Car insurance providers often place clauses in their terms and conditions which will invalidate an agreement if it is broken. Many insurers will include a clause regarding leaving your car keys inside a car as this could be considered negligence.
According to the AA, some insurers will even refuse to cover a stolen car if the keys, lock transmitter or keyless entry card are left near the car.
The recovery group said policies may be axed if your car has been left running with the windows or doors unlocked.
Go Compare says insurance providers may assume motorists were not careful with their keys if there have not been any signs of a break-in after a car theft.
The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) says some insurers will also operate a reasonable care clause where failing to lock a car could invalidate a policy.
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Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker said: “Whilst it is tempting to leave your car running with the keys in the ignition on frosty cold mornings, experience tells us it’s not a wise move.
“Not only does it make your car an easy target for opportunistic thieves, but few insurers will pay out if you haven’t taken reasonable care to prevent your car from being stolen.”
Analysis from the Central Motorway Police Group revealed an unattended car was stolen once every five minutes during the winter.
The British Insurance Brokers Association confirmed motorists would invalidate their agreement if their car was stolen while left unattended.