Liam Benson

Black Friday: Explained!

Imported into the UK from our American cousins, Black Friday is a bargain-filled shopping bonanza which kicks off the annual pre-Christmas retail frenzy. For retailers it can be both a blessing and a curse, offering the chance to boost profits – but at what cost?

What is Black Friday?
Annual retail holiday Black Friday falls the day after Thanksgiving in the US. In recent years it has become the biggest shopping day of the year in the UK too.

How did it start? And when did it come to Britain?
Though nobody really knows for sure how it got its name, retail folklore suggests it comes from the day marking when retailers go from being ‘in the red’ to ‘in the black’. Coined in the 1960s to kick off the Christmas shopping trading period, the day has recently been adopted by UK retailers after Amazon UK started offering deals in 2010 and Asda, which is owned by American giant Walmart, held its first Black Friday sale in 2013. (more…)

10 Christmas Jobs Which Take Longer Than Checking Your Insurance

There is something about Christmas that makes most of us want to cram in as many tasks as humanly possible, so that we can guarantee ourselves and those around us a memorable Christmas.

But such is life and all its unpredictability that your Christmas can become memorable for the wrong reasons; a broken boiler, stolen presents, storm damage and anything else the season of good will might throw at you.

This is why it’s important to make sure that your insurance is still as relevant in the winter season as it was when you first arranged it, especially in the lead up to Christmas when your home contents value is likely to go up as fast as you buy presents. (more…)

Insuring Your Christmas

Leaving empty boxes for expensive presents out in the street and having fairy lights on all hours are two risks which you’re unlikely to come across any other time of the year.

So before you set about splashing the cash and raising a glass to good health, check to see whether your insurance is enough to cover your financial wellbeing this Christmas.

House fires
House fires are a big risk in December, so make sure that your sums insured is up to date. Buildings insurance should cover the cost of rebuilding your home entirely, including planning and architecture costs.

Double check that this figure is current and not based on your home’s market value. If it’s not enough, you might get far less in the event of a claim, even if just one room is affected by fire damage, as your property will be underinsured as a whole. (more…)

GDPR as a Positive Opportunity: The Easy Path to Compliance

On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in the EU and across the United Kingdom. The GDPR replaces the Data Protection Act (DPA) and ushers in expanded rights to individuals and their data, and places greater obligations on businesses and other entities that process personal data.

Even though GDPR compliance may seem like a daunting task, instead think of it as a positive opportunity. In fact, experts have argued that the GDPR is—in fact—a marketing opportunity. While competitors fret over how to comply, be proactive by cleaning your prospecting list, which will allow for targeted marketing that builds trust. (more…)

How the Great British Bake Off Threatens Kitchens

Although the Great British Bake Off recently wrapped up its eighth series, it’s still inspiring people to try their hands at delicious baked goods. However, along with the influx of people in the kitchen has come a swift increase in the number of fires. In fact, there has been a 114 per cent increase in claims for cooking-related fires while the Great British Bake Off airs, according to industry research. (more…)

Winter-proof Your Home to Keep Cosy

Winter will be here soon, and with it comes the threat of severe weather that can wreak havoc on your home. High winds can loosen roof tiles, colder temperatures can freeze water pipes and heavy rainfall can result in flood damage. As the Met Office has already predicted record-breaking rainfall this winter, now is the time to winter-proof your house. (more…)

4 Top Tips for Saving Money During the Festive Season

As the festive season approaches, be sure to use these four tips to save money during one of the most expensive times of the year:

  1. Set a budget. On average, a household spends £500 on Christmas, which includes food, presents, travel and decorations. While you may spend more or less than that, it’s important that you review how much you spent in previous years. After you know that, you can break down how much you need to save each month.
  2. Figure out how much you will need to save each month. Even with a budget, you need to be smart about how much you should save from each pay cheque. You don’t want to set aside too much to the point that it becomes detrimental to your other necessary expenses. In addition, consider starting a collection jar for all your loose change.

  3. Reconsider your traditions. Take a look at your traditions to see where you can save some money. For example, if you send out Christmas cards every year, send a digital card to save money. Alternatively, if you want to still mail out a card, you can use second-class stamps.

  4. Decide where you store your savings. It’s important to know where you keep your festive season savings so you don’t accidently spend some or all of it. You can open a separate bank account or keep it tucked away somewhere safe at home.

5 Halloween Safety Tips

While spooky ghouls and creepy ghosts scare the kids, more serious health risks and crime rates worry adults at Halloween.

Whether you’re trick or treating with the kids, attending a bonfire or staying firmly indoors, your home, family and business are all exposed to some seriously scary risks during Halloween.

Some local police services report antisocial crime rates increasing by over 50% at this time of year, with criminal damage arrests doubling at Halloween.

While spooky ghouls and creepy ghosts scare youngsters, adults should watch out for these 5 dangers to stay safe this October…

Flammable costumes
Children’s fancy dress costumes are treated as toys under current safety standards. During testing, outfits are set alight in controlled conditions. The flame must not spread faster than 3cm per second.

Anything with a burning rate between 1cm and 3cm per second must carry a label saying: ‘Warning! Keep away from fire.’ Those that pass can carry a CE safety
marking, although there is growing concern that these can be easily faked.

Try to find costumes from reputable sources which have passed fire safety testing, or
make your own outfits from natural fibres. Always keep children away from naked

Watch out for kids
Bear in mind that children will be out and about at night, trick or treating. Drive slowly and carefully, especially in residential areas, and be aware that children are likely to dart into the road or act unpredictably.

If you are chaperoning a group around town, decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers, and have children carry torches or glowsticks for extra

Fireworks at home
You may be celebrating with some sparklers or fireworks at home. Never keep fireworks in the house, instead store in a secure garage or garden. Do not light
fireworks inside the home, and never attach them to sheds or outbuildings. While fire is a standard home insurance risk, your policy wording will tell you
whether your garden and its contents would be covered if they were damaged by rogue fireworks.

Anti-social behaviour
Increasingly associated with the Halloween and Bonfire Night period, many communities increase a rise in vandalism, property damage and anti-social

Ensure your home or business premises are made secure, locking doors and windows and protecting. Stay vigilant to dangerous behaviour, reporting suspicious
activity to the police.

Opportunist thieves
Using the cover of darkness, the noise of fireworks and the high chance you’ll be out at a party to commit crime, burglaries can spike without adequate protection and forward planning.

Deter opportunist thieves from your business by closely following closedown procedures, storing combustible materials safely away from buildings and clearing
away outside rubbish.

At home, make sure it looks like someone is home even when you aren’t by leaving lights and a radio on. Security lights and audible alarms can also deter thieves.

If the worst should happen, you may need to call on your home or business insurance. Check your policy wording beforehand to make sure you’ve complied with
all the small print.