Archives for 2014

Wedding Insurance Review

Are You Getting Married? Don’t Forget Wedding Insurance!

Getting married is one of the most exciting (and frightening) times of your life. It’s exciting because you’re about to celebrate the love you have for someone you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. It’s frightening because there is so much to organise and pulling it all together can leave you reaching for the headache pills (or that bottle of Vodka, whichever helps most)!

Some people opt for a low key affair while others want to let the whole world know they’re getting married to their true love. It doesn’t matter what type of wedding you want, where it is or what time of year, the stress levels are the same.

Of course, there is the cost to think about as well. In fact, these days the average cost of a wedding is a whopping £20,000 (sorry Father of the Bride)! When you start to look at your to do list, it’s easy to understand how you can easily spend this much. There are flowers, cake, catering, the venue and we can’t forget the dress! The list goes on (sorry again, Father of the Bride)!

If you are in the process of organising your wedding it might all sound like a nightmare instead of a dream however, it can be a lot of fun especially if you know you’re well protected should anything go wrong.

What I’m talking about here is insurance and there are many companies on the market that will insure your wedding, but they offer other services as well. Wedding Plan however is different. They only deal with weddings which mean you can be rest assured they really know what they’re doing.

They have over 20 years of experience in the field of wedding insurance, and the plans they have to offer will suit all budgets. The best thing of all is they have no less than 9 plans to choose from. The cheapest will cost you £18.49 and the most expensive will cost you £199.99 so Dad won’t be too displeased to see that invoice plus, it means he won’t have to worry about losing money if the person videoing your wedding gets drunk and produces something that looks like a dizzy child recorded it!

All sorts of things can go wrong and having some wedding insurance behind you will help to ease the pain, and I think that Wedding Plan has thought about everything. Take a look below at the benefits you can expect to receive:

  • Cancellations are covered.
  • If you have to re-arrange something due to an illness or other “mishap” Wedding Plan will cover you.
  • Wedding clothing is covered (especially the dress).
  • God Forbid that something should happen to your cake, gifts or flowers, so they’re all covered.
  • Cars and other transportation.
  • Photographs and videos.
  • Essential documentation is covered, which is especially useful if you’re getting married abroad.
  • Personal accidents.
  • Of course, the rings are also covered so if your best man loses them, they can be replaced.

The best thing of all is that it doesn’t matter what level of cover you choose, all of the above will be included in your policy. However, you do have to think about how much you’ll receive should anything go wrong. It’s also worth noting you will have to pay an excess but this is a mere £25 on all policies except for Platinum Plus, Premier and Premier Plus which is still pretty cheap at £50.

On A More Serious Note

We can all joke about various problems that can occur when a wedding is being arranged, or even when it’s in full swing. After all, you’re letting a whole bunch of people loose on free food and drink! But, and this is especially important if you’re going abroad, Wedding Plan has thought about the more serious issues that can happen.

If you want, you can have optional extras that will cover you for the following:

  • If you’re having a Marquee, Wedding Plan will give you up to £20,000 if something should go wrong and all your guests end up on the floor fighting with the roof!
  • Public Liability is also available although it is included on some of the more expensive plans.
  • Unusually (and I’ve not seen another company offer this), if you have ceremonial swords at your wedding they will cover these for up to £20,000
  • Now, this one is very serious but it has to be thought about. If a death occurs, someone loses a limb or the sight in one or both eyes you can opt to have the expenses covered as part of your policy.


If you’re in the early stages of planning a wedding, I feel your pain (and your excitement). Even if you’re part way through your wedding plans, and have realised the thought of something going wrong is just all too much for you, it’s still not too late to organise an insurance policy.

As you can see from the information above, this company has just about thought of everything, if not EVERYTHING. Even if you have a slightly different requirement and don’t see what you need here, don’t be afraid to ask them. After all, it’s your big day and the people behind Wedding Plan insurance realise this.

In fact, they often conduct surveys with people who have AND haven’t used them so they’re constantly abreast of current trends and needs. After all, they haven’t been in business and successfully for 20 years for nothing!

So, there you have it, wedding insurance from Wedding Plan. The main thing is that you make sure you’re properly covered so you can get on with enjoying your big day, and I think this company really has it “covered”. You only have to read some of the many case studies on their website to know there are plenty of very happy customers whose weddings went off without a hitch even if something did go wrong!

