Personal Lines

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…)

Simple Steps to a Fuel-efficient Car

Instead of scouring your area looking for the cheapest petrol and diesel prices, follow these five simple steps to help you save on fuel costs year round:

  1. Remove the roof racks and boxes. Without any roof racks or boxes to slow it down, your car becomes more aerodynamic, which can save you as much as 20 per cent annually on fuel.
  2. Slow down. Depending on how fast you are driving, slowing down by even 10mph could save you anywhere from 10 to 25 per cent.
  3. Service your car. Be sure to have your car regularly serviced in order to ensure that the engine along with the car’s other mechanical parts continue to run efficiently.
  4. Drive sensibly. Remain aware of other drivers, the road conditions and the surrounding environment. By doing so, you can reduce how often you accelerate and how hard you break—both of which can help reduce the amount of fuel used.
  5. Clean out your car. A lighter car uses less fuel, so be sure to clean out any unnecessary items in your boot.

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7 Tips for Lowering Energy Costs

We’re in the depths of winter, meaning skin is dry and energy costs are high. To ensure that your savings don’t go down as you turn the heat up, follow these seven energy tips:

  1. Turn the thermostat down. If you lower the temperature by just two degrees, Energy UK estimates you could save about £85 per year.
  2. Inspect window and door seams. While it may seem airtight, there could actually be a draft seeping around the frame. By sealing up these leaks, you could save £25 to £50 per year.
  3. Perform maintenance on your boiler. Like any other piece of machinery, your boiler can benefit from annual maintenance to clear out build-up, lubricate fans, change filters and tighten fan belts. On average, this could save you at least 10 per cent on your heating bills.
  4. Limit hot water use. Limit your showers to about 10 minutes to avoid overusing hot water. Also consider purchasing a hot water cylinder jacket and installing primary pipe work insulation, which together could save you up to £45 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
  5. Move your furniture. Avoid putting large pieces of furniture such as sofas near radiators, as the furniture ends up absorbing a lot of the heat.
  6. Use energy-saving light bulbs. Energy-saving light bulbs can last up to 10 times longer and can save you about £50 over the course of the bulb’s lifetime.
  7. Add more insulation in your attic. Insulating or adding extra insulation to your loft, attic or flat roof helps reduce heat loss and can lower your heating bill. Loft insulation is generally effective for at least 40 years, so it is a wise investment.

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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.

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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…)

Stolen Bikes Top Household Theft Claim

More than an estimated 376,000 bicycles are stolen each year in Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics, and industry research shows that those thefts comprise nearly 46 per cent of all personal theft claims—making them the most common item cited in household theft claims. One explanation for the high theft rates is that an estimated 2.5 million Britons are opting to cycle to their destinations at least twice per week, rather than drive or take public transit.

With the warm summer weather encouraging more Britons to take their bicycles on the road, preventing bicycle theft should be a chief concern. To protect your bicycle from thieves, follow these three pieces of guidance: (more…)

Being Honest Can Save You Money

Nearly 1 out of 3 Britons enter incorrect details into motor insurance price comparison websites, according to a May study from Consumer Intelligence (CI), further highlighting how those websites are unable to provide bespoke and comprehensive cover.

In fact, CI’s research revealed that in 80 per cent of all instances, the premium quotes for respondents who completed them honestly were cheaper than those who invented details. Specifically, on average, honest respondents were offered premiums that were £126 cheaper than their dishonest peers.

In addition to higher premiums, there are potential legal consequences to providing fake information. If you are involved in an accident and your insurer discovers that you provided incorrect information when you bought your policy, your cover could be invalidated. This would require you to inform all potential future insurers that your cover had been cancelled, which would make it more expensive—the very outcome that you were trying to avoid. (more…)