Self-Balancing Scooters – An Insurer’s Nightmare

You may have seen the latest craze on YouTube or the TV, it’s called a self balancing electric scooter.

White Self Balancing Electric ScooterBasically, the idea is that you stand on it and by pressing down on your toe or heel that wheel moves forwards or backwards. The following two minute video was produced by the Chinese company that invented the scooter and although it’s a corny video, it does show you how they work

They will be on the top of many youngsters gift list this Christmas !.

Sadly, I can see a few problems on the horizon. They’re not going to run anything over, they have a ground clearance of around an inch but they are capable of speeds up to around 7 mph which is faster than your average jogger, This suggests to me that a few pedestrians are going to be knocked over by a burly young man coming round the corner just a little too quickly.

The other damage that is bound to occur will be to household items. You only have to watch the YouTube videos of people trying to ride these for the first time to realise that a few prized possessions are going to be broken, so put all of your breakable items away in a nice safe place before Christmas if one of these is in Santa’s sack.

You can find more information on electric self-balancing boards on the self balancing electric scooters website where there’s a section on what to look for if you’re buying one from Amazon, together with their suggestion for the best electric skateboard to buy. They also discuss how patents seem completely worthless when it comes to Chinese manufacturing companies copying other Chinese companies products.

Home Security

Although this blog concentrates mostly on insurance in all its different guises, it’s also worth considering a different type of security for your home and family. I’m talking about home security systems together with other other devices designed to keep you and your family safe. It’s absolutely vital that you fit working, regularly tested smoke alarms throughout the property. The other main ingredient of your home security is to fit specialised fire doors to upstairs landing together with kitchen doors. These doors are guaranteed to give at least 30 minutes protection from flames and fumes. Fire doors used to be plain, chunky lumps of wood such as the fire doors in hotels, however nowadays you can buy fire doors in glazed and semi-glazed patterns besides solid wood, and they are very stylish and modern.

Double Fitted Fire Doors
These stylish double doors offer at least 30 minutes protection against fire and fumes.

How do you go about protecting your family? This is becoming more and more of a concern as time moves forward. That random chance of a home invasion is always an issue in America. Things are just far too unpredictable. This is why it’s crucial to adopt some form of home security. You know, a way to keep the predators out and your loved ones safe inside.

Do you have a security system, such as an alarm or panic room? While these nifty features used to be exclusively for the wealthy, the general society has now conformed to their benefits. This is certainly not a bad thing. We all should consider some form of home security so that if the time arises, we won’t be left helpless.

I recall back when I was just a kid. We lived on a farm out in the middle of nowhere. Our two-story home didn’t have any sort of security alarm or safe room. In fact, I don’t remember ever worrying about needing one. It wasn’t because we always locked our doors at night. It had more to do with my father’s occupation. He was in law enforcement. I’m sure I just thought if someone broke in, my dad would shoot them. While this does work as a certain home security measure, many people are looking for something slightly more technology based. I speak of the modern-day alarm system. You know, the cool ones that require and access code, and alert authorities if someone approaches the front door. Now days practically anything is feasible. After watching a special on home security the other day, I acquired new knowledge regarding the prominent business. The devices available currently will blow your mind. You can purchase finger print locks for your doors. No, this wasn’t on Mission Impossible, but on a standard residential home. Can you imagine approaching your front door at night and gaining access with your thumb? That’s amazing! This means that no one else could access this entry, regardless if they have a lock pick set. There are also home security cameras available that catch it all. You can place one at your front and rear doors, so that a picture will be taken of anyone who approaches your home. This is regardless of whether or not they knock. This little innovation has the true potential to bust many criminals. Are you up to date on your home security measures? If you’re looking for that special device or system, then maybe it’s time you got online. There are a variety of products to choose from.

Greek debt talks too slow – EC chief

13 March 2015

Last updated at 19:21

Jean-Claude Juncker (r) and Alexis Tsipras

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Jean-Claude Juncker: “I do not think we have made sufficient progress but we will try to push in the direction of a successful conclusion”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has criticised the slow pace of progress in talks over Greece’s debt, since last month’s interim deal.

At a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels, Mr Juncker said he was “not satisfied”.

Mr Tsipras needs EU support for reforms to unlock vital funds, avoid possible bankruptcy and a eurozone exit.

The leftist leader has pledged to end austerity – but his plans have met resistance from Greece’s EU creditors.

Greece negotiated a four-month extension to its bailout last month after tense talks with creditors.

