Rising crime rates inflate the cost of car insurance premiums by as much as £250, according to new research from comparethemarket.com.
British drivers could be facing higher car insurance
premiums as a result of rising crime rates, even if they have not been directly affected by crime, the comparison website found, but simply because they live in a crime-ridden area.
The difference between someone living in a low-crime area and another person living somewhere that has a high crime rate can be more than £250 a year, the research revealed, highlighting how a postcode can make a great deal of difference when it comes to car insurance premiums.
Drivers from areas where crime is more prolific, such as the North West and London, are paying an average £844.74 and £804.68 a year respectively for their car insurance, compared to the lowest premiums in the UK which can be found in the South West, where drivers pay just £569.32 on average.
The "disproportionately high" difference in premiums between the two regions is an unfortunate reflection of crime patterns in the UK, says comparethemarket.com, but there are things that motorists can do to counteract the high cost of car insurance, even if they live in an area with a high crime rate.
Jeremy Moll, insurance expert at comparethemarket.com, recommends that drivers shop around and compare car insurance quotes
from a number of sources to find the cheapest deal.
He also suggests a few other tips for keeping premiums down, such as saving around £26 a year by storing the car in a garage, not making modifications to the car which can jack up the price of insuring it as well as attracting unwanted attention from thieves, and fitting a car alarm and steering lock for deterring criminals.
"Consumers need to be aware of the crime rates in their area and start to consider what they can do to get the cheapest and best deal on their car insurance without compromising the level of cover they receive." said Mr Moll.
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