Car Insurance Prices Reach Record High As They Rise By 11%

The Association of British Insurance announced an 11% year on year increase in car insurance premiums.

Motorists who are renewing their car insurance cover will notice their premiums have risen by an average of £48.00 compared to last year. This brings the average total to a whopping £484.00. According to the ABI Premium Tracker the increase is approximately four times the rate of Inflation and the largest year on year rise in 5 years.

The ABI have equated this new record high to the Government’s mandate to cut the Personal Injury Discount Rate from 2.5% to -0.75% and increase Insurance Premiums Tax by 2%. The last time the Discount Rate was reviewed was in 2001 and the government claim the new rate represents or current market.

The Discount Rate figure is used by insurance companies to set compensation pay outs when a customer suffers a serious injury from a car accident or medical negligence. To calculate pay-outs after an incident, insurers apply a multiplier which takes into account age, gender and mortality risks in order to determine a claimant’s financial needs over their likely lifetime. The new rate, reduced in March this year, has been described by the ABI as, “the lowest in any advanced economy”.

Industry experts have warned that the decision could land the already burdened NHS with an additional annual £1 billion bill.

Huw Evans the Director General of the ABI has said: “This dramatic increase drives home how important it is the Government press ahead with a new framework for the Discount Rate and call a stop to further hikes in Insurance Premium Tax. The UK is one of the most competitive motor insurance markets in the world, but the unprecedented increase in claims costs is driving up prices to record levels.”

Mr Evans pointed out that older drivers and those aged 18-25 are likely to be hurt by the increases the most.

lowest in any advanced economy

Brett Dixon, President of the Association of Personal Injury said: “During this time insurers quietly reaped the financial benefits of not having to pay what they owe to people with life-long, life-changing injuries.”

Despite Personal Injury lawyers claiming that insurers are benefitting from the reduced rate, local companies are feeling the pressure to keep up with the competition.

Shan Budesha, Company Director of Top Marques Insurance has spoken about the adverse effects the changes have had on high street insurance companies.

Swinton Insurance are to shut 84 branches and make 900 employees redundant in a bid to reduce the rising costs. The closure was announced one month after the Discount Rate was reduced to –0.75%.

Mr Budesha said: “The Governments decision on how personal injury compensation claims are to be calculated caused an absolute uproar with UK insurers. This move will cost the insurance industry millions, and up to 36 million individual and business car/van insurance policies will see an increase in renewal premiums as well as an increase in liability premiums for businesses.”

According to the Mr Budesha : “Insurers starting to grasp the insights into an individual’s risk through data analytics, telematics and technology, this could help with predicting future claims losses based on current driving behaviour thus help with premium calculations.”

When choosing a new insurer at the time of renewal to get the best value for money and keep costs down he advised that motorist should check the Defaqto rating as well as customer reviews.

He added, “do not cut corners with your policy cover or manipulate your information incorrectly in order to drive your premium down.”


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Over 10 million Homes Will Have Full Fibre by 2025

Openreach, the company responsible for the nation’s fibre network, today began discussing plans to roll out super-fast broadband to 10 million homes across Britain by 2025.

In order to successfully assess which areas are most in demand of the high-speed connectivity service, Openreach have asked for research support from Ofcom, the government and other telecommunication suppliers.

This new prediction sees 8 million more homes benefitting from faster downloading capabilities as the network giant had previously pledged to bring full fibre to 2 million homes by 2020.

Earlier this year Openreach controversially split from well-known Telecommunications provider BT. Both companies are currently in the process of a legal separation of signing a deal with Ofcom following two years of fraught negotiations.

Whilst still in partnership with BT, Openreach had spoken out about the economic constraints of providing widespread full fibre to premises (FFTP), describing it as expensive.

However, Clive Selley the chief executive of Openreach has revealed new techniques have been developed by the company which will now allow them to supply the service at half the cost.

“Prepared to take a commercial risk

Mr Selley said: “With the right conditions, we believe we could make FTTP available to as many as 10 million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s, but we need to understand if there’s sufficient demand to justify the roll out, and support for the enablers needed to build a viable business case.

“That includes removing barriers to investment and incentivising those, like Openreach, who are prepared to take a commercial risk.”

Earlier this month, the government unveiled a £400m fund aimed at boosting the UK’s fibre-to-the-home infrastructure.

Malcolm Corbett, who runs the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (Inca), believes the industry can reach about 80% full fibre coverage by 2026 without the need for large government cash hand-outs.