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Eurozone leaders are ready to extend help on Greece’s EUR240bn (£176bn; $272bn) bailout until the end of June.

To persuade the EU of its credit-worthiness, Greece has announced a series of reforms. But it also wants the EU to agree new terms for the long-term repayment of its debts.

If no agreement is reached, Greece risks being unable to meet its obligations. Within the next two weeks alone, it needs EUR6bn (£4.3bn; $6.4bn) to pay its creditors.

Alexis Tsipras

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Alexis Tsipras: “We are doing our part, and we expect our partners to do their own”

Mr Juncker said he was “not satisfied with the developments in recent weeks”.

“I don’t think that we have made sufficient progress, but we’ll try to push in the direction of a successful conclusion of the issues we have to deal with.”

However, he ruled out failure in the talks, which could precipitate Greece’s exit from the eurozone.

“I am totally excluding a failure, I don’t want a failure. I would like Europeans to go together. This is not the time for division,” he said.

Speaking alongside Mr Juncker, Mr Tsipras said he remained optimistic. “If there is political will, everything is possible,” he said.

The two men agreed to set up a new task force to help oversee the funds Greece receives from the EU. The team will be led by former Latvian leader, Valdis Dombrovskis, along with a Greek minister, who has yet to be appointed.

Debt obligations

In an earlier meeting with the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, Mr Tsipras urged the EU to back growth in Greece.

“Now is the time to give hope to the Greek people, not only ‘implement, implement, implement’ and ‘obligations, obligations, obligations,'” said Mr Tsipras.

Analysts have described last month’s interim bailout agreement as a climbdown for the Greek government, which rose to power on promises to have half of the country’s debt rewritten off.

Mr Tsipras has defended the deal, but some on the hard left have accused Syriza of going back on pre-election pledges.

Even if the bailout extension goes through, Greece still faces the huge task of trying to service its debt obligations.

It will need to flesh out its reform programme in detail by April and prove that reforms are bedding down before receiving a final bailout disbursement of EUR7.2bn.

But in the meantime Greece has to repay several billion euros in maturing debts, including about EUR2bn to the IMF in March, and EUR6.7bn in European Central Bank bonds maturing in July and August.

Greek proposals

Combat tax evasion

Tackle corruption

Commit not to roll back already introduced privatisations, but review privatisations not yet implemented

Introduce collective bargaining, stopping short of raising the minimum wage immediately

Tackle Greece’s “humanitarian crisis” with housing guarantees and free medical care for the uninsured unemployed, with no overall public spending increase

Reform public sector wages to avoid further wage cuts, without increasing overall wage bill

Achieve pensions savings by consolidating funds and eliminating incentives for early retirement – not cutting payments

Reduce the number of ministries from 16 to 10, cutting special advisers and fringe benefits for officials

Greek pledges: Key points

Pressure still on despite deal

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31871361#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Airmic appoints Julia Graham as technical director

Jenny Messenger 13 March 2015

Bearing in mind how easy it is to get online quotes for all types of insurance, there is absolutely no reason to renew a policy before doing an online check of the prices offered by other companies. Last year I bought my house cover after getting a selection of quotes from a price comparison website. A few days ago I received a phone call from that insurance company telling me that the renewal was imminent and that the cost had only risen by a couple of pounds. When I answered that I was going to check prices from their competitors online before renewing, the insurer managed to find a quote about 20% cheaper than his original offer. Not to be outdone, I visited my trusty comparison site and managed to get precisely the same cover for a further 20% less than his cheapest quote. Let me say once more…NEVER Never never renew an insurance policy without checking other insurers online. All of the insurers offer low prices for new customers, so take advantage of this and switch to a new company whenever you can get a better deal. Unless there is a very good reason to stay with your current insurer then don’t fret over showing disloyalty to them, I guarantee that they won’t show any loyalty to you if you’re in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim!. The following link has Public Liability Insurance Price Comparison

Airmic has appointed Julia Graham as its technical director, the UK risk managers’ association announced yesterday (12 March).

Graham will replace Paul Hopkin in the role from 1 May. Hopkin announced his decision to step down in January this year.

Currently, Graham is president of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (Ferma), and was formerly chair of Airmic.

She will continue as Ferma president until the expiry of her term of office in October this year, and will remain…

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http://www.insuranceinsider.com/airmic-appoints-julia-graham-as-technical-director

How much do you earn and spend? The student: ‘My biggest worry is affording healthy food’

Although her parents pay for her accommodation (£115 a week for 43 weeks; weekly bills are included) and her phone bill (£35 to £40 a month), she still struggles to juggle her finances. She says she has a ‘strict budget of £50 a week’, but admits, ‘When I look at it written down, I’m not keeping to it.’ Over two weeks, Bhullar spent £180.12.

