Archive for November 2009

Government Transport Policy set to increase Car Insurance Rates

The British Government although to be applauded in some social areas, seems to have totally got things wrong with it’s policies towards infrastructure, and those policy relationships with transportation, movement of goods and people and subsequent business development and economic growth.

Anybody who has been stuck in a gridlocked traffic jam on the M25 while trying to get to a work meeting…will know exactly what I mean.
Yeah and they don’t exactly provide roadside toilets (latrines to you guys over there), and what with all the closed circuit TV cameras covering every bush….!

Now I’m not one of those who would like to see less cars on the road, in fact, like J Clarkson I’d like to see more – on a lot more, better built roads and motorways.
And I’m certainly not advocating that you vote for Cameron and his policy less party!

The man would have us all on pushbikes!

But the latest announcement of UK Government transportation policy in mid week, borders on economic and social lunacy and demonstrates that the mandarins in Whitehall have little understanding of causality and it’s consequences, and it logically follows that their plans, if they actually have any, lack any inherent vision.

What am I talking about?
Why? the stupid decision to slap a minimum £22 tax on every seat on most domestic flights within the UK!
In some places like Cornwall this is in addition to an Airport development tax that all departing passengers must pay. With all the additional charges like parking or taxis the combined effect will obviously be to push traffic back onto the roads, increasing risk and ultimately Your car insurance premiums.

It’s not like it’s easy to travel domestically anyway, with the ridiculous security checks and the threat of fifth columnists, you can’t even get a decent cup of tea or have a smoke in the modern departure lounge that mostly resembles a scene from Phillip K Dick’s BladeRunner.

If you restrict the movement of people and goods you are restricting economic growth!

There are some exceptions to the ludicrous tax! if you live in the Outer Hebrides you won’t have to pay the tax. This is obviously an area where the Scottish run UK Government wants to see some development!

Classic Car Insurance for Newbies

A Beginners Guide to Classic Car Insurance

By Insurance blogger Dave Healey

If you’ve just bought your first classic car you will need to consider not just where, but also how you are going to insure it. If you are new to classic cars you will probably not even be aware that specialist car insurance policies for classics exist, which are peculiarly different from standard car insurance policy covers as offered by those seen on TV.

As a classic car owner it matters not if you drive a perfect condition Ford Capri 3 litre from 1970, a beat up old Morris Minor from the Sixties or a sleek E-type Jaguar in British racing green, it is essential that you find the best classic car insurance cover for your cherished motor, that covers your individual risks at prices that won’t break the bank!

If you have not owned a classic car before it is important to realise that there are basic differences between what is known as a standard car insurance policy and the cover offered under one defined as classic, from a specialist car insurer.

The first thing to establish is whether your car is eligible for cover under a classic policy. One way you could do this is ask the previous owner whether it was covered under a classic car insurance policy and with which insurance company.

Different car insurance companies have different definitions of the age and type of vehicles that can be covered under this type of cover.

What might be easily covered with one provider may be excluded by another. Fortunately most online classic car cover providers provide this information on the first page of their websites, so it is fairly easy to surf around and check your eligibility with different insurance companies.

You should check that both the eligibility of the age of the car in question and also whether there are policy restrictions for your individual driving circumstances, such as your age that would prevent you from applying for cover.

The major variation between a standard policy and those offered by the classic car specialists is in the way that you use your classic vehicle, and in particular, how much you drive it. The large mainstream insurers and price comparison sites will offer cover for older cars but will charge an additional premium because of its age. They will also load the premium if replacement parts for the vehicle type are known to be expensive.

More importantly you will only be offered the current market value replacement if the car is covered under a mainstream policy and is deemed to be a write-off when you claim.

With a standard car insurance policy on a replacement like for like basis, the value of the car is often set by the market value at the time of a claim, typically taken from one of the car price magazines such as the UK’s Glasses Guide. The amount you will be probably receive for a write-off will be at the current market value of your car which is an annual depreciating amount. Inevitably, if you own a classic car and insure it under a standard policy contract, this leads to under valuation and under insurance of the true value of the car. You will also probably not be offered the salvage and a repairable classic car may often be deemed a write-off because the cost of repair is uneconomic to the Insurer.

If you purchase a specialist classic car insurance policy you will be offered a choice of either an agreed valuation of the classic cars worth or a policy based on market value.

An agreed valuation amount is the amount that the insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim that results in a write off. This is a major benefit of insuring classics under specialist policies because it ensures that you are not just properly covered but will also receive the specialist repair services that your classic will require should you claim. It should be noted that even agreed valuation polices can change and you should ensure that the value is guaranteed for a certain period of time to avoid fluctuations in market values.

Classic Car insurance polices are therefore tailored to the needs of cars considered to be collectable and effectively the valuation is a rating factor for the condition of the car.

The other major difference between standard and classic policies is in the way that you are allowed to use your car under the terms of the agreement. Originally this type of vehicle insurance was designed for drivers who do not use their classic cars much.

All classic car policies have a limited mileage clause which only covers the vehicle for an agreed amount of miles per year. Depending upon which specialist car insurance company you use, there will be a limit to how far you can drive your classic. Some providers will only cover a couple of thousand miles per year under the policy, but many specialist providers are now offering cover up to ten thousand miles per year. These policies reflect the fact that many drivers now use modern day classic cars as their main form of transport.

As with all car insurance it is important to compare both covers and prices when shopping around. There are many specialist classic insurance providers available online today and many specialist schemes that are targeted at particular classic owners. Compare the premiums offered by these with those from the price comparison sites, but if you want to avoid disappointment if you need to make a claim, be sure to understand the difference in policy covers.

The Internet has made it very easy to Classic Car Insurance Brokers that was previously only available from specialist car insurance brokers on the high street. You can find those offering special deals and bespoke schemes for your particular classic by searching for schemes to compare for your particular model or vehicle type classic car insurance.

