Susan works as editorial assistant and researcher on personal finance stories. She also writes on a number of breaking news stories, as well as offering great money saving tips to shopping-savvy consumers.
A new study shows that numerous Brits regularly leave expensive personal belongings on show inside their cars, making them an easy target for potential thieves.
New research from Zurich revealed that up to 51% of UK motorists regularly leave valuables in their vehicles overnight, with many failing to lock them out of sight in the boot. According to the study, those belongings are worth as much as £1.6 billion.
Sunglasses are the most common item left in cars, with up to 77% of motorists admitting to leaving them inside the car. The list of potential car booty also includes clothes and shoes (28%), removable sat navs (20%), mobile phones (6%), iPods and MP3 players (5%) and more than £20 worth of cash (6%).
Many British drivers also forget to properly lock and secure their cars on numerous occasions. The British Crime Survey has actually revealed that thieves gained access to a car through an unlocked door in more than a third (34%) of incidents of theft from vehicles.
"It can be a pretty distressing experience finding your car has been broken into. There's the financial loss, as well as the added misery of when something irreplaceable or sentimental is stolen. It is vital that car owners don't leave their possessions on show.
Thieves don't need an added invitation to break into your car so don't give them one,” commented Steve Gilbert, personal lines technical underwriting manager at Zurich.
Having car insurance is, therefore, essential to protect you against potential car theft. When you go to compare the market for quotations, remember to consider the right policy for you – it may not be the cheapest available, as you need to decide what level of excess suits your budget, whether a courtesy car is important during repairs, and perhaps whether you would like legal expense cover is included.