Thursday 31 October 2013

Staysure Insurance has appointed Julie Gledhill as Chief Financial Officer

Staysure, the market leading specialist insurance provider has announced the appointment of Julie Gledhill as Chief Financial Officer as the latest in a number of senior hires as the business continues with its impressive growth. 
Turning over £30million in 2012, up from £19million in 2011, Staysure’s success and commitment in offering quality value-for-money products and services to the 50 plus market, was further endorsed when it received ‘Best Travel Insurance Product’ in the Personal Finance Awards 2012/13 and more recently ‘Best Customer Service’ award in the 2013 UK Broker Awards.

Julie, who has recently remarried and has two children and two step children, has an impressive career history spanning both general insurance and travel, most recently in Finance Director roles at Thomas Cook where she was responsible for the financial operations of the chain’s several hundred branches and its website and latterly, the reporting for the UK business and the Finance Transformation programme. 

Prior to that, Julie was the Associate Finance Director at BGL Group, where she helped the business grow its annual profits from £4m to £56m, creating the UK’s largest privately owned personal lines insurance intermediary.

Her appointment at Staysure follows a series of board-level hires with Steve Ashton as Chairman, Andy Bord as Deputy Chief Executive, and Jonathan Cattle as Chief Technical Officer, joining the existing Executive team and 220 staff in the Northampton headquarters.

Launched in 2004, Staysure is one of the UK’s fastest growing insurance and financial service providers, and focuses on offering competitive products specifically designed for the over 50s consumer. Its significant and rapid growth has secured it a place in the Fast Track 100 for the last three years running and it is confident there will be place in the top 100 again this year when the announcement is made in December.

Ryan Howsam, Chief Executive Officer and owner of Staysure, said: “Julie’s appointment demonstrates the strength of talent and expertise of Staysure’s senior team. Working alongside Steve, Andy, Jonathan and the rest of senior management, Julie will play an integral part in helping Staysure achieve its ambitious growth plans. 

Staysure has an established loyal customer base and has become one of the biggest travel insurers specialising in pre-existing medical condition cover. We see significant opportunities in both our travel insurance business and expansion in to related products and services that will best serve our customers.” Source Staysure Insurance 30-10-13

Find out more about Staysure the over 50's experts range of products including  Health insuranceTravel Insurance, Holiday Homes insurance, Home insurancePrivate Health insurance and Motor insurance Staysure Holidays and it is well worth visiting

Saturday 19 October 2013

Are you thinking of going away for the Half Term Holidays?

The weather forecast in the south of England for the next week is generally wet. Some schools have already started their half term holiday break, but the majority start on the weekend of the 26th October.

It is certainly tempting to consider a break in a warmer sunnier climate to gear yourself for the next few months of longer dark evenings.  

Below is a check list of what you should consider whilst booking your holiday: 

  • Once  you have found that place in the sun and looked at flight times and prices, don't forget your Travel Insurance. Many airlines will lead you to a link on their website to a travel insurance company they have an arrangement with. Does that company always offer you the best price and cover? Alternatives can be found Here
  • If you are thinking of hiring a car it is best to make arrangements in advance. You can also cut back on extras by careful planning. Take your own Sat Nav, it might be cheaper to pay for taking your own child seats than hiring them from the car hire company. Be careful of the very cheap deals that mean you pick up the car full of fuel, paying the car hire company's fuel price and having to return it empty. In many cases it will be returned half full as you won't have used up all the expensive fuel you paid for. Find Car Hire Rental companies Here
  • So you have arranged the car hire what about the excess insurance. Unfortunately you will usually have to pay this and a lot of car hire companies make some of their profit in this area by selling an insurance policy that is rather expensive. In some cases you could be paying  around £250 for a week's insurance - £35 a day whereas buying it from an independent company you could be paying under £3 a day and just spend £21 for the week which means you can have extra spending money for the family. If you are taking a couple of holidays a year and hiring a car, it makes sense to take out an annual policy. These can start from around £38 a year. Find a selection of independent car hire excess companies Here. Some of these also offer Motorhome hire excess insurance, van hire excess insurance and minibus hire excess insurance as well.
  • Finally the weather - unfortunately that can never be relied on 100% but do some research before you make your plans. Most iphones have weather facities now and there are lots of weather websites that provide information on average temperatures, rainfall etc for the time of year. 

