Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Last updated: 31st March 2020

Following the Government’s announcement asking everyone to stay at home, we’re making some changes to the way we work to make sure we’re looking after our people and our customers. We’re setting up as many of our colleagues as possible to work from home, but this will take a few days.

In the short-term, we’re only accepting new business online. That means new customers can’t buy insurance over the phone.

Existing customers: Please don’t phone unless it’s absolutely necessary.

We need to prioritise:

  • Customers who have an urgent claim, for example your car is undrivable following an accident, you are injured, or your home is uninhabitable.
  • Customers who can’t pay now as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, call us - we want to help you.

If you have questions about your renewal or want to make a change to your policy, you can use our virtual assistant. If your policy is due to renew in the next week and you haven’t opted for auto-renewal, please call us. If you have opted for auto-renewal, please make sure your insurance still meets your needs.

For more information and frequently asked questions about COVID-19, go to our Coronavirus help and support page.

The top 10 most stolen cars and how to make yours secure

According to the latest Home Office figures*, older cars are the ones most likely to be stolen, with cars more than nine years old accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total figure and those under three years old making up less than 11 per cent. This is largely due to the fact that newer cars are fitted with sophisticated security measures as standard. The top 10 models reported stolen most often in 2005 were:

  1. Vauxhall Belmont
  2. Vauxhall Astra Mk2
  3. Ford Escort Mk3
  4. Austin/Morris Metro
  5. Vauxhall Nova
  6. Ford Orion
  7. Rover Metro
  8. Austin/Morris Maestro
  9. Austin/Morris Montego
  10. Ford Fiesta Mks1, 2 and 3

Simple security steps

There are some basic precautions you can take to try and safeguard your car every time you leave it unattended, no matter how briefly. These include shutting the windows and sunroof, locking the doors and boot, and removing the key from the ignition. You should never have valuables on display while parked or on the move, nor should you leave driving documents and vehicle registration details in your car.

When parking on the road, make sure the car is parked on a well-lit busy street, in full view of passers by. If you need to leave it in a car park, try to find one with the police approved Safer Parking scheme, which displays the Park Mark logo. Failing this, look for one that has attendants and is patrolled. Visit the Saferparking website to locate ‘Park Mark' car parks near you. When parking at home, use your garage if you have one and make sure you lock it and your car.

Once you've parked, use an immobiliser to prevent the car from being driven away (newer cars are very likely to have one already fitted, as the Government made this compulsory in 1998).

Be defensive

Locking wheel nuts are easy to fit and effective. Also have your vehicle registration number or the last seven digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (which can be found on the dashboard of most new cars) etched onto all glass surfaces.

If you have a portable sat nav, take it with you when you leave your car. This includes the cradle and suction pads – in order that thieves don't break in under the assumption that it has been hidden in the glove compartment.

Mark your equipment, such as your car stereo, with your vehicle registration number. Alternatively, you can have them security coded. If the item is removed the code will need to be re-entered before it can be operated again.

Worth the effort

Theft rates are higher among cars that don't have effective security devices. Having security equipment on your car, particularly an immobiliser, makes it ten times safer than a car that doesn't have any. If you have fully comprehensive car insurance then you will also be covered. Facts like these mean that taking preventative action to protect your vehicle is a must.

*The 2006 Car Theft Index is based on 2005 data for England, Wales and Scotland.