He added: “Regarding the Openreach consultation, one aspect that we think particularly important is that Openreach doesn’t use their new-found enthusiasm for full fibre to try to re-monopolise local access networks.”

Meanwhile the announcement would suggest that Openreach are going from strength to strength, previous partner BT have encountered a few setbacks this year. They have seen a number of senior departures over the past 18 months, including its chairman, finance director, head of corporate affairs and head of investor relations. The share price has also plummeted by almost a quarter over the last year.

Harinder Bains, Business Development Manager for Vibrant Networks welcomes the roll out of FTTP and predicts it will change the way we use broadband.

With online streaming services such as Netflix now serving 52.03 million customers the new faster speeds will be a welcome change to our new trend on consuming entertainment. Full fibre can support broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps, which is enough to download an entire HD TV programme in five seconds.

How To Plan The Perfect Summer Event

This year we have been blessed with some beautiful weather! We’ve had a 5 day heat wave and temperatures that would make the holiday makers in Spain and Tenerife jealous.

What better way to enjoy the sun than spending it outside in the great outdoors! With that in mind I have used my experience in the events industry to help you out with these 5 handy tips on how to plan your summer event.

  1. Planning
  2. Budget
  3. Weather
  4. Sound system
  5. Have fun!!


outdoor party
Garden Party. Picture Courtesy of Daniella Sangha, Facebook

1 – Planning is essential for a seamless stress-free event. Make a list of the parking/access to venue, event timings, number of attendees and list of acts/entertainment and their requirements. This is the sort of information that the venue, caterers and AV company will want to know. Now is also the time to send out your invites. The earlier the better but I’d advise get started at least 3 months before the event date.

2 – It’s easy to get carried away with your spending when planning an event but please be aware that cheapest is not always the greatest. A good company will discuss options with you that are best suited to your event. Keep a spreadsheet of all your expenditure for the event to make sure you don’t go over your proposed budget. If you are coming close make the most of DIY and internet tutorials, you’ll be surprised how creative you can be with room decorating once you get started.

3 – As us Brits know only too well the weather can never be predicted! Always have a backup option such as a stylish marquee or an indoor venue. No one likes a side dish of torrential rain to go with their bbq burger. If you are having performers on a stage maybe consider putting a gazebo over the performance area. If chosen well it will look great and can be brought relatively cheaply from Argos or the Range.


Outdoor Event. Picture by Gettyimages

4 – If a venue claim they have an in-house PA system it’s a good idea to check it out before your event to avoid any embarrassing mishaps. They may charge extra for use of the system or you may need to hire additional equipment. Sometimes DJ’s and performers come fully equipped with a sound system so remember to ask when you are making the booking.

5 Don’t let the stress of planning an event get to you after all its summer and the best time to let your hair down and relax!

I hope these tips help and have a great summer 🙂


Fun outdoors. Picture courtesy of Sarah Jones, Facebook

Business Exhibition Wows Women of Birmingham

Town Hall
Birmingham City Council House. Picture Courtesy of Social Frames.

In June over 300 business professionals from across the West Midlands arrived at Birmingham City Council House to enjoy the Women in Business Expo. The Banqueting Suite on the first floor of the iconic building was packed with people all eager to see the Fashion Show and Business Exhibition.

Business Exhibition
Headz Up Business, Council House

The annual event hosted by Headz Up Business added a creative flair to networking and included a Catwalk where local designers could showcase their latest designs as well as a Business Exhibition with 24 companies promoting their services. Delegates first had the opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals then were entertained by dance group RNR productions who performed contemporary moves to open the Fashion Show.


dancers (1)
RNR Productionz Dancers. Picture Courtesy of Social Frames

Following this Joshua Williams of the modelling agency Elite Fashion Show Birmingham and his team of models took to the stage to show outfits designed by Dolls of Decadence, Vaughan, Elvira Lee Couture, El_Monet and KissmeKate.

Ruth May Jewellery. Picture Courtesy of Social Frames

A local independent Jeweller, Ruth May also came on stage to talk to the audience about her unique designs and her story behind creating her company. Sally Kleyn of Company Coach and Sean Long from West Midlands Police also gave brief accounts of their companies and current campaigns.

Sean Long with Puspha Alexander Picture courtesy of Social Frames

Pushpa Alexander, mum of three and mastermind behind Headz Up Business commended the diversity of the attendees as women from all walks of life showed up to support each other’s businesses and creativity.

Throughout the event attendees posted their enjoyment of the event twitter using #Headzup .

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