John Lewis Pet Insurance Review

John Lewis Pet Insurance

If you’re not an animal lover (that is to say cats and dogs), you’re on the wrong page! If you are an animal lover – welcome! You’re just about to find out all about John Lewis pet insurance and how it can make sure your furry friend or friends are well looked after should they become ill or suffer and accident.

It doesn’t matter if you have a one eared “moggy” or a pure bred pet that cost you a small fortune to buy; this company has an insurance policy to help. OK, so you might know John Lewis better for the marvellous department store that it is. However, they’re already proving to be a reliable source for all types of insurance.

OK, less waffle and more information on what a John Lewis pet insurance policy can do to make sure little Tiddles the Persian or Rex the Labrador get the care they need, when they need it!

The first thing I’d like to mention is the fact that John Lewis offer something called long-term cover for pets which isn’t that common. Other companies will either limit you to the amount of time you can claim for a health condition or, how much you can claim.

No! This company has thought long and hard about what pet owners want from their insurance and they’ve done away with these restrictions. So, if your cat gets stung by a bee, or you have a dog that’s developed an illness that needs long-term care they will cover them.

The other option John Lewis pet insurance offers that I have rarely seen anywhere-else is the level of cover you can choose. In fact, they have three separate options: Essential, Plus and Premier. Of course, the higher the level of cover, the more it will cost but this does help if you have a breed of cat or dog that can develop complicated health issues.

So, let’s take a look at each one in turn.

Essential Pet Insurance

Being an animal lover myself, I certainly think pet insurance is “essential” so I think this level of cover has been very aptly named! This is what you get:

  • Vet fees and dental care treatment is paid up to £3,000.
  • For accidental damage (to other people’s property not your pet) is limited to £250.
  • You get complimentary treatment up to £500.
  • You’re provided with what John Lewis pet insurance call their free “vetfone” helpline which is at your disposal 24 hours a day. After all, your four legged friend doesn’t make an appointment to get ill!
  • Stolen or lost pets, death from illness or from an accident is all covered to the tune of £500.
  • If you need special food for treatment, you get up to £250.
  • For dogs only (and it’s kind of obvious why), you get up to £1 million third party liability. If you’re not sure what this means let me tell you. If your dog is involved in an altercation that causes injury or (in the worst case scenario), death to another person you’ll be covered for legal and damage costs.
  • The last one on this policy covers you if (God forbid) your pets goes missing. John Lewis will pay up to £500 for advertising and/or the offer of a reward.

Plus Pet Insurance

This is the middle of the range on the pet insurance policies John Lewis offer, and you get everything mentioned above “plus”:

  • Holiday cancellation up to the value of £3,000.

Of course, the amounts you’re covered for each point above also go up!

Premier Pet Insurance

This policy comes with the highest price tag, so it all depends on how much it’s likely to cost you for things like vet fees, dental care any of the other “essentials” mentioned. For example, both vet fees and dental care shoot up to £12,000 and third party liability for your dog is a whopping £3 million!


You may think the John Lewis pet insurance policy is too good to be true, and whilst they offer many benefits lots of the other companies don’t there are still certain restrictions to think about. For instance, if you have a dog that’s registered under the dangerous dogs act they can’t offer you a policy. This comes into force even if your dog is a mix or cross breed.

If you’ve been shopping around for pet insurance, you might well be aware there can be age restrictions. John Lewis will only cover your cat or dog from the age of eight weeks. Surprisingly, there isn’t an upper age limit however, if your pet is older than nine the death from illness cover isn’t available.

Other Considerations

If your pet has a pre-existing health condition, don’t expect to get cover for it. Even if your pet’s illness is hereditary or congenital John Lewis still won’t cover you. You can still get a policy with them, it just means care for the condition they already have will come out of your own pocket.

If your pet has reached the age where he or she needs to be neutered, this also isn’t covered. In fact, any routine exams or “elective” treatments will have to be paid for by you and this includes dental as well as general health.

Don’t Be Put Off

Some of you may think the last two paragraphs make the John Lewis pet insurance policy a little shall we say, stingy! However, these are standard and you’ll find them with pretty much all other companies on the market.

In fact I think they’ve more than made up for it by offering three different levels of cover as well as long-term insurance. Plus, you’re dealing with a company that’s underwritten by Royal Sun Alliance and you can’t get much more respected than that!

