LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2012) - Swinton, one of the UK's leading high street car insurance brokers, is warning motorists not to fall victim to opportunistic thieves who steal vehicles that are left running unattended.
With frost and ice across the UK, and with parts of Britain even being hit by snow, many vehicle owners are likely to use the favoured method of de-icing their car, by leaving their engine running while their vehicle warms up before heading out on a journey.
However, Swinton is advising motorists to be aware that this not only puts your vehicle at risk of being stolen, but may also prevent you being covered on your motor insurance, as many insurance policies do not provide cover for cars that are stolen while keys are left in the vehicle.
Police forces across the UK are also advising people to be extra vigilant during the festive period. One recent case in the North East left one motorist out of pocket, after his car was stolen when it was left it running on the driveway to defrost.
Figures recorded in recent years also show the very real risk of cars being stolen in this way. During winter 2010, West Midlands recorded thefts of nearly 100 cars left unattended while they warmed up, with 13 cars being stolen this way during a 36-hour period.
In light of these alarming statistics, Swinton Insurance is also urging motorists to check the terms of their policy when they buy car insurance online, so that they know exactly what their policy covers.
It is also offering drivers the following tips to defrost their car without attracting thieves:
- Keep your car in sight: if your preferred method of defrosting your car is to leave the heat on and the engine running, lock the doors with your spare key, and keep the car in sight
- Cover up: Leaving a blanket on your windscreen overnight can prevent ice from settling on the glass. You can also buy pre-icer spray to stop it freezing
- Door seals and handles: To melt the ice on doors and handles, pour warm water on and around. Do not use boiling water, as this could crack the glass
Steve Chelton, Claims Manager at Swinton, said: "With so much happening during the festive period, it can be easy to forget about these kinds of crimes, which could leave you a victim of car theft through something as simple as defrosting your car.
"Taking extra precautions like keeping your vehicle in sight when defrosting it, or using another method of de-icing could make all the difference. Knowing what you're covered for on your car insurance policy can also prevent you being stung by this kind of theft in the long run."
- With 553 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
- Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
- Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
- With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates