News

Training To Be The Next Olympian? You’d Better Make Sure You’re Insured

The Rio Olympics are shining a spotlight on the best and most successful athletes in the world as they compete to win Gold medals for themselves and for the country. However it’s not always world records that get shattered, as illustrated by French gymnast Ait Said’s bone-breaking injury. Injuries such as this can spell the end of an athlete or sportsperson’s career, but what happens when your source of income is cut off unexpectedly? This is where insurance comes in.

A lot of training and effort goes into sport and a sporting career is extremely reliant on health and fitness. If you were to fall ill or suffer an injury, it could cause you to fall behind on your training and miss vital games and competitions, hurting your career opportunities. If you are a professional athlete, missing tournaments could result in missed prize-money as well as making you less attractive to sponsors. Finally, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer a career-ending injury, you could suddenly find yourself without a source of income. (more…)

The Retailers Who Shopped Their Employees

Sports Direct Founder Mike Ashley denies all knowledge of Sports Directs working environment while Phillip Green is demanding financial compensation after what he claims to be slanderous comments from Labour MP Frank Field. It’s been a rocky few months for British Retail, and an eye opener for fair treatment of employees.

“It’s a bad example, but it’s not the only example.”

These were the words of Iain Wright, Chairman of the Business Innovation & Skills Select Committee, when talking on a Sky News interview about their report that went behind the scenes to the ruthless working world of Sports Direct, a world that founder Mike Ashley claims to have no knowledge of.

And he’s quite right, because details of staff getting paid below minimum wage and giving birth in the disabled toilet land on our news feeds only a short time after BHS crumbled, with Phillip Green facing questions of why the British retailer went from a pension fund of £43 million surplus to £354 million deficit in the space of 15 years. (more…)

Why Bad Reviews Can Sometimes Be Good For Business

Negative reviews are an unfortunate inevitability—some customers just cannot be pleased. That is fine, as long as you approach negative reviews with the right mindset. While it may seem counter-intuitive, negative reviews can be beneficial to the overall well-being of your company.

Negative reviews are thought of as holes in the hull of a ship—receive one too many and your ship sinks. Yet, negative reviews provide your company with a certain level of credibility, as 68 per cent of customers trust a collection of reviews more when they see both positive and negative comments, according to a study done by review site, Reevoo. In fact, negative reviews are three times more popular than the most complimentary reviews. When customers are already interested in the product or service, they want to know why it may be a poor investment. (more…)

Learning From The Panama Papers

Published in April of this year, the Panama Papers—a collection of 11.5 million documents that provide information on the identities of shareholders and directors of more than 214,000 offshore companies—represent one of the largest data breaches in history. The information contained in these documents is concerning, since an offshore company, sometimes called a ‘tax haven’, can help investors deposit large sums of money that are exempt from taxes. The breach not only highlighted the value of a robust cyber security system, but how a lack of transparency in business contributes to corruption.

Corporate transparency is vital to the long-term well-being of companies of all sizes, as it builds a rapport with the public, shareholders, investors and even the government. However, as the Panama Papers illustrated, corruption can undermine that rapport. In fact, according to a report published by Eversheds, a multinational law firm, 80 per cent of executives have seen bribes and corruption within their firms. Companies that are desperate to remain competitive within their industries may be willing to take any measure to get ahead. However, in order to mitigate the temptation to succumb to corruption and bribery, companies must adhere to the Bribery Act 2010 and adopt a risk-based approach to managing those types of risks. (more…)

Declare Pre-existing Medical Conditions Or Risk Invalidating Travel Cover

More than 1 in 10 Britons with pre-existing medical conditions fail to declare their conditions to their insurers and risk invalidating their travel insurance policies, according to new insight from MoneySuperMarket.

The analysis found that nearly half of holidaymakers have pre-existing medical conditions they are required to declare to their travel insurance providers, but only 85 per cent of them actually comply. Of the remaining travellers, reasons for failing to disclose pre-existing conditions included the following:

  • Thirty-three per cent wanted a cheaper policy.
  • Twenty per cent said their insurers never asked them.
  • Forty-five per cent claimed their conditions had not caused any symptoms lately.
  • Twenty-nine per cent did not know they needed to inform their insurers.

(more…)

5 Tips For The Perfect BBQ

The following barbecue tips can help you take advantage of lingering summer temperatures before autumn descends:

  1. Invest in the proper kit. If you prefer to grill your meat directly over a heat source without having to wait for the coals to heat up, invest in a gas barbecue. For indirect heat, consider a charcoal barbecue.
  2. Ensure you’re cooking food at the right temperature. If you’re using a charcoal barbecue, make sure your coals are white-hot.
  3. Plan ahead. Purchase quality, fresh ingredients.
  4. Stay safe. Keep the barbecue on even ground and away from your home, garage, overhanging trees and fences.
  5. Check your home insurance cover. Make sure you’re covered for fire damage to any outbuildings or garden equipment as well as for injuries to guests or damage to their belongings.

To ensure you’re fully covered, give us a call at 01444 810 088.

Keep Calm and Hold Your Nerve: A Brexit Update for Businesses

Brexit is poised to bring significant changes to nearly every aspect of the nation, and while it is still too soon to know whether the long-term effects will be positive or negative, UK businesses have already begun to feel the strain. In July, BDO, an accountancy and services firm, published its Business Trends Report, which is a weighted average of Britain’s main business surveys. The survey revealed that the business optimism score, which predicts growth over the next six months, fell from 99.4 in May to 98.9 in June, while the figure for predicted output fell from 99.7 in May to 99.0 in June. While these shifts may seem minute, they actually signal that business sentiment in Britain has fallen to a three-year low.

Unfortunately, until Britain can accurately identify and address the effects of Brexit, the economic climate is not expected to greatly improve. However, that is not to say that it will continue to get worse. The only statement that can be made definitively is that change, whether for the better or worse, is on the horizon. While the prospect of change is generally coloured by uncertainty and unease, your company needs to remain calm—now is not the time to panic. Instead, stay smart and judicious to avoid getting caught up in needless hysteria. (more…)

Motor Cover Premiums Climb 20 Per Cent

Motorists can expect to pay an average of £115 more for a comprehensive motor insurance policy than they did just 12 months ago, according to the most recent Confused.com car insurance price index—a staggering 19.2 per cent increase. Furthermore, motorists are paying approximately 6 per cent more now than they did in the first quarter of 2016. The rise has been attributed to the higher cost of repairing vehicles fitted with complex, expensive technology.

These yearly and quarterly price increases bring the average quoted premium for an annual comprehensive motor insurance policy to £715. This is sure to affect the wallets of many drivers when combined with escalating petrol prices and last year’s insurance premium tax hike. (more…)

Beyond The Basics: Pokémon Go

Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings to Stay Safe

Pokémon Go—a location-based, free-to-play game for iOS and Android smartphones—has been encouraging players to get outside and walk around. However, players should be fully aware of how the game works in order to ensure that they remain safe at all times.

Pokémon Go uses a smartphone’s SAT NAV and gyroscope sensors to determine a player’s location. The game then uses that information to display Pokémon near the player, through the phone’s camera. The game also marks popular locations, such as parks, memorials and other frequently visited areas, as places where players can compete with each other and gather free in-game items.

The game has proven to be extremely popular with a variety of age groups, with more than 7.5 million downloads in its first week of availability. However, its focus on travelling to new locations and the constant need to look down at a phone to play presents a variety of risks to players. (more…)