Insurance News Round-up: 30 days in the headlines

Traffic warning signTime wasted in traffic

As a small island with a growing population of motorists; it’s hardly surprising that our roads are getting clogged-up. Set out on a journey and you can expect to spend some time idle behind the wheel, but just how much time you spend stuck in traffic may be surprising. A recent report has revealed that we’ve got the third most congested road network in Europe (after Turkey and Russia) and the average motorist wasted 32 hours every year twiddling their thumbs in traffic. The fuel and time wasted is estimated to cost the economy £30billion a year, not to mention the toll traffic takes on your nerves.

Let’s get ready to rumble

Newcastle’s most famous double act have come a long way from Byker Grove to being crowned the undisputed kings of Saturday night TV, and they couldn’t have done it without each other. Imagine a world where the inseparable Geordie duo were separated and life loses a little colour. To safeguard against such a scenario Ant and Dec have admitted to insuring each other. We’ve previously written about celebrities insuring ‘trademark’ body parts (from Tom Jones’ chest hair to Dolly Parton’s breasts) but we haven’t come across stars insuring their sidekicks.  “I insure him and he insures me,” explained Dec “It’s six figures, I think,” added Ant. “But it’s not like anything evil is going to happen. I think I would be the first suspect if we were together and Dec suddenly fell off a cliff! I’ve got a big motive.”

Travelling with electrical items

Travellers flying from Britain to a number of countries in the Middle East are being warned that they will no longer be able to take any electrical items larger than a smartphone (including laptops and tablets) in their hand luggage. Instead they will need to go in the hold where they might not be covered by travel insurance. Expensive electrical items are more likely to get lost, stolen or damaged in the hold and aren’t covered by the majority of travel policies. Home insurance policies tend to be less restrictive, but if you are in any doubt get in touch with your provider. The changes are in response to security concerns and effect flights to and from: Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Driven to distraction

Sadly stories of accidents caused by drivers using their mobile phones are never far from the headlines, and the real tragedy is that they are entirely avoidable. In a bid to clampdown on motorists using their mobiles the government has introduced new tougher penalties for driver distraction. Anyone caught using their mobile behind the wheel will now get a minimum of six penalty points (rather than three) and be fined a minimum of £200 (rather than £100). The tough new measures have been warmly welcomed and will hopefully encourage irresponsible drivers to think about their actions.

Car insurance premiums climb

It’s more bad news for motorists as car insurance premiums are set to soar by 10% adding £50.00 to each policy and costing a staggering £2billion nationwide. The anticipated price-hike is a knock-on effect of government changes to the way personal injury compensation claims are calculated in the courts. Legislative changes mean that insurers will face steeper pay-outs which will be passed on to customers. Younger drivers will be hit the hardest with policies rising by £115 to an eye-watering average of £1650.

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