Friday 18 October 2013

Eric Pickles plans greater regulation of private rented sector

The Government has unveiled a package of proposals to improve regulation of the private rented housing sector, including establishment of a tenant’s charter.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is planning to force letting and property management agents to join a compulsory redress scheme, ensuring independent investigation of poor service and increasing the likelihood of compensation for badly treated residents.

Launched in response to a Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee report into the private rented sector, the Government’s list of proposals includes publication of a code of practice setting standards for property management.

Pickles said that while he did not want to start ‘strangling’ the private rented sector with red tape, proposals would ‘sharpen the tools’ available to tenants and councils.
A new tenant’s charter will provide information for residents on what they can expect from their rental deals and highlight where action can be taken against hidden fees or poor standards.
Landlords could also be able to offer longer tenancies of three years or more following the introduction of a model tenancy agreement.

Pickles said: ‘Tenants deserve better value for money, and dodgy landlords should be under no illusion they can provide a shoddy service with impunity.

‘These measures will also give tenants the know-how to demand longer-term tenancies that cut costs and meet their needs - and when things do go wrong, the confidence to take action without fear of eviction or harassment.’

While supporting the proposals, Clive Betts, chair of the CLG Committee said it was ‘regrettable that the Government [had] declined to give local authorities the powers and freedom they need to improve housing in their areas.’ Source
Meanwhile earlier today it was announced that Rents have risen to record levels Rents across England and Wales hit record levels in September, with the average price paid by private tenants hitting £757 a month, according to research from property firm LSL Property Services .
• Average rents across England and Wales hit highest level ever recorded – at £757 per month
• Since September 2012 average rents rise 2.1%, up 1.8% over month since August
• On a monthly basis, tenant finances feel impact, with total late rent up by £31 million
• September sees strong tenant demand, with lettings activity up 9.2% in 12 months
Rents across England and Wales have overtaken all previous records, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc, which owns the UK’s largest lettings agent network, including national chains Your Move and Reeds Rains and local agents like Intercounty and The JNP Partnership.(full details here)

Thursday 17 October 2013

Business in the Community's Ban the Box campaign endorsed by Unlock Charity

Unlock, the national charity for people with convictions  issued a press release on the 16th October to lend its support and endorsement to the ‘ban the box’ campaign, which is being led by Business in the Community. The aim of the campaign is to increase the opportunity for people with convictions to compete for jobs.

Christopher Stacey, Director (Services) at Unlock, said “We believe that that, by banning the box, employers are better able to consider convictions at a more appropriate stage in the recruitment process, and at the same time are able to give people with convictions a better opportunity to compete for jobs. Far too often we hear from people who are unable to get past the application part of a recruitment process simply because they have to tick ‘yes’ to the questions about convictions. For employers, the end goal has to be to try and find the best person for the job, and with over 9 million people in the UK with a criminal record, banning the box about convictions is one simple step towards this goal.”

