Archive for September 2011

Unemployment Insurance – Last Chance For Public Sector Employees

Unemployment has risen to over 2.5 million in the UK and with the future of many public service workers jobs in doubt, is expected to rise to levels of over three million by Christmas.

Todays official figures show levels of unemployment last enjoyed under Margaret Thatcher’s Tory Government of the Eighties.

Youth unemployment is at its highest level for 19 years.
Womens unemployment is at its highest level for over 23 years.
The public sector is traditionally a large employer of both these groups.
The Governments argument that the private sector creating new jobs will prop up the public sector has proven to be widely inaccurate.
David Miliband pointed out that for every two jobs lost in the public sector only one was being created in the private sector.

The result is that the economy is in a downward spiral and the public sector job cuts are fuelling the maelstrom.
Maybe our public schools are failing as well, because it is obvious that neither David Cameron or the Chancellor bloke, whose name Insurance Blog can’t remember, have even the basic skills in macro economics!

When there was a global depression in the USA in the late 1920′s, FD Rooseveldt’s ‘New Deal’ of public works and public sector employment, brought America out of the downward spiral and introduced infrastructure which gave the post war US a massive competitive advantage.
President Obama has finally realised that cuts don’t work and has announced a massive Federal investment in public works. Alex Salmond, Leader of the Scottish Parliament today said that unemployment was down in Scotland during the last three months due to a large public building program.

David Cameron is carrying on making people and public sector workers unemployed.

If you work in the Public Sector there is still time to get unemployment insurance and income protection however you must hurry.

Income Protection Insurance is available to eveyone in full time employment. As long as you have not been informed by your employer that your job is at risk, you can still take out an income protection policy.

Act quickly and you can protect your mortgage, rent and other regular payments such as council tax, utilities bills, finance agreements and even gym memberships and satellite/cable tv bills. With low monthly payments you have a choice of cover between accident, sickness and unemployment, accident and sickness or unemployment only, with 12 or 18 month benefit options.

9/11 Remembered

911 remembered

Insurance Blog is remembering the hundreds of insurance workers and employees who perished in the WTC ten years ago.

Novus Ordo Seclorum

UK Government Declares War On Private Motor Insurance

By A Consumer – War Correspondent  – Car Insurance War Front Line

The UK Government has declared war on the private motor insurance market.

The Government has yet to decide who the enemy actually is, although one ethnic group ‘CFA referal collectors’ have been singled out for the death camps and news coming out of Westminster today confirms this.

The call for the ‘War on Car Insurance’ from the media and consumer led groups has reached deafening proportions recently and the UK Government will tell you they have been forced to act.

The AA have stated that the ‘average’ car insurance premium has risen by 40% and on the word of the AA and probably as a deflection away from the more pressing economic issues, battle has begun.

Government Forces Attack

First into battle yesterday for the Government, was the consumer watchdog the OFT (Office of Fair Trading). They have been asked by HQ to find out if the price rises are real and whether there are any (choke) anti competitive practices occurring in the UK private motor insurance market that may be pushing up prices.

To do this they have initially asked those thought to be contributing to the high costs of car insurance and will then ask the nation to contribute in an open call to arms, to publicly air their grievances on car insurance price hikes, by filling in a form.

The OFT has asked all the suspects to contribute to the war effort or else stand accused of being part of the problem not the solution to higher car insurance premiums.

Most Wanted Suspects

1.  Price Comparison  Websites

2. Replacement Vehicle and Car Hire Companies

3. Approved Motor Vehicle Repairers.

4. Insurance Companies Products.

None of the major suspects is being pulled in for interrogation at this point in time. They have been given 5 weeks until October 12 to comply with the resolution or face shock and awe.

A spokesperson for the regime said’

“We will be engaging with participants in this market, trade bodies, the Government, regulatory agencies and consumer groups over the next five weeks by issuing information requests, arranging roundtable discussions and holding bilateral meetings.

Information requests:

We will also be inviting comments from consumers and other interested parties. The OFT is, however, unable as part of this study to address or advise consumers in this market on individual matters or complaints.

Any party that wishes to submit their written views, can e-mail motorinsurance@oft.gsi.gov.uk by 12 October 2011 or write to:

Private Motor Insurance Call For Evidence
Fourth Floor
Office of Fair Trading
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JX “.

Second Front Opens with Pincer Movement

As soon as the OFT went into battle yesterday, it was immediately announced that the Government were opening up another front with a full out attack of its heavily armed praetorian guard, the FSA, against those supplying information to the enemy in return for money.

The practice is to be banned immediately it has been confirmed today, indicating that the government will take the side of Insurers against Lawyers. Questions of the legality of the war and the interfering with free trade could be raised at the international courts at a later date.

Tensions between Solicitors and Insurance Companies have been rising steadily over the last few years with Insurers furious about having to pick up massive bills for professional negligence by solicitors involved in mortgage and building surveying disputes. In many cases Solicitors PI premiums have been raised so high that many solicitors are now finding it impossible to practice.

Coupled with the massive amounts that the insurance companies are having to pay against public liability and employers liability claims for negligence, it appears the Insurance companies have finally had enough.

The number of car accidents involving personal injury claims is 31% down on the average for ten years prior, however the cost of personal injury claims has more than doubled from £7bn to £14bn in the past ten years and motor insurance premiums have risen at least 30% this year.

Insurance companies are blaming Conditional Fee Arrangements (CFA’s) or ‘No Win No Fee’ for the rising costs of car insurance. They argue that there is no disincentive, such as having to pay if you lose, that’s stops people making a claim if you have been injured in a car insurance accident.

The Government has stopped going as far as banning CFA’s completely, which would seriously impede that right to justice for the majority of the people in this country who cannot afford solicitors bills of £180 per hour +.

Today it has announced that those referring accident injury victims to solicitors and lawyers will be banned from receiving payment!

It also seems that the special relationship that UK Insurance companies have with UK Government through the ABI etc. appears stronger than that of the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) who traditionally only find allies in the other place, the House of Lords.

It also appears that the Government think that the Insurance Companies, who set the car insurance prices, are not actually responsible for their own pricing!

Insurance Blog will keep you abreast of all the developments as the war on car insurance unfolds. We will also be running a series of posts that examine in detail the questions being asked of the Motor Insurance Market.

Gadget Insurance – Better Security Reduces Theft Risk

Most of us live our lives around our gadgets these days and whether its our 3g mobile, laptop or ipad – it is at risk!

What’s more, in many cases our lifestyles are also at risk as our gadgets carry so much personal and company information and are in effect, our the portals to our social and business lives.

Insurance Blog and if the claims figures are to be believed, half the country, know only too well the pain involved in lifestyle interruption caused by losing a gadget!

The cost of replacing the item can be covered by traditional gadget insurance polices, but insurance as yet does not compensate for lifestyle interruption. So it is good to see alternative methods to insurance being used to tackle this ever growing problem.

Catch That Thief!

The solution to replacing a gadget is to recover it and new security software is already showing some truly amazing results. After all I’d rather get my laptop or phone back than get a new model of market value, as it contains all my personal files and contact details.

Prey Security Software

One solution for PC and laptop theft or mislay is a piece of software called Prey. When you loose your laptop you simply login to your Prey account and activate the device as missing. Sit back and wait for your phone to text. (assuming you haven’t had that stolen as well) and you can login to the Prey website and see a map of just where the device is being used and if its got a webcam you can see who is using it! You’re nicked sonny!

Check out the Prey Software in action on the BBC Video as it catches a real life laptop thief. The video also contains invaluable information on services to protect your other gadgets as well.

Insurance Blog welcomes any measures that help reduce premiums, so we expect all the gadget insurance suppliers to radically slash their rates for those who have anti theft devices for their gadgets!

A Brief History of Insurance: Part 8 Lloyds and World Insurance

A Brief History of Insurance:

Part Eight: The emergence of Lloyd’s as the worlds major insurance organisation:

In the previous article in this series we learnt about the humble beginnings of Lloyd’s as a relatively small coffee shop on Tower street. Whether it was an incredible piece of foresight or simple luck Lloyd developed a very specific clientèle of sailors, ship owners and merchants for boat insurance and marine cargo insurance risks.

Lloyds wasn’t the only coffee shop to do insurance business but it set the standards. In 1748 nearly one hundred houses including the famous coffef houses of Jonathan’s, Garraways and others were destroyed by a fire that ravaged Cornhill and in which scores of people perished and damage to the exent of £200,000 (nearly 200million in todays money) was caused. This event and another in the Cornhill when it was again destroyed by fire in 1765, left Lloyds in a prominent trading position.

It is evident however, that Lloyd cultivated this customer base by providing reliable and regular updates on the shipping news to those that visited his coffee house and soon Lloyd’s had established itself as a focal point within the very heart of the Shipping industry.

It was therefore inevitable that the coffee shop also quickly became a second home to a number of early insurers seeking to business with the Lloyd’s clientèle. Similarly it soon became accepted that if you were a merchant seeking insurance, then Lloyd’s was always a recommended first port of call. In fact within just three years Lloyd’s had grown to a level of importance and popularity that a new location was required and Lloyd moved his coffee shop to Lombard St – where it would remain for the next 83, years long after Lloyd himself had passed away.

As Britain established itself as a leading economic power through the exploitation of the slave trade, the shipping industry was at the heart of this economic boom. As slave trading was a high risk trade (1053 slave vessels are recorded as having been lost between 1689 and 1807) the insurers of Lloyd’s also found themselves in high demand.

Lloyd himself died in 1713 however his legacy remained strong.

Lloyds Fire at the Royal Exchange

In 1774 when the participating members of the insurance arrangement formed a committee and moved to the Royal Exchange in London, they became The Society of Lloyd’s. The Society’s objectives included the promotion of its members’ interests and the collection and dissemination of information amongst members helping them to further dominate the marine insurance industry which indeed they had created.

The first Lloyd’s act was passed in parliament in 1871 and it was this act that gave the Society a firm footing both  commercially and legally and it continued to remain at the heart of the insurance industry, growing in tandem with the industry to eventually become one of the most powerful and well respected organisations in the world today.

In fact in many ways very little of Lloyd’s of London then changed for almost a century and this is even true of their motor insurance risks department. The membership of the society, which was made up in the main of market participants, became the market specialists. Lloyd’s continued to grow, and it’s members continued to flourish, mostly due to the force of economics. Insurance moved from being desirable to essential across just a few centuries. If you were in shipping you needed marine insurance. If you needed marine insurance you got it from Lloyd’s. It was as simple as that.

marine insurance

However, eventually the bubble had to burst. Just under a hundred years after the first Lloyd’s Act had been passed, the membership of Lloyd’s was realised to be too small for the risks that it was underwriting. The Cromer report commissioned in 1968 advocated opening membership options to both non-market participants and crucially to non-British subjects for the first time.

The insurance industry had become a global industry and Lloyd’s had to adapt to survive. In the next article in this series we shall explore the rise of insurance in the US and how they too had to adapt to the globalisation of the industry within the twentieth century.