Archive for February 2009

Rugby Insurance sponsors quit

While not wanting to upset those who sit enamored watching thirty large men run up and down a pitch after a funny shaped ball, Insurance Blogger was pleased to see that the Government owned ‘black hole of Edinburgh’ aka RBS has finally had the decency to stop wasting our money on Six Nations Rugby sponsorship and other outrageous and pointless sporting give aways such as the £20 million in so called ‘ambassadors’ (what’s all that about then?), and a very large sum to Williams F1 racing.

Still I suppose that’s peanuts to what they’re proposing for their failed staff’s bonuses and retirement funds for fat-cat chiefs who couldn’t run the length of the rugby pitch.

For those of you who follow the game and play yourselves either as an amateur of professional, you can get Rugby Insurance for personal injury, which is available to youths and adults, amateur and professional for individuals and teams at Personal Accident.

Now Mr Brown, we don’t care if Mr Blair is Newcastle United supporter – why is Northern Rock still pushing good money after bad?

How to save money on Car Insurance without reducing cover

According to the Times Online the credit-crunched British public plan to cut back on insurance policies this year in a bid to limit spending…..

More than a million customers have already reduced their insurance cover, saying they simply cannot afford it, according to a survey by insurer LV, until recently known as Liverpool Victoria.

Insurance Blogger wonders if the public are just becoming more savvy and shopping around online. It’s an easy excuse to use in the current economic climate and nobody questions it when they get put on the spot by a phone call out of the blue asking them why they didn’t renew!

Another five million Britons plan to cut their cover to try to save money over the coming 12 months, the LV poll of just 2,141 clients reveals, say the Times.

Surprisingly they believe that 37 per cent of people are considering downgrading their car insurance.
LV state that on average, those planning to cut their insurance cover this year believe they will save £125 over the course of the year, or £10.41 a month.

Come On! we know money is tight but do households really do the sums to the n’th degree, or maybe their current insurer is overcharging by that amount!

LV= properly point out that “cancelling or reducing essential insurance cover could result in many people finding themselves seriously out of pocket if something untoward happens. It is at time likes these, when money is short, that insurance becomes evermore important.”

There are legitimate ways of reducing your car insurance costs, such as increasing your excess or making lifestyle changes such as increasing your security or decreasing your annual mileage, which will save money by reducing premiums without reducing your levels of cover.

Shop around on the Internet and check out specialist car insurance schemes that offer cover tailor made to your lifestyle and / or motor, which is more than not often cheaper than the standard offering to everyone available through the large comparison sites.

Motorists found driving without car insurance could risk a fine of £5,000, disqualification and the car being seized and crushed by the police.

Cannabis Underwriters and Claims Specialists Required

Insurance Blogger was astounded to read in Insurance Times, at the weekend, that Norwich Union have actually paid out over £1 million in claims to landlords who were ‘victims’ of so called cannabis farms.

According to the report Norwich Union (soon to re renamed AVIVA don’t forget!)shelled out one million quid and is now, rather belatedly, warning landlords to be on the lookout for suspicious tenants.

NU said it settled about 60 cannabis related claims two years ago and the trend in cannabis farming is on the increase. During the same year Police apparantely seized over five thousand plants which was 34% up on the previous year.

Insurance Blogger would love to know on what basis those claims were settled, and is perhaps more surprised to see that NU is so far behind the times.

Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last ten years you would have seen Cannabis farms on the local news, and local and national press.

Suburbia has apparantely been overtaken by gangs of Vietnamese and more lately Russians, on their Dutch inspired gardening activites in two up-two down terraced houses with the curtains drawn all through the day and night.
Or as my Copper mate in Southend ( who used to work for General Accident before they made him redundant and who now hunts and sniffs out Cannabis Farms on his mountain bike patrols )says ‘The Ping Pong Pong’.

