News

Penalties Double For Using Mobiles While Driving

On 1st March, the penalties for using a mobile while driving doubled. Now, if you are caught using your mobile while behind the wheel, you will receive six points and a £200 fine. For new drivers that have been driving for less than two years, this means that their licences will be revoked and that they must retake their practical and theory.

The significant penalty increase is in response to the large number of people that are killed and seriously injured every year as a result of a driver using a mobile—in 2015, such accidents killed 22 people and seriously injured 99.

When Can I Use My Mobile Behind the Wheel?
Review the following guidance to ensure you follow the rules and avoid the consequences.

  • Cannot: You are not allowed to check social media or texts if you are queuing in traffic or stopped at traffic lights.
  • Cannot: You are not allowed to answer your mobile while driving. However, if your mobile is connected by Bluetooth, you can answer the call, but you should keep the conversation brief.
  • Can: You can listen to music or podcasts on your mobile as long as it is in a hands-free holder or connected by Bluetooth.
  • Can: You can use sat nav on your mobile as long as it is mounted in a hands-free holder.
  • Can: You can pull over to check your mobile as long as you are safely parked with the engine switched off in a lay-by.

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The Gender Pay Gap

On 28th January, the final draft of the gender pay gap regulations were published. Under the new regulations, if your company employs at least 250 staff members, you will be required to disclose the pay gap between your male and female employees. These amounts must be made publicly available on your company’s website for at least three years. However, whilst the regulations come into force on 6th April 2017, you will not have to publish your company’s findings until 30th April 2018.

But, that does not mean that your company should wait until 2018 to take any action, as you will be responsible for compiling data starting 5th April 2017. Your company should begin preparing now in order to ensure that you are able to adequately capture the following six pieces of information that you will need to include in your report: (more…)

Choose Bespoke Cover, Not Cheap Boilerplate Cover

In general, the more comprehensive and thorough a policy is, the more protected your business will be. Despite the security that an extensive policy can provide, only 38 per cent of SMEs ranked a policy’s scope as being the top influencer when choosing a new policy, according to recent industry research. Instead, a majority of the surveyed SMEs ranked the cost of a policy as the most important factor. Whilst the cost of a policy is an important consideration, focusing solely on cost could expose your business to potential risks—such as under-insurance and unnecessary add-ons. (more…)

UK Companies’ Top 3 Risks in 2017

Each new year brings with it a collection of challenges for businesses to overcome, and 2017 is no different. That is why your company needs to be adequately prepared for this year’s forecast, which includes digital threats and shifting economic conditions. According to a recent industry survey, the following three risks are the most significant and worrisome that UK companies of all sizes will be confronted with this year: (more…)

How To Successfully Submit a Pothole Claim

In 2016, UK drivers submitted a claim for pothole damage every 17 minutes, which amounted to more than 31,500 claims, according to research collected by the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring. Potholes can be a particularly dangerous hazard for drivers, as they can cause buckled wheels, cracked tyres and alloys, and knock out the tracking and wheel balancing. These potential damages are costly as well, since the average value of a claim was £432.

Unfortunately, councils paid out only 26.9 per cent of claims—leaving a majority of motorists to pay out of pocket for the damages. Your chances of a successful pothole claim increase dramatically if somebody has already reported the pothole, as councils are only liable for defects if they knew they were there. (more…)

The Pitfalls Of Property Sharing

Nearly 80,000 British homeowners earn supplemental income through the use of property sharing services, such as Airbnb. However, by letting out available rooms, these homeowners may be breaking or even invalidating the terms of their leases or mortgages as well as their insurance policies, according to a ruling from the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).

In general, most leases have a condition that states that the property cannot be used for any purpose other than a private residence. This means that by letting out available rooms to paying guests, leaseholders could be in violation of that condition and at risk of breaking their lease. (more…)