Insurance Companies are Going Cheap! – Recession Latest!

The recession has hit the insurance industry particularly hard and no sector has to date escaped. Aggregation has been a prominent feature of the market for a long time. Before the recession Insurance Brokers were the main target with the number of independent providers reduced by more than half as aggressive agglomerators swooped on books of business up and down the country.
The recession has brought with it major troubles for large bank owned brands such as Churchill and Direct Line and it looks like RBS will finally be forced to sell it’s crown jewels
Recent activity has also seen many large re-insurance companies going for a song!
However you really know the recession has hit home when you can pick up forward thinking Insurance Websites for peanuts….

Here is an Advert from this weeks insurance news

Now that is Cheap!

Insurance Companies buy more UK Government Debt

The Bank of England has just announced that the latest efforts at so called Quantitative Easing involves the injection of another £25 billion of made up money in the circular flow of money system, which means that since the recession Britain has generated £200 billion of made up debt!

So Where’s the money gone? And what is Quantitive Easing anyway

It turns out that QE as the press now like to call it, is radically different from the Pump Priming developed by FDR in 1930 to get the States out of the Great Depression!

And this explains why you and me, the small and medium sized enterprise and it’s workers are not getting any credit or money!

Truth of the matter is QE is designed to shore up the internal arteries of the international banking system and not leak any money out. To leak money by the creation of credit to the general public and increasing the money supply would introduce both inflationary and currency exchange pressures that would be far from welcome in the current economic climate.
So here is how QE works – The UK Government decides to make up some more cash to shore up the banking system. It creates £25 billion pound worth of bonds that it says you and me will repay! It then instructs the Bank of England which sells them to Banks. They make a nice profit by selling them onto – have you guessed it yet?

Yes 95% of the guilts and bonds go to INSURANCE COMPANIES! Very little money is being released to the public system.

It just means that today the Government decided that You, Me and Everybody! – in the UK, now owes another £25 billion of made up money plus the made up Interest, to Aviva et al.

So QE cannot have any beneficial effects to the likes of you and me, Joe Public, except the potential ability to stave off a second wave of recession by keeping the banks ticking over!

Pump Priming conversely is a ‘lets spend our way out the crap’ solution which would only work in the UK if the money is diverted into the public sector.

Why just the public sector?
Because only large national institutions have enough employees to spread the money to all parts of the system before it returns to the investment banks.

Like all system solutions they have to be top down and bottom up!

The recession will not come to an end in this country until we start pumping it into the bottom!

UK TV Ad Revenue Underwritten by Car Insurance Price Comparison War!

When Insurance Blogger was a nipper…..

Back in the 1960′s if you were lucky you had a black and white televison – the box!
with an aerial that looked like a sea mine or something out of Doctor Who sitting on top of it.

There were 2 UK TV Channels:

The BBC – Mother of the Nation and voice of the world……

& ITV – which was a loose consortium of regional independent television companies that broadcast on their own frequency AND network distribution relay.

This meant that every time you changed channel, which was a process of turning a huge dial until you got a fuzzy ghost image – you had to turn the aerial as well to switch to a different signal supplier.

This caused much distress in every UK Household with people arguing over aerial placement whilst trying to watch fuzzy images of man supposedly walking on the Moon.

The Independent Television Companies were funded by advertising revenue for commercials placed in programme ‘intermissions’ known in the UK as ‘Commercial Breaks’. This allowed companies like Granada to fund their own programmes and make ‘soaps’ like Coronation Street.
Product placement was banned on The BBC and was also severely limited as to the acceptable use of on screen products, within ITV programme drama of the day.

This ban has very recently been lifted and you might soon even see the BBC’s Phil Mitchell on Eastenders popping down to his local Post Office TM for some Travel Insurance or visiting a car insurance comparison website for his Jaguar insurance, coming to our screens as desperate TV production companies try to raise additional funding in hard times.

Even the BBC will not remain immune in the face of falling TV viewing figures and the rise of integrated digital services.

Today ITV is still reliant upon revenue sourced from intermission commercials, however with global distribution opportunities for selling programmes abroad they are now able to find sponsors for most popular shows.

According to a recent survey by business intelligence group DataWatch Monitor UK, Insurance adverts account for 52% of the total advertising revenue spend on UK TV commercials and specifically car insurance comparison which accounts for 63% of that.

So Who is spending all this money, millions of pounds that is underwriting some great UK independent TV productions?

Well unless you live under a rock or don’t own a screen (Boxes are consigned to pre-history along with the Dodo and the Betamax by the way!), you can’t have failed to notice that there is a car insurance price comparison site war going on out there at the moment with the BIG 4 all trying to outdo each other on spend and it’s getting dirty……….

So who are the big 4?
Well in no particular order , though Google has one….

Money Supermarket.com
Confused.com
Compare The Market.com
Go Compare.com

So who is winning this war?

Well it’s hard to give a definitive answer because campaigns are in a constant state of flux and one month it might be the furry meerkat toy rodent or the next month, the fat opera singer at No.1 in the Sales Charts. It is difficult to COMPARE!

The TV ads always tell the prospect car insurance purchasers to visit their website, so a fairly accurate measure of website usage over time by website name search, can be extracted from Google and here are the results….

car insurance price comparison sites

WACKY RACES
As you can see, that annoying pompous man from the Dragons Den is leading the way by far at the moment with the furry rodent bringing up the rear. This is likely to change at Christmas when Compare The Market bring out the talking meerkat. Looks like the fat annoying tenor over there Ad is working!!! For Now!

To see how your website compares to the big boys do your own visitor comparison with your competitiors over at Google Trends for Insurance Price Comparison giants