The gardening activities of the farmers causes particular damage to:
i) Walls and ceiling structures, which are often removed to maximise lighting space and for ventilation.
ii) Electrical wiring which is often in a highly dangerous condition due to bypassing meters and the risk has led to fire claims.
iii) Plumbing is often ripped up and expanded for hydroponic cultivation of Cannabis, often leading to flood claims.

Well there’s obviously going to be more of this type of activity as we sink into deep recession, and what concerns Insurance Blogger is that this type of ‘cover’ is open to abuse, and many an unscrupulous landlord may succumb to the financial pressures, and either be engaged in or have knowledge of the cannabis production and actively turn a blind eye or more likely make false claims to get the place ‘Done up’.

We are not currently aware of any Landlords Insurance policy that doesn’t include a ‘reasonable care’ clause, and this must mean regular site and inventory checks are the responsibility of the landlord, which would prevent premises being used in this way.
Furthermore landlords should be made aware that they could face criminal charges for allowing their premises to be used for the production of a class B drug, which carries a prison sentence and is regularly used against landlords suspected of complicity. It will be up to the Landlord to prove that they took reasonable care in preventing the premises from being used in such a way!

Avoid Home Repossessions with Mortgage Protection Insurance

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has just published statistics on mortgage arrears and possessions.
Worringly but hardly surprising, the figures for 2008 show a sharp rise on the same period last year.

Key Facts include:

• 5,000 fewer repossessions than forecast in 2008
• 40,000 repossessions in the year – 1 in 290 mortgages
• 10,400 repossessions in the fourth quarter – 1 in 1,100 mortgages
• 1 in 64 mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more
• 1 in 53 mortgages in arrears of three months or more (inflated by lower interest rates)
• 75,000 repossessions forecast for 2009 remains unchanged

Around 10,400 properties were taken into possession by first charge mortgage lenders in the fourth quarter of 2008, down from 11,100 in the previous quarter but up from 6,900 in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The total number of first-charge repossessions in the year was an estimated 40,000.

This was 5,000 lower than the CML’s original forecast for the year.

The fact that there were 11% fewer repossessions than expected, despite a worsening economy and unemployment rising by the thousands daily, appears to show that the mortgage lenders appear to be listening to the Government somewhat, to ensure that repossession really is a last resort.

It is important to recognise that repossessions include a proportion of abandoned properties and property fraud. They also include buy-to-let repossessions, as well as home-owner repossessions.
In the majority of cases where home-owners are committed to working with their mortgage lender to keep their home the CML states that repossessions can be avoided.

Better Still to avoid home repossessions with Mortgage Protection Insurance.

Specialist Bike Insurance for Off Roading Enduro Racing

On one of the hottest days of last year (were there any?) before the rains took over, we drove up into the wild-lands of Cornwall to watch an Enduro Bike Racing Championship event.

Insurance Blogger was obviously looking at everything with risk in mind and saw many spectacular falls and ‘crashes’ enough to turn an experienced underwriter grey, instantly.

Talking to the people involved and their fanatical family followers, you soon learn why Enduro racing is such a popular and rapidly growing sport. Many ‘road’ bikers are selling their big road bikes and investing in much smaller machines such as the KTM range of trials / off road / motor cross / call it what you want type of weekend bike. And believe it or not the all tell you the same thing…..

That riding a trials bike around forests and streams and mountains and bogs and moors, is far safer than riding a bike on the road to work everyday, and is a great way to stay alive and yet still enjoy the thrill of biking. One of the reasons is the modern body armour worn by all but a few of the most foolhardy racers, which usually prevents damage to just bruising when you go head first into a tree at fifty miles an hour.

So I was not so surprised to learn later that you can get tailored Enduro Bike Racing Accident Insurance cover and sports accident travel insurance to protect you against personal injuries sustained while enduro racing. There’s a whole range of cover options available at Personal Accident Insurance, where they’ll obtain basic motorbike insurance cover for your bike as well if required.