Interesting Insurance Headlines from the past 30 days

CommuterWhat’s the real cost of being a commuter?

In the not too distant past the average commuter just carried a briefcase full of papers and perhaps an umbrella to work. However, today’s commuters are weighed down with tech and personal possessions that add-up to a staggering £1,815. Eight out of ten commuters carry a smartphone and four out of ten carry a laptop with a combined total of £632.

Add-in other personal possessions, from jewellery to glasses, and suddenly you can see why it’s important to be insured. During the daily commute it’s easy to switch into autopilot and that’s when things get lost or stolen. The solution’s simple; just get in touch with your home insurance broker and make sure your policy covers personal items outside the home.

Convicted speeders could be fined one and a half weeks’ wages

Every road user knows that speeding costs lives and there are plenty of statistics to prove it, which is increased fines for serious offenders have been warmly welcomed. The new Sentencing Council guidelines will come into effect in April raising the maximum speeding fine to the equivalent of one and a half weeks’ pay. The 50% increase will hit motorists driving over 100mph on motorways, over 50mph in a 30 zone and over 40mph in a 20 zone. With the average national salary at £28,000 offenders can expect to be fined £800. Last year nearly 170,000 motorists were convicted of speeding and over a million received fixed penalty notices. Hopefully the new changes will help to put the brakes on speeding.

Agreement on insurance for driverless cars

Driverless cars are coming to a neighbourhood near you and they are coming sooner than you might think. Statistically they are much safer than us humans, but accidents can and do happen, and when something goes wrong: who’s responsible? And more importantly who foots the insurance bill: the driver, the car manufacturer or the software provider?

After much discussion, the government and the insurance industry are set to announce a ‘two-in-one’ policy for self-drive vehicles. The proposal is to amend current motor insurance to include the driver and the Autonomous Vehicle technology; thereby providing protection for the public.

Commenting on behalf of the Association of British Insurers Ben Howarth said “The insurance industry is 100 per cent committed to supporting the development of automated vehicles, which have the potential to dramatically improve road safety and revolutionise our transport systems. We want to keep insurance as straightforward as possible, which is why insurers proposed the simple approach which the Government is now taking forward.”

1000 motorists caught ‘fronting’ every year

From little white lies to big fat pork pies; everyone’s guilty of bending the truth from time-to-time. However, when it comes to fudging the facts to get cheaper car insurance; you could end-up in very hot water. The phenomenon known as ‘fronting’ is when a parent takes out cover for a car and adds their child as a ‘named driver’. Young drivers’ insurance premiums are sky-high, and while fronting might sound like a smart way of saving money, it’s actually an act of fraud.

Nevertheless, a survey by a leading motoring organisation has found that nearly half of parents (and two thirds of young drivers) don’t see anything wrong with fronting. While there will always be some unscrupulous drivers who are willing to break the law, part of the problem is doubtless due to education. The reality of fronting is that you are buying a worthless piece of paper, will be liable for costs incurred in an accident and could be prosecuted and left with a criminal record.

Burglary hotspots revealed

Home insurance premiums are calculated to reflect risk and underwriters often use household postcodes as a pricing factor. One leading insurer has been busy crunching their claims data to reveal the most likely postcodes to be burgled and the findings make for interesting reading. At the top of the unfortunate poll was a postcode in Ilford (East London) in fact you probably won’t be surprised to read that 16 of the Top 20 postcodes were in London. Other hotspots included postcodes in Manchester and perhaps more surprisingly Cambridge. However, it’s not all doom and gloom: last year burglary rates fell by 8% nationwide and have dropped by a staggering 71% since 1995.


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