Trouble in Transit: Crash for Cash

April 27th, 2015

white vanWhite van man gets a bumpy ride in the British media who paint them as ‘reckless’ and ‘aggressive’ pantomime villains with little regard for other road users. Back in the real world the truth is that van drivers are among the country’s most experienced motorists (a fact reflected in their insurance premiums), and now they are being actively targeted by insurance fraudsters. Read the rest of this entry »

Why it makes sense for landlords to spread the love

April 24th, 2015

landlord giftThanks to rock bottom interest rates and liberal lending buy to let is booming, and with changes to pensions regulations a new breed of landlord is about to enter the market. Dubbed ‘granlords’ by the media it’s expected that large numbers of over 55s will cash-in their pension pots and get-in on the buy to let game. Read the rest of this entry »

From rats to roaches, is your home insured?

April 21st, 2015

pests and petsIt’s the dead of night and it’s time to face facts: the scratching and scurrying that you have been trying to ignore isn’t a figment of your imagination; but an uninvited house guest. Every season has its own appeal for pests and with spring in the air the animal kingdom is looking for somewhere safe and cosy to raise its young. Read the rest of this entry »

Guide to Holiday Home Insurance

April 16th, 2015

holiday home insuranceWith the holiday season in full swing it’s essential to make sure that you’ve got your property covered; or your dream holiday home could become your worst nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »

Motorbiking baby boomers have plenty of gas in the tank

April 13th, 2015

older bikersA new generation of bikers are tearing up the tarmac as a record number of over 50s take to two wheels. Not only are there more over 50s on the roads than ever before, but they’ve also got deep pockets. Figures released by a leading insurer reveal that the over 50s spent £340 million on motorcycling last year; adding-up to nearly one third of the overall market. Read the rest of this entry »

Insurance News Round-up: March’s Most Interesting Articles 

April 10th, 2015

lawnmower insuranceAre you insured to mow the lawn?  

With the general election looming politicians are taking pot shots at anything that will score points and the European Union is an easy target. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Essential Apps for Landlords

April 7th, 2015

landlord appsOne of the secrets of being a successful landlord is being able to juggle and know exactly what each hand is doing. The following apps have been carefully chosen to help landlords save time, effort and ultimately money. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting your caravan ready for spring

April 2nd, 2015

caravan insuranceEaster marks the start of the caravanning season, but before you hit the open road it’s time to give your caravan a little TLC. Take the following steps to make sure your caravan is ready for the Bank Holiday weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

Many Happy Returns: The Driving Test Turns Eighty

March 26th, 2015

happy birthday signAs the driving test approaches its 80th birthday motoring organizations are questioning whether it’s ‘fit for the 21st century’. The driving test has played a large part in making our roads some of the safest in Europe (second only to Sweden) so there’s certainly plenty to celebrate. But while motoring has moved on over the past eight decades; the driving test remains comparatively unchanged.

The 1930s was a period of enormous social change and much of it was down to the mass production of the motor car. As cars became more affordable the country’s roads became chaos and in 1934 a record high of 7,343 deaths was recorded. Action was desperately needed and Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha decided that he was the man for the job.

Things quickly got personal for the newly appointed Minister of Transport as he was left reeling at the kerbside having nearly been run over by a speeding sports car. Hore-Belisha set to work pushing the 1934 Traffic Act through parliament and bringing to law a number of measures that would revolutionise road safety.

The first was introducing a 30mph speed limit in urban areas and the second was introducing the driving test. And as if that wasn’t enough he also gave his name to the ‘Belisha beacons’ that still mark zebra crossings today. The driving test became compulsory on 1st June 1935 and many of the original elements would be recognisable to motorists today. After a sight test candidates were quizzed on The Highway Code and then asked to perform a series of manoeuvres (including: a hill start, an emergency stop and a turn in the road).

The driving test has played a pivotal role in making our roads safer (there are over 34 million vehicles on the road and last year 1,760 fatalities), but more needs to be done. Understandably much of the focus is on young drivers who are involved in a disproportionate number of collisions. Figures show that 17-19 years olds are involved in 11.9% of serious crashes despite comprising just 1.5% of licence holders.

The Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the RAC Foundation agree that newly qualified drivers would benefit enormously from an extended period of learning before getting a full licence. During the proposed ‘probationary period’ new drivers would have certain restrictions placed on them (such as limited passenger numbers or limited late night driving) while they build-up invaluable experience. ‘Graduated driving licences’ would allow drivers to safely experience scenarios which aren’t covered in the current test (such as driving on motorways or in wintery conditions).

It’s a bittersweet birthday for the driving test that’s summed-up neatly by Neil Greig of the IAM “The driving test today does test a driver’s ability to a very high level, but it has fallen behind what is urgently needed in 2015”.

New Drug Driving Laws Explained

March 24th, 2015

drug drivingLong overdue changes to laws surrounding ‘drug driving’ have been warmly welcomed by motoring organizations. The moves are designed to stamp out drug driving which is thought to cause 200 fatalities each year. Limits have been placed on eight illegal drugs (including: heroin, cocaine and cannabis) and eight prescription drugs (including: morphine, clonazepam and diazepam). Read the rest of this entry »