She says her biggest financial worry is not being able to afford healthy food. She shops at Tesco and Aldi, spending between £30 and £60 weekly. Now, instead of trips to Starbucks during the day, she makes packed lunches, and rather than buying alcohol on a night out she drinks at home first.

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Bhullar says she tries not to think about her student loan, because ‘I know I’ll just end up panicking’; instead she focuses on her day-to-day spending. Every week Bhullar takes out her money for the week, using a card only in emergencies. ‘I made the decision not to get an overdraft.’ She hopes to get a summer job to help pay for a holiday to America with her boyfriend’s family, for which she has already saved a couple of hundred pounds. She also plans on going away with friends.

‘I liked the independence when I first got here, but soon I realised that my quality of life was better when I was living with my parents,’ she says. ‘You’ve got to get used to things not being as good quality, like food. But it gets you ready for when you’re out there on your own.’

SIMRAN’S TWO-WEEK SPENDING DIARY

Thursday February 12

£3.50 meal deal at student union shop

£11.48 two tiger toys and an ice lolly at Chester Zoo (admission plus travel free)

Friday February 13

£47 food, Tesco

£10 cinema ticket and drink

Saturday February 14

£4.50 two hot chocolates, Pret A Manger

Sunday February 15

£13 crazy golf for two people

£12.50 two Tango Ice Blast drinks and candy-floss

Monday February 16

Nil

Tuesday February 17

£7.62 food, student union shop

Wednesday February 18

£19.98 gym clothing

Thursday February 19

Nil

Friday February 20

£5 nightclub

Saturday February 21

Nil

Sunday February 22

Nil

Monday February 23

£30.66

Tuesday February 24

£6 food, drink, magazines, student union shop

Wednesday February 25

£8.88 food, drink and magazines, student union shop

HOW OTHER HOUSEHOLDS LIVE

The family with children

The couple without children

The single mother

The young worker

The pensioner

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AXA appoints Agrical as lead adjuster for farming and agriculture claims

April 17, 2013

The internet has brought many advantages to anyone looking to buy all flavours of insurance. Apart from the convenience of buying your policy without moving from your armchair, it has more importantly, allowed us to obtain quotes from a number of different insurers. In the early days you had to fill in an online form for every quote, that was an incredibly tedious task and everybody used to give up after just a few quotes. These days we have a number of insurance price comparison web sites that can come up with a whole host of prices after we’ve filled in just a single form…what a relief!. Clicking on the following link will provide UK Motor Insurance Policy Exclusions

by Brian Turner

Story link: AXA appoints Agrical as lead adjuster for farming and agriculture claims

AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary has appointed Agrical as its lead chartered loss adjuster for all farming and agricultural claims.

Agrical is the UK’s leading specialist loss adjuster for farms and landed estates. The appointment is for three years and Agrical has the appropriate level of authority to make decisions on 90% of the claims they handle, making the claims process quicker for customers.

Karen Osborne, Leeds Branch Manager for AXA, comments: “Given the current terrible weather conditions being experienced by farmers in many parts of the country, it is likely that we could see claims coming in as the full outcome of its impact are known. Compounded by the other pressures being experienced by farmers today makes it important now more than ever that farmers know they can rely on their insurance cover should they need it and that it is supported by the very best claims service.

“Our claims service is award winning and our mantra is to get our clients back in business as quickly as possible, so having a specialist adjuster like Agrical on board can make a real difference to efficiently handling their claim in these troubled times.”

David Orell, ACII, CIP, ACILA and Divisional Director at Agrical, comments: We’re delighted to be appointed by AXA. It recognises the need for a specialist approach to loss adjusting in agriculture to meet the very particular needs of the farming community.”

The AXA Leeds branch is an underwriting Centre of Excellence with a particular expertise in underwriting farms and estates business.

 

http://www.insurancedaily.co.uk/2013/04/17/axa-appoints-agrical-as-lead-adjuster-for-farming-and-agriculture-claims/

Regulator ‘alert to pension scams’

11 March 2015

Last updated at 15:51

By Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

A regulator has vowed to be on the lookout for fraud and scams when new pension freedoms come into force in April.

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, said he expected con-artists to strike when the reforms were still new.

