safety and security set by the police.

Log on to www.securedcarparks.com to find out where these car parks are.

If you can't find a secure car park:

  • park in a well-lit area if you are parking at night; and
  • if you are using a multi-storey car park, choose a space that is close to the exit and away from pillars
  • always take your parking ticket with you.

Protect your alloy wheels by fitting locking wheelnuts approved by Thatcham.

At home, do not leave your car keys where a burglar can easily find them, such as on a hook or on a table. Thieves often break into houses just to steal the car.

If you have a garage, use it and lock it.