Just as a final thought (and I’m sure this may have crossed your mind), if you have more than one pet and insure them all with John Lewis you will receive a 5% discount. Perhaps that’s enough not to put you off!




AA Motorcycle Insurance Review

AA Motorcycle Insurance

It’s a minefield out there isn’t it? And I’m not just talking about finding the right motorcycle insurance policy! I’m talking about how dangerous it can be if this is your chosen form of transport. Of course, many motorcyclists are highly responsible when they take to the roads; it’s the “others” you have to watch!

All sorts of things can go wrong when you drive on two wheels instead of four! Other motorists don’t see you because they’re not paying attention. You’re out in the open rather than being housed in a tin can, and I’m not even going to start on driving in heavy traffic!

This is why it’s imperative you have the right motorbike insurance policy, and the AA is (in my humble opinion) one of the best out there! Not only has this company been around for what seems like forever, they’re not likely to disappear from the insurance market in a hurry either. This means you’re dealing with a company that has a plethora of experience, and you can rely on them as well.

So, why would you take up an AA motorcycle insurance policy ahead of anyone-else? You’re about to find out!

What You Get as Standard

Before I dive in and tell you what you get for your money without adding any extras, it’s worth noting what type of motorbikes AA will insure, and the range is pretty extensive. If you own a moped, tourer, scooter or (for those die hards among you) a super bike there’s a bike policy for you!

Right, so first off if this isn’t your first insurance policy, and you intend to move away from the company you’re currently using (and why wouldn’t you), the AA will allow you to transfer what no-claims bonus you already have. So, before you’ve even signed on the dotted line you can save some money.

No two motorcyclists are the same as I’m sure you’ll agree and this extends to the type of insurance policy you need. With this in mind, you can pick and choose what benefits you would like. In fact, if you don’t see something you’d like to have covered just ask! If you have more than one motorcycle, and I know from experience this isn’t uncommon there are multi-bike policies available.

New for Old Anyone

I like this idea because it’s more common for a motorbike to be written off than say, a car or van. For this reason, it’s not that easy to get an insurance policy that offers new for old. However, that’s not the case with the AA.

If your bike is “totalled” this company will replace it for you. Although, don’t think you can finally buy the motorbike of your dreams because there are certain restrictions. I think the fact AA offer this type of insurance for a motorbike is generous enough, don’t you?

Oh, and your precious two-wheeler doesn’t have to be crushed in order for this part of the policy to kick-in. They’ll also replace it if it’s lost or stolen (although how anyone loses a motorbike, I don’t know)!

The Optional Extras

There are some extras worth considering that cover you for more serious issues, but let’s deal with what’s probably most important to you first…..

Helmet and Leathers!

I think this extra is cleverly put together as well. Just like your motorbike, the safety gear you wear is going to be a personal choice and not everyone’s outfit costs the same. So, for that reason you can choose how much you’d like to pay:

  • For an additional £25 a year the AA will cover you for up to £500.
  • Another £5 on top of that, making it £30 and you’ll be covered up to £750
  • If you’re someone who has spared no expense with your helmet and leathers, you can decide to pay an additional £40 per year which covers you up to £1,000.

If You Have to Go Legal

One of the most common phrases used when talking about any type of vehicle insurance is “accidents happen”, and never was a truer word spoken. Sure, we all think it will never happen to us, but (and it’s a big but) if it does, there might be a situation where you need to claim costs back. This part of AA’s motorbike insurance policy will cover up to £100,000 if it all goes a bit “Pete Tong” when you’ve had an accident.

Let’s be honest, most people that don’t ride a motorbike will think it’s your fault you ended up on the bonnet of their car! So, this added extra could come in really handy, and it only costs £26 per year. Plus, your no-claims bonus is protected which is something that’s pretty unheard of in the motorcycle insurance world.

Something to Seriously Consider

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, you are at more risk of suffering a personal injury when you ride a motorbike. It doesn’t matter how safe your clothing is, you’re still in the open air so I think tagging personal injury onto your policy is well worth some thought.

If you do decide to opt for this, it will cost a measly £25 per year, and you get all of the following:

£25,000 for:

  • Loss of sight whether it’s in one or two eyes.
  • Loss of both or one of your limbs.
  • You’re permanently disabled (excluding the injuries above).
  • Accidental death. OK, this won’t benefit you but it will help those you leave behind.