“Scams and fraud, we know, tend to proliferate at the moment of maximum uncertainty,” he said in a speech.

New rules, making it easier to access pension pots, take effect on 6 April.

Those aged 55 and over will be able to spend their defined contribution pension savings as they wish, unless they have already bought an annuity, or retirement income.

Previous pension fraud has centred on persuading people to “liberate” their pensions before the age of 55, and Mr Wheatley said this was likely to continue.

“A particular risk, given that many of those approaching retirement today will – unlike their parents’ generation – be carrying debts with them,” he said.

However, criminals have already started to bombard people aged 55 and over who are approaching retirement with phone calls and text messages ahead of the April changes.

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Pensions analysts last week warned that the pension changes could prompt an “open season” for fraudsters.

The government’s own guidance service is called Pension Wise.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31831127#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Mortgages attract most fraud

Mortgages attracted more fraudulent applications than any financial product last year, according to research that suggested the tightening of lending criteria was a factor driving the fabrication of home loan details.

The annual fraud report by information services company Experian also found that third-party fraud or fraud involving identity theft was on the rise. It accounted for more than half of all detected cases in 2014, a reversal of the situation after the recession hit, when first-party fraud became more prevalent.

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IN Property Mortgages

Nick Mothershaw, a director at Experian, said lenders were making strides in the fight against fraud. “But as more consumers access and apply for financial products across multiple channels, including online and mobile, fraud has also evolved accordingly.”

The largest annual fraud rise among financial products was for current account applications, with 79 detected frauds per 10,000 cases versus 64 in 2013. The proportion perpetrated through identity theft shot up by 20 percentage points to 47 per cent of current account fraud.

Getting a current account in someone else’s name does not bring immediate financial rewards for the perpetrator. Such “Trojan horse” applications are typically used to gain access to a string of loan or financing deals within a bank.

But mortgage fraud remains the commonest type of fraud, with 84 cases per 10,000 in 2014, though down from 87 in 2013. It is seldom associated with identity theft but, as Mr Mothershaw said, “most of it is individuals bending the truth to try and get a mortgage they’re not entitled to”.

New rules on affordability introduced last year have made it harder for certain types of borrower, notably self-employed individuals, to get a mortgage. Mr Mothershaw said there had been a rise in the number of false mortgage claims by the self-employed.

“It doesn’t mean they’re not going to pay for the mortgage but they’re making out that they are an employee of a business rather than a self-employed sole trader.”

The number of fraudulent loan applications picked up in 2014 was more than double the number detected in the previous year. Identity theft was involved in 73 per cent of these cases — up from 63 per cent in 2013.

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London airports’ PR battle heats up

Terry Farrell plans for expansion at Gatwick Airport- 2 runways

Gatwick airport’s proposed design for two runways

London’s two main airports are fighting to win public support ahead of an imminent decision on whether Heathrow or Gatwick should benefit from extra capacity to solve the southeast’s capacity crunch.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, has even raised the possibility that Gatwick may be promoting a second runway simply to stymie his own plans for a third.

“Some people I talk to would say, of course, they [Gatwick] never mean to do anything anyway; they just want to stop us expanding,” he said. “I have no idea.”

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The comments, dismissed as “disingenuous nonsense” by Gatwick, demonstrate how tensions are rising ahead of the publication of the independent Davies Commission into Britain’s aviation capacity.

The commission will this summer recommend its preferred location for a new runway, with all three shortlisted options either at Heathrow or Gatwick.

The two airports have spent millions of pounds on rival campaigns involving marketing, public relations and lobbying.

The Gatwick adverts have focused on the environmental impact of the third Heathrow runway — and the impact of noise on 320,00 people.

Mr Holland-Kaye accused his rival of a “negative” campaign designed simply to stop the third Heathrow runway.

“I don’t know whether they’re doing that because they think politically that’s the best way to stop our momentum,” he said. “Or whether they think that actually from an economic point of view they are best served by nothing happening.”

Gatwick said its management was “intensely serious” about a second runway and denied that its campaign had been negative.

For the past year the two airports have taken out lavish adverts in the press and online as well as billboards and posters in prominent places — including the entrance to the House of Commons.

Heathrow even targeted Ukip’s spring conference in Margate with a full-page advert in the schedule.

Gatwick, Britain’s second-busiest airport, launched its campaign a year ago in the Shard, Britain’s highest skyscraper. It has spent more than £10m on the campaign, including on design fees and consultancy, to prepare submissions and advertising.

It has sought to pitch itself as a “challenger brand”, comparable with Virgin Atlantic taking on British Airways.