“Critically, we believe that it’s important for this campaign to be led by the business community itself, and that’s why we are wholeheartedly behind BITC in their efforts to take this campaign forward. Behind the scenes, we are able to provide confidential advice, support and training to employers on how they can best put the principles of this campaign into practice in their company, using our knowledge and experience of working with both individuals who have convictions as well as employers who are actively looking to improve their recruitment policies and practices.”
“In so far as our own recruitment process, Unlock has banned the box for both paid and voluntary opportunities. We have a specific policy on the disclosure of convictions, where we explain to applicants that we do not ask about convictions at application stage. We provide individuals who are invited to interview with a self-disclosure form, which we ask them to complete and bring with them to their interview. At the end of the interview, we have a separate discussion where we ask questions about the information they have disclosed on this form, and we make it clear that this will only be considered once we have made a decision about whether they are the right person for the job.” Source Unlock

People and their families who have criminal convictions can find it very difficult in getting insurance. There are specialist insurance brokers who can assist and more information can be found here

Friday 11 October 2013

Questor Insurance comments on Business travel spending set to increase across Western Europe

Vehicle hire and travel insurance specialist Questor Insurance highlights figures which reveal that business travel spending in Western Europe is set to soar in 2014.

According to figures from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) spending on business travel within the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain is forecasted to climb by 3.4%* next year, an increase which may be set to come about as a result of improvements to the global economy.

Recent estimates from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have revealed that German economy (0.7%) and French economy (0.3%) will grow this year**

The GBTA BTI Outlook revealed that the predicted growth in business travel spending across these five markets, if realised, will be the highest seen since the recession.

While business travel spending across Western Europe has been stagnant in 2013, the UK has bucked this trend with a forecasted increase of 1.6% this year to £25.7bn. The research also revealed that international outbound travel will continue to fare better than domestic travel in the UK this year.

In contrast, Spain, Italy and France have all recorded falls in their business travel markets this year. This decline was the most marked in Spain, one of the countries that has been hit hard by the Eurozone crisis, with business travel markets contracting by 6.7% this year.

Commenting, Questor Insurance CEO Andrew Lawrence, said: “As the world economy improves, more ties may be forged between countries around the globe. “Increased international trade will naturally demand more business travel. That is why it is so important for workers across the world to secure business travel insurance. Those who are hiring a car abroad as part of their work trip should also consider taking out car hire excess insurance in advance, to avoid hefty excess charges that could eat into their business budget.”

Buy your business travel insurance and car hire excess insurance from Questor Insurance today.



Questor Insurance’s ‘Be Holiday Savvy’ campaign is running from June to October and will provide travellers with a wealth of handy hints and tips to make the process of planning and executing their foreign holiday that much smoother.

Questor Insurance Services Limited are an independent privately owned insurance intermediary that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company designs and distributes niche insurance products for global markets at the same time providing great customer service via a dedicated in-house team.

Questor's mission is to provide their clients with the best niche insurance products and client service. They do this by designing their own insurance products, building their own software and by providing detailed and ongoing training to their staff.

They pride themselves on providing the personal touch to customers, they can telephone, email or make contact through Questor Insurance's  Live Chat application. Whichever way a customer makes contact with Questor Insurance they will always find that the staff are ready to go the extra mile to assist.

Questor Insurance also supports its customers through the claim process. They have access to the Underwriter's claim systems so that they can provide their customers with updates on their claim and they meet with the claim handlers regularly to discuss servicing issues. Questor Insurance Services are also in the process of developing what will be an industry-leading claims platform to streamline the claims process even further to the benefit of customers.

Questor Insurance currently offers insurance in three product classes, Vehicle Hire Excess, Travel Insurance and Excess Protection.

The company started trading back in August 2007 having received their authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority’s predecessor in July 2007. They are a dynamic innovative business with committed staff which translates into a great business.  Their products are supplied retail to this website and wholesale to other sites. Source Questor Insurance Services Press Release 11-10-13

Thursday 10 October 2013

Questor Insurance comments on Consumers receiving £187 million a day in insurance payouts

Vehicle hire and travel insurance specialist Questor Insurance have highlighted figures which show that insurers have paid out a staggering £187 million a day to their customers* in a press release from the 9th October 2013
The figures from the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) UK Insurance Key Facts 2013 demonstrate the pivotal role that insurers play in consumers’ lives, and the contribution they make to the UK economy as a whole.

According to the data from the ABI, investment and savings policies made up the biggest share of the insurance payout pot at £57.5 million a day. This was followed by pension annuity payments (£37.1 million), protection policies such as critical illness and life insurance (£36.1 million a day) and motor insurance policies (£19.1 million).

Otto Thoresen, ABI’s Director General, argued that the above figures demonstrate that “Insurance is woven into the fabric of our society”, with nine out of ten households having at least one insurance policy in place.

Travellers also received £1 million a day under their insurance policies, revealing that benefit of taking travel insurance out before your holiday, and the crucial part it can play in providing cover should things go wrong on your break abroad

According to official figures from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), here are just some of the costs that those heading to foreign climes could face, if they haven’t secured a travel insurance policy for their trip.

  •     £35-45,000 - air ambulance from USA’s East coast
  •     £12-16,000 - air ambulance from the Canary Islands
  •     £15-20,000 - scheduled flight, stretcher and doctor escort from Australia (figures supplied by FirstAssist Services Ltd)**

Commenting, Questor Insurance CEO Andrew Lawrence, said: “While consumers may be making cut backs in an effort to make ends meet, travel insurance is a worthwhile investment.
“While travel insurance can cost from just a few pounds a day, emergency medical expenses and more can run into the thousands.”

Buy your travel insurance from Questor Insurance today

Questor Insurance’s ‘Be Holiday Savvy’ campaign is running from June to October and will provide travellers with a wealth of handy hints and tips to make the process of planning and executing their foreign holiday that much smoother.


.**    Source: Questor Insurance October 2013

Article on buying a property in Spain in Living Spain

I have just been reading through Christopher Nye's interesting article "House buying in Spain" in the autumn 2013 edition of  Living Spain magazine.

One area that was not mentioned was once you have purchased that Spanish property (and it appears from the media generally at the moment there is a good choice and bargains about) what do you do about the insurance.

Going through the Intasure Insurance stats for this year there have been a lot of people who have property in Spain taking out new Intersare insurance policies or renewing them.

It looks like buying in Spain can be complicated (as in many countries) and It makes great sense when you can talk to an advisor if you need to in your own language.

Intasure insurance covers holiday home owners in a large number of countries. They also offer main residence insurance. So if you live permanently in a country like Spain, Ireland, England etc you just take out the policy with them. 

Going through through the stats further today, it looks like customers from many other countries have purchased via the dedicated links on the various jml Insurance websites - Italy, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, South Africa, Cyprus, Turkey, Portugal, Germany, Malta, France, Bulgaria and the UK.

As you will want to find out more visit Intasure Insurance Here 

Remember they also are involved with business insurance, Holiday cabin and chalet insurance and for the UK property rental market (including holiday homes of course) Landlord and Tenant insurance products. 

Do you live in a block of apartments / flats in the UK? They offer products for this area as well. Find out more Here

Monday 7 October 2013

Rentguard Insurance have two excellent guides

Rentguard Insurance have two very useful guides available on line.

The first is their latest edition of "Property Care" which covers tips for property care and maintenance. This covers all aspects of the average property - Roof, attic, walls, doors and windows, security, kitchen, laundry area, bathrooms, central heating, electrics and gas. 

There are also sections on pipes, drains and the garden. See the Guide Here 

As Rentguard sells a great amount of Landlord insurance products it makes sense that have a specialist guide for Landlords. This is "Landlord Good Practice Guide".

This is a very comprehensive easy to read guide that covers everything from: Preparing a property - knowledge of the law - Resident landlords letting or sharing out part of their home - Energy Perfromance Certificates (EPC) - Deposits - Insurance naturally - Inventories and maintenance issues +. See the Guide Here

Rentguard Insurance offers a large selection of property related products :

Landlords Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance

Legal Expenses with/without Rent Guarantee Insurance

For Owners (Private Residences)

For Tenants

Holiday Home Insurance

Landlord HMO Insurance 

Home Insurance

Portfolio and Blocks of Flats Insurance Insurance