Winter Driving Tips with @SOS_Car 's Tim Shaw and @IceDriver Andy McKenna! #winterdriving #drivingtips #carsandtech… http://carsandtech.com/winter-driving-tips/ …
With winter now in full force in most of the northern hemisphere we wanted to help those less experienced in winter driving.
We went for help to the web and found many articles and videos. However, we think that the video above best describes the techniques and tips for driving on ice and snow in the winter. Here’s a great video with very useful tips from CAR SOS‘s Tim Shaw and professional ice driver Andrew McKenna.
Useful Winter Driving Tip: Don’t look at the obstacle or you will crash into it! We hope you enjoy it and learn from it. Be safe out there and share this video. You might just save a life or two!
If you have never been icedriving, i can highly recommend it having been twice to Icedriver with Andy and His lovely wife Alison and the rest of the team, they are awesome..
Author: Sian Barton
Source: Insurance Age | 21 Jan 2016
Tags: premium | AA Insurance | motor
AA Index reveals 10% leap over fourth quarter of 2015 and fraud also costs £50 per policy.
Car insurance premiums leapt an average of £59 in the last quarter of 2015 according to the AA British Insurance Premium Index.
The AA said that during the three months the average premium rose by over 10%, the largest increase since 2010.
The provider said that the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) of 9.5% had "piled on the misery" for motorists who have seen the typical cost of cover rise 20% over the past 12 months.
Michael Lloyd, director of AA Insurance, pointed out that the imposition of IPT, which took effect from 1 November 2015, has been responsible for most of the premium increase recorded this quarter, adding out that the average increase would otherwise have been below 7%.
He commented: "We expect premiums to continue to rise though 2016 but not at the exceptional rate recorded over the last quarter of 2015. And the sooner new legislation to tackle whiplash claims becomes enshrined in law, the sooner that will be reflected in the premiums quoted for car insurance."
On average premiums rose 10.4% in the last quarter of 2015 and 20.3% over the full year.
Lloyd also noted that personal injury claims, particularly whiplash continue to "haunt the industry". The organisation estimated that false and exaggerated claims add around £50 to each policy.
Lloyd said: "The UK suffers the unenviable reputation for being the ‘whiplash capital of Europe' with the number of claims continuing to pile in, encouraged by vigorous cold-calling claims firms.
"New legislation proposed by the Chancellor in his Autumn statement and again in January, designed to curb claims activities and weed out spurious and fraudulent injury claims, is some months away from becoming law but are widely welcomed by insurers.
"Meanwhile, the Insurance Fraud Taskforce, to which the AA contributed, has proposed a range of additional measures to help tackle fraud ranging from organised crime to opportunistic attempts to rip off insurers, which has been welcomed by the Government."
The AA advised that research it undertook last year showed that 11% of respondents to a poll of over 20,000 drivers thought it was acceptable to make an insurance claim for injury following a collision, even if no injury was suffered.
Lloyd added: "It's this acceptance that it's OK to defraud insurers that has become endemic. It is stealing and it affects the premiums paid by your friends, your family and your colleagues - those that most wouldn't dream of defrauding."
FFZERO1 Concept: Fully Electric, 1000HP & 200MPH
Could this be the latest tech-fest to take performance cars to another level?StyleThe Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept is a platform to test features that might be incorporated into the brand's forthcoming, electric powered, vehicles. The FFZERO1 Concept is a single seater racer with futuristic, in-your-face, styling. The front incorporates a diffuser which blends into curvaceous side panels. The top – rather than a traditional roof - has a large curved canopy.
Best of Detroit Motor Show
The rear benefits from a rear wing and a prominent, partially transparent, tail fin. The latter improves directional stability and incorporates a display that reports race-relevant data such as driver name, track position plus how much charge is in the battery.
Power & performanceThe Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept is propelled by 4 electric motors, 1 for each wheel. Total power output is 1,000 HP which propels it to 62mph in less than 3 seconds. Top speed is 200mph+.
The motors are fuelled by a series of batteries mounted centrally in the floor. Storing these heavy items low improves handling by lowering the centre of gravity. The lightweight carbon fibre and composite construction play a role too.
The batteries are cooled by channels that enable air to flow internally through the car. They cool the electric motors and reduce aerodynamic drag too.
The FFZERO1 Concept's seat reclines to 45 degrees and supports each leg individually. Its design is inspired by NASA's zero gravity seat concept which provides an: “Unparalleled sense of weightlessness and reduces fatigue”, the manufacturer says.
The motorist is further cosseted by a helmet that supplies oxygen and water. Cabin functions operate courtesy of a tablet-style, touchscreen, interface and movements such as swipe, pinch and tap. Furthermore, the vehicle incorporates augmented reality that – from the driver's perspective – appears to project information onto the road. It might show a line to follow to a destination, for example.
Who is Faraday Future?Faraday Future is based in California, U.S.A., and backed by Chinese money. It has 750 employees from backgrounds such as automotive, technology, energy and aerospace. Key personnel include:
Many thanks and care of http://www.motoring.co.uk/
ARTICLE AUTHORStephen Turvil
POSTEDFri, 22 Jan 2016
click here to read the article
Police fail to investigate tens of thousands of vehicle thefts per-annum preferring to spend limited resources elsewhere.
Police lack the resources to investigate tens of thousands of vehicle thefts per-annum which makes life harder for victims and easier for criminals, Accident Exchange research suggests.
The collision management specialist's freedom of information request data – from 43 of the United Kingdom's 45 police forces – shows that 117,000 vehicles were stolen each year between 2009 and 2014 (on average).
Of these thefts, 30,000 per-annum were not investigated by the authorities even though the estimated yearly value hit £173 million.
This figure is based on the average used value - £5,772 - of a car on Motoring.co.uk.
And it seems the police were less inclined to investigate thefts from businesses as some were considered civil law, rather than criminal issues.
Neil Thomas, Director of Investigative Services at Accident Exchange’s Fraud Investigation Department, said: “If a vehicle owned by a business rather than an individual – such as a fleet vehicle or garage courtesy car – goes missing, frequently the police tend to consider it a civil crime because the business has effectively allowed someone the use of that car.”
It might have been stolen by a person it was loaned to, after all. On this basis, the police might not act as their role relates to criminal actions.
'Not just companies'Accident Exchange’s Neil Thomas added: “Increasing pressure on police forces in the form of budget cuts and overstretched resources means not enough time can be dedicated to the investigation and retrieval of stolen vehicles. But it isn’t just companies that are affected by the findings of our study – a proportion of those thefts not looked into will be private car owners, too.”
The traffic collision specialist continued: “This is further evidence that we need police, insurance firms, law enforcement agencies and private companies to join the dots and collaborate if we are going to truly take the fight to car thieves.”
'Not feasible'Steve White, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, told Police Professional: “Due to years of lowered budgets, responding to every call and investigating every crime is simply no longer feasible.
The police service as a whole has to prioritise what we do and how we do it.”
Mr White continued: “We know that the public expects better of the police - and we believe that every crime matters to the victim, to society and to the law. We will continue to do the best we can with the resources we have”, he said.
ARTICLE AUTHORStephen Turvil
POSTEDFri, 15 Jan 2016
Many thanks to http://www.motoring.co.uk/car-news/car-crime-police-lack-cash-to-investigate-30-000-thefts-a-year_67185?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=motoring-180116-2
Fuel Prices Could Fall To 86p Per-Litre, But Is Fuel Duty About To Be Increased?@HowardCCox @FairFuelUK @quentinwillson @CIPR
UK fuel prices could continue to fall to 86p per-litre but then be stalled or increased by taxation.Fuel prices could continue to fall to 86 pence per-litre but taxation might then halt its progression, the RAC argued.
Petrol and diesel cost 102p/103p per-litre on average, but some supermarkets charge less than 100p.
Naturally, the price on forecourts is linked to the value of crude oil. It has fallen to about $28 per-barrel compared to $115 in June 2014. Standard Chartered – an international bank – suggested the price could fall to $10.
The RAC said $20 per-barrel equates to a forecourt charge of about 90 pence a-litre and $10 to 86 pence (cheaper forecourts).
‘Welcomed landmark’RAC Fuel Spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “With no apparent end in sight to the free-falling price of oil, motorists can expect some really low fuel prices in 2016."
"Breaking through the pound per-litre price point for both petrol and diesel was clearly a welcome landmark.”
However, there is: “A limit to how low prices can go as tax – fuel duty at 57.95p per-litre and VAT on the total price, including fuel duty – make up the lion’s share of the price of a litre.”
He added: “Even if the fuel was given away and the retailers didn’t take a margin, the price of a litre would still be 70p”.
Rise coming in March?Since the 1990s fuel duty rises have hit motorists' wallets hard, with the most significant rise – in the 1993 Conservative budget – adding 10p, coupled with a ‘fuel-price escalator’, which meant the cost of fuel would be increased annually by 3 per cent above inflation in the following years.
After protests in 2000, Gordon Brown all but scrapped the price escalator, although fuel duty still rose in the following years.
More recently, planned rises – such as the 3p rise confirmed in the 2012 budget – have been scrapped.
After a lengthy freeze during the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition, George Osborne failed to mention fuel duty during his Autumn Statement in November 2015. Could he have a planned rise coming in March?
Majority of fuel price is taxMr Williams emphasised: “Every motorist should know that the tax-take at £1 per-litre is 75% - and at 86p per-litre it rises to a staggering 84%. Strangely, this means that VAT alone would be 14p, which would be more than the cost of the fuel and the retailer’s margin.”
He concluded: “Sadly, the Chancellor looks likely to put duty up in the Budget in March for the first time since January 2011. We would urge him not to use lower fuel prices as an opportunity to extract even more tax from the motorist at the pumps”.
Cost to the industryThe price of a barrel of crude oil – as with every product and service – is defined, in part, by supply and demand.
HSBC Chief Executive, Stuart Gulliver, explained: "Major producers are currently delivering 2 to 2.5 million barrels per-day more than demand, so the question is how long they can continue to overproduce for at that level".
Low prices have already had a considerable impact on the industry. The Guardian revealed that 65,000 jobs have been lost in the British offshore oil industry alone (since June 2014).
Furthermore, BP plans to cut a further 4,000 positions and Shell – if it merges with the GB Group – 2,800.
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Article care of motoring.co.uk http://www.motoring.co.uk/car-news/fuel-prices-could-fall-to-86p-per-litre-but-is-fuel-duty-about-to-be-increased-_67207?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=motoring-250115-1
Author: Emmanuel Kenning
Source: Insurance Age | 26 Jan 2016
Tags: ABI | claims | motor | travel | Home insurance
Trade body reveals that 99% of motor claims in 2013 and 2014 were successful.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published the pay-out rates for the most common insurance claims for the first time.
The figures for claims made during 2013 and 2014 cover motor, home and travel insurance.
The trade body said its analysis of pay-out rates was done to help identify where customers may need more help to understand what they are covered for, and reduce the level of declined claims.
It added the step was part of its programme to improve customer trust and increase transparency.
The analysis covered 6.9m claims handled by 19 insurers.
Overall the split was 4.3m motor claims, 1.8m home claims and 800,000 travel claims.
According to the ABI 99% of motor claims were successful, with an average pay-out of £2,160.
Under home insurance, nearly four in five (79%) of policyholders who claimed received a pay-out.
The average pay-out was £2,520, compared to the current average combined buildings and contents annual premium of £290.
The association listed that the main reasons for a claim failing were: wear and tear or damage caused by a lack of maintenance which are not insurable, the claim value being below the policy excess, and not having bought the right cover, such as accidental damage.
Nearly nine in ten (87%) of customers claiming on their travel insurance received a pay-out - on average £884.
Declined claims were mainly due to: cancellation falling outside of the scope of cover, failure to declare a pre-existing medical condition that led to a claim, no substantiation for the loss of items, and the claim being below the policy excess.
Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said: "As insurers, we want our customers to have greater trust in us to pay claims when life gets difficult.
"We cannot earn that trust without being more transparent about how many claims are paid and why a minority of claims are usually declined. That is why the figures we are publishing today are so important."
He added that "contrary to popular belief, insurers want to pay honest claims".
Evans concluded: "It helps nobody when customers have bought the wrong product or have not disclosed important information. So we will use the analysis we are publishing today to drive awareness campaigns to improve even further the acceptance rates for home and travel."
20. Keep a Sock Boxwww.dmvappointments.org
If you ever find yourself trapped on the side of the road in the snow unexpectedly, you should always keep socks in your glove box to put over your shoes. This will help create friction so you don’t slip on the snow/ice and can walk to where you need to go in order receive help. Socks over your shoes can also be helpful if you have to push your car out of a snow bank.
19. Fog-Proof Your Windshieldwww.odometer.com
There’s nothing worse than driving on a cold day and finding your windshield fogging up in the middle of busy traffic. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to solve this problem. All you need to do is wipe down the inside of your windshield with shaving cream and then wipe it clean. You will find that your windshield stays crystal clear no matter what the temperature.
18. Keep Gift Cards for Sticky Situationswomenshealthmag.com
You never know when you might need to call on a friend (or stranger) for some road side assistance in the dead of winter, and let us tell you it can be a real job depending on the situation you’re in. We suggest always having some $5.00 gift cards on hand to give out as a “thank you” for help. You’d be surprised how far showing appreciation can get you.
17. Defrost Naturallywww.doctoroz.com
One way to defrost your windshield naturally is by parking it where it will face the morning sunrise. As the sun rises, the heat will melt the ice and snow, saving you a good few minutes of ice scraping . And believe us when we say, every minute counts in rush hour traffic during the middle of winter.
16. Maintain Wheel Tractionwww.odometer.com
One of the biggest problems when it comes to driving in ice and snow is maintaining wheel traction. Many times your car can begin to “lift off” the ice/snow and start to glide. Therefore, you need to weigh down your vehicle. Some people place weights in their trunk so they can maintain traction and manage to keep stable on the road. Try it out sometime.
15. Simple DIY Ice Scraperthisblewmind.com
If you find yourself with a frozen windshield and no ice scraper, all you need is a credit card. Simply use an edge on the ice and begin to scrape it up and off your windshield. However, if the ice is too thick don’t attempt this as you could break your credit card.
14. Always Drive Defensivelymyimprov.com
Whenever you are driving on the road during the winter season it’s best to be on the defense. While you can trust your own driving skills in the sleet and snow, you can’t be so sure other drivers know what they’re doing. The best thing you can do is be prepared for anything and maintain your distance from other vehicles.
13. Sock Wiper Coverswww.gadgetpics.com
One problem that drivers have during the winter is their windshield wipers becoming frozen to the windshield. Thankfully, we’ve got a simple and cheap solution–socks! All you need to do is slip a sock over each wiper, and you will no longer have to worry about it freezing and becoming damaged. Piece of cake!
12. Avoid Foggy Windshield
Foggy windshields are a real annoyance, especially when they come out of nowhere while driving. The reason this happens is due to the temperature on the inside of the vehicle not matching the outside. However, there is a simple solution–crack your windows. While it may end up being slightly chilly in your car, it can de-fog your windows super quick.
11. Prevent Spinning TiresSpinning tires occurs when your wheels can’t get enough traction on the ice or snow and is a result of not enough weight being put on the surface of the road to make the wheels catch the ice. However, we have a little hack that can solve that problem: cat litter. Placing bags of cat litter into your trunk can help balance out the weight and provide enough traction to prevent your wheels from spinning. Pretty simple, eh?
Or buy a pair of snow socks for your car!
10. Maintain Basic Maintenance
One important factor when you drive during the winter is to keep up on your car’s basic maintenance. You don’t want to find yourself with a flat tire or your engine going kaput. Tires are extremely important to keep up to snuff during the winter months, so if they are balding replace them ASAP.
9. Keep Doors From FreezingIf you don’t want your doors to freeze overnight in the cold weather, simply spray alcohol down the door cracks. The alcohol will prevent ice from forming and keep you on time when it comes to starting your day. You can also utilize alcohol to unfreeze doors after they’ve already frozen shut by simply spraying them down with the alcohol solution.
Also you can rub vaseline on to the rubbers, this makes access easier and stops them tearing.
8. Wax Your HeadlightsPreventing ice from forming on your headlights is actually quite simple. All you need to do is wax down the lights and it will keep ice from freezing onto the lights and cracking them. Easy and effective, your headlights will continue to shine bright even in the worst of storms. You can also wax your entire car to prevent snow build up as well.
7. De-Ice Keyholes
One really easy way to defrost a keyhole is to use hand sanitizer. Yep, it’s true. The alcohol in the sanitizer helps unfreeze the keyhole so you can get your key in and unlock your car. Just squirt some over the hole and insert your key and it will slide right in!
6. Avoid Frosty Mirrors
Frosty and foggy side mirrors can be very dangerous while driving in the snow when there is limited visibility. One way to avoid this is by using plastic bags to cover your side mirrors when you aren’t driving. This will keep ice from freezing over the mirrors and allow you to always have optimal viewpoints while driving.
5. DIY Windshield Wiper Fluid
During the cold winter months, your average windshield wiper fluid isn’t going to cut it. In fact, it can be downright useless and can end up adding another layer to the ice already there. For this homemade solution you mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with one part anti-grease hand soap or detergent. You will be amazed at how well it removes the ice from your windshield.
4. Cover All the BasicsIf you want to avoid an icy windshield–period–we suggest purchasing a windshield cover. A windshield cover will keep the snow off your car throughout the night and will allow you to avoid the oh-so-fun ice scraping the next morning.
3. Keep the Car CleanDuring the winter it’s imperative to keep your car clean (inside and out). A dirty car can become a real pain when dealing with snowstorms and ice, especially if the ice forms over the dirt and traps it on your top coat. This can end up leading to scratches. You also want to make sure all of your fluid levels are topped off so none of your pipes freeze.
2. Tire Chains for Safe Driving
One way to avoid hydroplaning and spinning out on the ice is by installing chains on your tires. These help maintain traction on the snow and ice so you can drive safely through the winter. It’s important that you get tire-specific chains so you don’t tear up your wheels, so always inquire with a professional when installing them.
1. Portable HeaterA portable heater is a great way to maintain a constant temp in your car during the winter, and it also works wonders with defrosting and de-fogging your windows and windshield. These usually are battery-powered and can last anywhere from 15-20 hours. Believe us when we say it can come in handy during especially cold days.
The RAC has seen a 24% year-on-year rise in the number of call-outs to vehicles likely to have suffered damaged due to poor road surfaces.
Data released to coincide with National Pothole Day shows that RAC patrols responded to 5,010 more incidents involving broken shock absorbers, ruined suspension parts and distorted or damaged wheels in 2015, than they did the year before, potentially indicating that poor road surfaces were to blame.
In 2014, patrols dealt with 20,477 of these jobs whereas in 2015 this grew to 25,487.
The single biggest increase recorded was for damaged suspension springs which saw a 42% rise from 13,101 in 2014 to 18,417 last year.
There were also 10% more incidents of damaged wishbones – the part that shock absorbers and springs are fitted to – and a 10% rise in faults with vehicle subframes – the rigid structures under a car which support the engine, drivetrain and suspension.
While East Anglia saw the greatest number of pothole-related call-outs with 4,547, it only ranked third across the UK in terms of percentage increase of these faults with 31%.
The South East was the worst region overall with a 62% rise as a result of 2,686 incidents. The North East, however, was a close third on 30% with 3,783 incidents.
The RAC’s National Pothole Day vehicle damage top five was completed by Scotland which recorded a 27% uplift (2,537 call-outs) in this type of call-out and the Midlands, stretching down to South Wales which saw 19% (3,491).
RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Potholes can wreak havoc with vehicles and are therefore understandably hated by motorists.
“It is very worrying that our patrols have dealt with more pothole-related breakdowns in 2015 than they did the year before because we did not experience a particularly cold winter in either year.
“We know that a number of local authorities increased their spending in 2015 to try to catch up with some of the road maintenance and repair backlog but this evidence indicates that there is still some way to go.
“In the absence of freezing conditions, which are a major cause of potholes, this suggests that some highways authorities are still losing the pothole-repair fight.
“We shall only win the battle once sufficient preventative road surface maintenance is undertaken to prevent potholes appearing when the first bad weather arrives.
“On top of the £6bn already promised, the Chancellor made available further funds in the Autumn Statement and whilst this is still not enough to meet the shortfall, it may hopefully mean we will see a decline in ‘pothole generated breakdowns’ this time next year.”
The latest RAC Report on Motoring found the sorry state of Britain’s local roads to be the number one concern among drivers, with 10% of motorists surveyed saying the condition of local roads was their top concern, while a further 20% listed the issue as one of their top four concerns.
Half (50%) of the 1,555 motorists questioned for the report – now in its 27th year –said the condition of roads in their area had deteriorated in the past 12 months with just 10% claiming it had improved; the remainder reporting no change.
Matt Dyer, managing director of LeasePlan UK, said: “Part of the reason why there are so many potholes, in the first place, is because the roads are aged and decrepit.”
Mark Gibson, head of marketing and business development at Alphabet, added: “We urge drivers to conduct basic diligence in carrying out preventative measures to avoid potholes and uneven road surfaces on main and local roads.
“Until a solution has been set, drivers must be vigilant and take the necessary precautions."
Report a pothole on the Government website, by clicking here.
Author: Larry Ferguson
Source: Insurance Age | 14 Jan 2016
Tags: NIG | Underwriting
Jobs will be lost at the insurer's underwriting centres in offshoring move.
NIG will reduce staff numbers by 71 across its Bristol and Manchester underwriting centres in a bid to cut costs and move non-voice processes to India.
It announced 40 roles will be affected in Bristol where staff numbers will reduce from 75 to 35.
The insurer will also scale back the number of roles in Manchester from 60 down to 29.
NIG said it is also proposing to restructrure its e-trade centre in Peterborough and the underwriting centre management team although there will be no redundancies there.
It has launched a consultation process that will last for a minimum of 45 days before any redundancies are made.
Jon Greenwood, managing director of commercial, commented: "Like any prudent business we continue to explore all the options available to manage our costs more effectively.
"To this end, in NIG we are off-shoring some of our non-voice processes to India from the Manchester and Bristol Underwriting Centres, reducing the size of both UK teams."
"We have begun a collective consultation process. Voluntary redundancy will be offered to all those in underwriting roles and we will also work with employees to identify any redeployment opportunities
In Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review and Autumn Statement, a number of reforms to the handling of personal injury claims were introduced, including:
The reforms have thus far been met by a mixed response, ranging from them being regarded as a 'significant breakthrough'[i] and a 'tangible reform'[ii] to 'undermining ordinary people's ability to access justice'[iii]. Supporters of the reforms see them as a necessary step required to stand up for the consumer against fraudsters, whilst those who oppose the reforms fear that they will limit access to justice and penalise innocent victims of injury. There is also a worry that the reforms will increase the number of litigants in person in Court whose claims will fall outside of the RTA Portal process and who are unable to afford legal representation, resulting in an increased burden on the Courts. Indeed, such concerns surrounding the safeguards protecting genuine Claimants resulted in the Government ruling out an increase in the small claims track limit only two years ago.
A petition to keep the small claims track limit for personal injury claims to the current £1,000 has been set up and has so far attracted over 21,000 signatories. Should this reach 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
The impact of the proposed reforms on the MOJ Claims Portal which itself was only introduced in 2010, is not yet known. However, plans for development in April and December 2016 including the introduction of the User Pays functionality (meaning the Portal will apply a charge to Claimant representatives using the Portal at the point of submitting a new Claims Notification Form) and the ability to transfer claims in bulk between organisations, have been put on hold whilst a Government consultation on the proposed changes takes place in early 2016.
In addition, another of the Government's reforms on whiplash claims has also been postponed by two months. The MOJ has extended the accreditation deadline for medical experts signing up to the MedCo scheme from 1 February to 6 April this year. MedCo was previously set up in late 2014 as a response to the Government's call for the random sourcing of medical reports in soft tissue injury claims brought under the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents. Following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, MedCo were assured by the MoJ that the legal requirement to use their system to source medical reports in such cases has not been changed by the policy decisions announced in the Autumn Statement and the MedCo system remains an integral part of the Government’s reform programme.
The proposed reforms were also due to be considered at the end of 2015 by the Insurance Fraud Taskforce. The Taskforce, which was set up in December 2014 to investigate the causes of fraudulent behaviour and recommend solutions to reduce the level of insurance fraud, with a view to lowering costs and protecting honest consumers' interests, is expected to give its recommendations for reducing bogus claims in a report any day now. It was previously suggested that the Taskforce would also re-examine the three year limitation period for making a whiplash claim as a result of the MoJ being pressed to commit to a 12 month threshold for such a claim being presented. In addition, there have been calls for the Government to require Claimants to seek medical help within a week of an accident to be eligible to make a claim, possibly another point for the Taskforce's consideration.
CommentIt has yet to been seen whether the reforms proposed in the Autumn Statement will tackle fraud and reduce insurance costs in the manner envisaged. However it is clear that, in the short time since the reforms were announced, they have sparked much debate and already had an impact on pending developments to personal injury claims handling. Whatever the outcome, it is apparent that changes to the compensation culture are at the forefront of the Government's mind and it is no doubt inevitable that claims handling in lower value and soft tissue injury type claims is yet again facing a marked transformation.
Author: Emmanuel Kenning
Source: Insurance Age | 14 Jan 2016
Categories: Insurer, Broker
Tags: motor | personal lines | IPT
Research cites higher repair costs and IPT rise.
Comprehensive car insurance premiums rose 6.9% in the final quarter of 2015 according to research by Confused.com in association with Willis Towers Watson.
The Car Insurance Price Index revealed that the motorists now pay on average £78, or 13.2%, more than one year ago - the biggest annual rise recorded by the Index since 2011.
The findings were based on price data compiled from almost two million customer quotes and showed that the average premium for an annual comprehensive car insurance policy has now reached £672.
The cost of third party, fire and theft policies has risen at a similar pace, with prices also going up by 6.9% in the last quarter, increasing the average quoted premium by £73 to £1129 - an annual increase of 16.8%.
The rises have reversed three years of falling premiums.
Stephen Jones, UK head of P&C pricing at Willis Towers Watson, said: "The recent increase to Insurance Premium Tax along with inflationary pressures on claims costs, especially to vehicle damage repair costs, have been the major factors driving up prices.
"Even though improved vehicle safety features will very likely reduce claims frequency in the longer term, the immediate effect of installing expensive accident avoidance technology - often positioned in those parts of the car most vulnerable to impact damage - is higher repair costs."
Younger drivers aged between 17 and 20 benefited from the lowest increases in the last 12 months, with female drivers in this age group experiencing annual price rises of 3.9% to £1558 for comprehensive car insurance.
Almost every other age group faced double-digit increases, with female drivers aged over 71 hit hardest with a 19% annual rise in prices to £360.
The cost of comprehensive car insurance rose across all regions, but drivers in Northern Ireland were worst off with their insurance premiums rising on average by 18% over the last year, an increase of £125 to £810.
Steve Fletcher, head of data services at Confused added: "Last year gave motorists a tumultuous ride, hitting them with consistent price rises and an increase in Insurance Premium Tax, both of which would have considerably dented their pockets. We're now in a position where average premiums are at the highest we've seen them since mid-2013.
"Unfortunately for motorists, we've now seen 11 consecutive months with no premium decreases, which would suggest that the trend is likely to continue. If this is to be the case, we would expect the average comprehensive cover premium to soon exceed the £858 per year high we saw during 2011."
The Home Office have recently released a report that shows vehicle crime is now the lowest it has been in the UK since records began in 1981. Advances in car security have undoubtedly played a large role in this reduction. Modern number plate recognition systems, alarms and trackers act as a deterrent to the less adept thief or vandal, while making it increasingly more difficult for organised gangs.
This reduction is even more impressive when you consider the increase in vehicles on our roads over this time period. There are approximately 8 Million more vehicles on the road today than just over twenty years ago, but break-ins are at just a quarter of what they were, 10 in every 1000, as appose to 40 in every thousand in 1993, and thefts are nearly at one sixth of what they where, now 3 in every 1000 compared to 20 in every 1000 previously.
- See more at: http://www.partsgateway.co.uk/pgtimes/car-crime-hits-new-low#sthash.lEgNSbjK.dpuf
Author: Sian Barton
Source: Insurance Age | 04 Jan 2016
Tags: SME | Storm | Flooding
PwC estimates that costs of storms Eva, Desmond and Frank could top £3bn as flooding impacts SME businesses.
Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank hit the UK in quick succession over the holidays causing floods and damage to homes and businesses.
Mohammad Khan, general insurance leader at PwC, said the full impact of the three storms combined had not yet been fully assessed but noted: "The effects of continuing torrential weather are set to hit parts of the UK even harder.
"Our latest estimates now suggest that economic losses due to Storms Eva and Desmond will be £1.6 billion - £2.3 billion, with insured losses of between £900m - £1.2bn."
He added: "However, these projections do not include any government spend on flood defences which we understand may be between £2.3bn and £2.8bn. Also, these estimates do not currently include the impact of Storm Frank."
Khan also noted that the storms were unusual "in that there have been a significantly greater proportion of commercial insurance claims compared to personal lines insurance claims".
Traditionally, commercial lines insurance claims have made up approximately 10% - 30% of the total insured loss claim, but based on what PwC has observed in the market, commercial lines insurance claims will make up about 50% of the total insurance claims.
PwC said that far more businesses have been affected this time because the floods have hit far more towns and cities and therefore impacted more SME businesses that have commercial property insurance.
PwC said that it expects to see business interruption insurance pay out more than in previous years.
However, Khan pointed out: "Unfortunately, many of the smaller and family-run businesses that have been impacted by Eva and Desmond will not have commercial insurance in place due to the impact of the recession and lower business volumes in recent years.
"Many of these businesses will have made the economic decision not to purchase insurance. For many of these businesses the impact of the recent storms and floods will mean they will have to protect themselves against the prospect of insolvency."
This series of storms is also likely to impact more people without insurance. Khan advised that more SME businesses without insurance have been affected by the three storms and predicted that businesses and councils will have to pay between 35% and 50% of the total economic losses suffered due to Storms Eva and Desmond - about £700m - £1.1bn. This does not include the additional cost of repairs and any further building on Flood Defences which may be in the order of £2bn.
Car insurers paid out £2.41bn less in 2014 than in 2010, according to figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
It reports that motor insurers paid out £8.3bn in 2010 compared to £5.9bn last year.
And the numbers should make even better reading in the future following the commitment made by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his Autumn Statement to reduce fraudulent minor injury claims.
Government figures say that minor injury claims cost the insurance industry about £2bn each year. By banning compensation for minor whiplash injuries and increasing the threshold from £1,000 to £5,000 for personal injury lawyers to take cases to the small claims court, that figure is expected to come down to £1bn.
Aviva CEO Mark Wilson said Osborne’s changes would ‘end the fraud pandemic’, but personal injury lawyers Thompson Solicitors believes motor insurers have exaggerated the problem.
However, Thompsons Solicitors says claims costs for insurers have been falling significantly in the last five years, but exaggerations of a whiplash claims problem has been used to ‘attack the rights of honest motorists’ and meant huge profits and dividend windfalls for the major motor insurers and their shareholders.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons, said, ‘Most of the car insurers are making record profits and seeing their share prices hit records highs, outperforming the rest of the stock market.
‘Meanwhile, premiums have increased 9.2 per cent in the last year, and motorists are threatened with legal changes that will mean they will either see less compensation because they will have to pay for their lawyer from their damages or they will have to take on insurers on their own if they are unfortunate enough to suffer a road accident.
‘On the evidence of the past few years, the government’s legal changes will deliver only one thing – a continued profits bonanza for the car insurers.’
Cuvva, a burgeoning startup based in Scotland, is solving a problem that I didn’t know existed: the need to insure a car for as little as an hour.
Sure, one day or temporary car insurance has been around for yonks, but the Edinburgh-headquartered company think it’s spotted a gap in the market by offering hourly car insurance sold through its iOS mobile app — with typical users wanting to borrow or drive a friend’s or family member’s car at extremely short notice and only for a few hours.
“In the U.K. especially it is really difficult to borrow a car from a friend or family member at short notice because you need to arrange to be covered by the insurance policy the owner holds on the car,” Cuvva co-founder and CEO Freddy Macnamara tells me. “With Cuvva all you need to do once signed up is enter the licence plate of the car you want to drive and tap pay.”
That sounds simple enough — and plays into the on-demand narrative currently dominant in the tech industry — but the sign up process, which is used to verify the person wishing to be insured is who they say they are and has a full driving license, is a little more involved.
Macnamara tells me you’re required to give the Cuvva app permission to query the DVLA (the U.K. driving license issuer) database on your behalf, which would flag up any potential problems, as well as upload a photo of your driving license and a selfie taken through the app. This way the startup can issue your insurance almost immediately.
It’s also possible — and means Cuvva can out execute legacy insurance companies built on older technology — because the DVLA has recently opened up its data in the form of an API, which the startup has been able to build on top of.
Competitors cited by Macnamara include several web-based providers of temporary motor insurance, such as Tempcover, DayInsure, and Sky Insurance, who are the current market incumbents.
“Due to its comparative flexibility Cuvva hourly can be viewed as competitive on price with these offerings, however its real utility is its ease of use – removing the cognitive overhead inherent in “just” borrowing a car in the same way that Uber has affected customer attitudes to getting a taxi,” he says.
Meanwhile, to help grow the business over the next 12 months, Cuvva has raised £400,000 in seed funding from an Edinburgh-based private angel syndicate.
#Gangsters are moving across the country stripping Vauxhall Corsas for parts; atleast 500 stripped so far.
Have you been affected by the bad weather and have flood damage to your vehicle or property?
It is a very distressing time, and you often may react differently than the way you may normally do.
It is at times like these when you will really realize the benefits of insurance.And also the time when you find out whether your insurer is any good or not.
Even though i specialize in car insurance claims, i am going to right a guide to assist in how to claim for both.
It is a very distressing time, and one my parents have just recently experienced,due to this i wanted to help everyone through what may appear a complicated procedure.
As you can see, we got hit quite badly.
The first thing to do in an event like this, is make sure your safe. I Cannot stress the importance of knowing where the electrical isolation switch is for your house.If you are aware in advance, i would suggest unplugging everything and taking to higher ground.And then turn your electric off if the water is flooding your house.
If the water HAS flooded your house, make sure your wearing wellingtons,and preferably rubber gloves, and turn your electric of at the mains switch.
My parents woke up to being flooded, and were very shocked by it,my father was only wearing shorts at the time, and on his bare skin touching the water succeeded in giving himself a few electric shocks on trying to turn the plug socket off near him whilst he was stood in the water.
So be careful, my father would not normally have done something as daft as that,and was clearly in shock and not thinking the way he normally would.
If you have been made aware through flood warnings, kit yourself up, torches a necessity,but also get your suitcases out and pack some clothes just in case.
Contact your insurer.
Before it floods, if you are aware, make sure your documents are accessible.
Make a note of the "emergency numbers" and save them on your phone, along with the claims number.
It may be worth while contacting your insurer BEFORE it floods to see if they can help provide flood defense's , sandbags ect.
It surprises me that insurer's are not pro-active in doing this, as it would save them a fortune.
Read your policy thoroughly, and check to see what you are covered for, and more importantly what your not.
Check to see what your excess amount is..(this is the first amount of any claim you must pay).
Making a claim
Contact your insurer, and they should make arrangements to get someone to assist you, to clear up and dry the property out.
Before you do anything in the house, i would suggest you do this to assist in your claim with the insurer.
1 Take lots of photos , start of from outside from whilst it is flooded to show the extent of flooding. Up and down your street and road.
The image from the front of your house,and walking into it, to show the extent and depth of floodwater, and also the colour.
2 Go room by room, photograph all round the room before you have moved anything , or cleaned everything.
Most people, if not everyone wants to just get stuck in and start clearing...it is much better to document everything first before you do this.
3 When the water has subsided, take the same photo's as above to show the difference, photograph any tidemarks.
4 Make a list, start in one room, have someone photograph every item, have some right a list as the photograph is taken so they match up.
5 Make a note of the make model, serial number of everything!!!!.
6 Do not miss the obvious, carpets, sofa's ,wall paper, walls, underlay, skirtings, tables, chairs...dead easy to forget them, as they are big , and you may not think about them.
Hallway, threshold,inner doors and frames, mantle pieces,ect..
7 Go through all your electrical items, and bag them up room by room, whilst you list them.
8 Doing this will really really help the loss adjuster's , and makes their lives much easier.They will have loads of house's to do, so the easier you make their lives, the faster your claim will be processed.
9 Make sure the claim is registered, take the names of everyone you speak too, whom they are, what they do, and the contact numbers you spoke to them on.
10 Keep a diary of all the above.
11 Type your list up, and save as a separate document.
12 Do A covering letter, or include it having the list below, and give a synopsis of the house and the local area and flood history.
13 Save all the information on a memory stick or cloud based system,keep copies, but also send to your insurer through your loss adjuster.
14 Your insurer should be making moves in drying your house out, determining a plan of work, so give them a few days from sending the information, and chase up.
15 At this stage the insurer may advise the claim is on without prejudice basis, this means they will act, but may not accept the claim. They want to make sure you have been truthful i the information provided at the inception of the policy. Once they are happy that everything is as it should be , they will accept the claim and authorise works.
16 Make the insurer aware of your financial status, and whether or not you can afford to rent an alternative place your self in the interim.If you have the appropriate cover in place, they should do everything for you in sourcing and paying for alternative accommodation.
If you do all the above,things should move smoothly, and it will then up to you to pay your excess, this may be too a trader person or the insurer.Keep a note of all trades people who work on your property , and ask for copies of they work they have been instructed to do.
Hopefully , things should now be moving in the right direction,, if you get stuck and need assistance , i will give free advice to anyone.
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