“In this instance the best way to make a lot of noise is not to shout,” said Dan Shute, managing director of Creature, the agency behind Gatwick’s campaign.

Gatwick has had three public relations firms on board — Fishburn, Charlotte St and LCA — while Heathrow has used Portland and Blue Rubicon.

The approach of Heathrow, which has not disclosed its expenditure, has been nationalistic, emphasising the UK’s global status.

Both airports are expected to step up their marketing spending in the run-up to the election.

Anti-expansion campaigners have written to the Davies commission criticising the amount spent on the campaigns, claiming they are “subverting democracy”.

Louise Ellman, chairman of the transport select committee, said it had been a very “intensive” and “hard” campaign by both sides. “I hope Davies disregards the marketing campaign and sticks to the facts.”

There have been claims of “dirty tricks” against both sides. Anti-Heathrow campaigners have orchestrated automatic complaints against noise. This was discovered when the digital complaints, not adjusted when the clocks went back in October, were sent before the aircraft took off.

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Likewise Gatwick has criticised a community support campaign called “Back Heathrow” — partially funded by the airport — for activities such as carrying out surveys implying that the only choice is between “expansion and closure”.

Heathrow said it had always been open about the fact that it helped fund Back Heathrow to provide a voice for thousands of local supporters.

“Recent surveys of local opinion show how they have been able to generate support essentially by scaremongering and, for example, setting up the entirely false choice between expansion and closure,” Gatwick complained.

Sir Roy McNulty, chairman of Gatwick, said it was “not unprecedented” to see allegations of dirty tricks in such circumstances.

But he said it was not the most negative competition he had seen in his long business career. “This is not a PR battle,” he said. “This is primarily a battle which will be won and lost on the analysis of these factors.”

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Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

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Half of Dragons’ Den investments fall through after the show

Many entrepreneurs appear on the show primarily to gain publicity for their business. When sales surge following the airing of their episode, they pull out because investment is no longer necessary.

“The world explodes for them after Dragons’ Den,” Ms Meaden said. “They get offered better deals in some cases, or think they don’t need the Dragons. But what they find when the publicity dies down is that they still need help running the business.”

According to the data, Peter Jones is the the show’s most prolific investor, offering funding to 54 of the 143 businesses.

The average amount pitched for is £100,000 and the average amount of equity given up by applicants is 40pc. The highest amount of equity ever given away on the show was 79pc by RK Records, which has since rebranded as Bannatyne Music.

Ryan Ashmore (left) and his business partner Liam Webb, both 18 at the time, sold 79pc of their business in return for £50,000 in cash

Bearing in mind how easy it is to get online quotes for just about any type of insurance, there really is no reason to renew a policy before doing an online check of the prices from the competition. Last year I bought my home and contents insurance after getting a selection of quotes from a price comparison website. A few days ago I received a phone call from that insurance company telling me that the renewal was imminent and that the price had only risen by a couple of pounds. When I answered that I was going to check prices from some other companies online before taking out a renewal, the insurer came up with a price about 20% cheaper than his original one. Not to be outdone, I visited my trusty comparison site and managed to get precisely the same cover for another 20% less than his lowest quote. Let me say once more…NEVER Never never renew an insurance policy before checking other insurers online. All insurance companies come up with low prices for new customers, so take advantage of this and switch insurers whenever you can get a better deal. Unless there is a very good reason to stay with your current insurer then don’t fret over showing disloyalty to them, I guarantee that they won’t show any loyalty to you if you’re in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim!. The following link has Public Liability Insurance Explained

The highest amount ever pitched for successfully in the Den is £250,000. However, on both occasions the deals fell through after filming.

Series 12 was not included because there was not enough to conduct full due diliigence. However, this series could skew the data, adding a record number of investments.

“I’ve done nine and got seven away,” said Ms Meaden. At the end of this series, Piers Linney, who recently left the show, could emerge as the Dragon with the highest investment per deal.

Kelly Hoppen, who appeared on the show for two series, added: “I was fortunate enough to make some very successful investments in the Den which I am still working with and will continue to do so.”

If Dragons do invest in a business, they are involved long-term. Some 38 of the 67 invested firms still have a Dragon on board. Some of the others have successfully exited or bought back the stake, while other have ceased trading.

Tiger Mobiles used data from Companies House, Duedil, the Dragons’ Den website and inidividual interviews with founders to compile the report.

An interactive analysis of every winning pitch on the Den is available to view here.

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