Road rage is an issue these days, and as a motorcyclist you’re likely to come across this more. It’s a sad fact but you don’t have a great reputation out there guys and gals! The AA has thought about this so you also get:

  • £100 for a stay in hospital (up to 30 days).
  • £250 for emergency dental treatment.

There you have it! The AA motorcycle insurance policy, all that remains to be said is be safe out there!

AA Van Insurance Review

AA Van Insurance

OK, so I know those of you who drive vans don’t have the best reputation among other road users. Phrases like “white van man” and “road hog” are just a couple of favourites used my motorists. It does seem a little unfair considering we wouldn’t be able to receive things like the weekly supermarket shop or those “must have” shoes that were spotted on a recent internet surf if wasn’t for people who drive vans!

You may be forgiven for thinking that because you use a van for business (or personal use), you’ll be punished by insurance companies due to the reputation you have. However, that isn’t the case. Well, it isn’t where AA van insurance is concerned anyway.

AA insurance has been around for a long-time, generations in fact, so you might also be thinking they’re a little too big for their boots and don’t have to offer great deals on van insurance simply because it’s such a stable company. But this isn’t the case either. In fact, they know how competitive this marketplace is and they have a wealth of experience in making sure they gain new customers and hang on to them!

So, now I’ve “bigged” them up, you’ll probably want to know what all the fuss is about. That is if you’ve read this far! Below are as many of the benefits on AA van insurance I could squeeze into the space I have here, and there are many!

The Basics

Unlike a lot of insurance companies that deal with vehicles, you can get all levels of cover with the AA. They offer comprehensive (always a good idea in my opinion, given the amount of time you spend on the road)! Third party, fire and theft or just third party if you fancy running the gauntlet with all those other so called “motorists” on the road.

The company cover a wide range of vehicles under their van insurance from small vans to tippers, and you even get European cover if you’re planning a day trip (wink, wink)! Other benefits you can expect with a basic van insurance policy include up to 60% no-claims discount, and that won’t be affected if you need to have a repair done to your windscreen or windows (pesky stones)!

If you happen to lose your keys or someone decides they would like to lay “claim” to them, the AA will give you up to £250 to sort the problem out. Oh, and I can’t forget the 5% discount you get if you already have personal breakdown cover with them although there are restrictions with this so make sure you check.

The Extras

Van Rescue

You might think that just because you have a brand spanking new van it won’t let you down when you’re on the road right? Wrong! All sorts of things can occur, and if you use your van for business, time is money!

The AA proudly boasts they have more patrols out on the roads than any other insurer so if you do need roadside assistance, they’ll have you back on your way before you know it. For a mere £65 you’ll get a mechanic if you break down, but bear in mind you must be more than ¼ mile from your home or office address. You’ll also get something called “home start” if your van decides not to budge an inch if you’re within a ¼ mile from your home or office.

If that wasn’t enough, you also get something called relay which means you and up to 7 passengers will be transported by a friendly AA expert to a destination (UK mainland only) if your van is stubborn enough not to start.

Van Hire

I happen to think this added extra is definitely worth having especially if you use your vehicle for business. For an additional £30 the AA will give you a replacement van if your own vehicle ends up in the garage for repair. This little benefit also kicks in if your van is declared a complete loss or, (and hopefully this will never happen), is stolen.

A hire vehicle is on offer up to 21 days consecutively but only if you have a fully comprehensive van insurance policy, and 14 days for any other policy except third party only.

Legal Expenses

Again, I think this is well worth considering since you never know what’s “around the corner” when you’re on the road. Accidents do happen, and they’re not always your fault. So, if you want to make sure you’re properly protected, taking out the legal expense option will cover you for up to £100,000. This helps if you want to claim back any excess or other costs associated with an accident. Plus, the AA will kindly make sure your no-claims bonus isn’t affected, and you get all this for no less than £26 per year!

Personal Accident Cover

I actually can’t think of any reason why someone wouldn’t take this cover out. Even if you never end up with a personal injury (and let’s hope you don’t), it’s still nice to know you have the back-up should you need it. For just £27.50 per year you get up to £25,000 to help if you suffer the following:

  • Total loss of sight in one or both of your eyes.
  • If you lose one or two limbs, you’ll be covered.
  • If you end up disabled (other than the two injuries mentioned above), you’ll get assistance.
  • Accidental death is also covered.

If you suffer an injury due to road rage, and let’s face it there’s a lot of it about these days! AA will cover you for the following:

  • If you stay in hospital, the AA will give you £100 per day but this is limited to 30 days.
  • If you’ve had your teeth “bashed” in, the AA will give you £250 for emergency dental treatment.


Personally, I can’t think of a better company than AA van insurance, and given the information above it’s not surprising they’re still one of the most respected companies out there!

John Lewis Home Insurance Review

John Lewis Home Insurance

One of the biggest purchases anyone is likely to make in their lives is a home. It may surprise you but there are people out there that feel home insurance is a big scam and after all, “it will never happen to me”. How wrong they are!

The fact is Murphy’s Law has a way of teaching you a lesson, and if you don’t insure your home the chances are you’ll suffer the worst storms you’ve seen in years. Plus, to top it all yours is the only house in the street that ends up with an ancient oak tree through the roof!

OK, so lectures on why you should get home insurance aside, which company do you choose? This can be a bit of a minefield because there are so many insurance companies on the market, and it’s a highly competitive industry so it’s easy to have your head turned by cheap, cheap prices.

As you’ve probably gathered from the title to this article, I intend to tell you all about John Lewis Home insurance. At this point you might be thinking they’ll be out of your price range because, after all, they’re John Lewis darling! Not so. This company takes pride in the products and services it offers which is why they have become such a household name over the years.

They also recognise that price as well as service is important, especially in the home insurance industry but what about products?

Buildings Insurance

If you’re new to the whole home insurance situation, you might not be aware that policies like this come two fold. One part covers your buildings and the other covers your contents (more on that further down). For this section, I’m covering buildings insurance (just in case you didn’t read the sub-heading)!

John Lewis home insurance policies cover all of your outbuildings, sheds, garage, fences, gates, walls, drives and of course, the overall structure of your home. Do remember however, to be part of the buildings insurance, fixtures have to be permanent.

One of the most popular questions these days is “will I be covered for floods”? The answer in this case is yes, but do make sure you question an agent thoroughly so you understand exactly what’s involved. You will also be covered for fire damage and subsidence.

I’ve chosen the Premier level of home insurance with John Lewis just to give you an idea of some of the benefits they offer.

  • Home Emergency Cover 24 Hours a Day – Imagine this. You’re sat at home one evening enjoying an episode of Coronation Street when suddenly, there is a huge crash and water starts gushing down the stairs! Panic may well ensue as you try to remember how to switch the water off! However, if you have home insurance with John Lewis, they will give you an emergency number to call. On top of that, they’ll find the right tradesman for you AND pay up £1,500 towards the cost!
  • Alternative Accommodation – This all depends on what exactly has happened in your home, so make sure you ask about this section of the insurance policy. Basically, if you can’t live in your home due to say, a flood, John Lewis will pay for you to stay elsewhere until the damage has been repaired.
  • Unlimited Buildings Cover – Wow! I thought when I saw this little snippet of information. John Lewis have made it possible for you to stop worrying about finding out how much it will cost to rebuild your home should the worst happen. There are stipulations, especially when it comes to the contents but I’ve yet to see this offered by an alternative insurance firm!

Contents Insurance

I know this section will interest people simply because we relate to our personal items much better than the four walls around us. Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of those things I guess! Again, I’m going to choose the Premier home insurance policy because, well, it gives you the most benefits (even if it might be their top option).

The contents insurance from John Lewis is there to protect the items you have inside your home (sorry to state the obvious)! This means if you suffer loss or damage due to fire, water, storms or even theft you’ll be covered. This could be smashed glass, audio equipment, furniture and much more. What I will say is you should triple check what is actually covered before you sign on the dotted line especially if you have high value items.

Very briefly, below are some of the benefits with this level of home insurance from John Lewis:

  • Accidental Damage – Or as John Lewis term it “full accidental damage”. This means if, for instance, a glass of red wine is spilled onto your brand new cream carpet you can make a claim.
  • Personal Possession Cover – Now this might not be something everyone needs with a home insurance policy, but we are talking premier cover here! If you take items away with you (and this can be anywhere in the world), John Lewis will cover them for up to £25,000. So, if your precious camera goes missing or you can’t find your mobile phone, they will be replaced.
  • Cover for Bicycles – All pedal type bicycles are covered including any accessories regardless of whether they’re at your home or in Europe. Although you will only be covered for up to 60 days while in Europe.
  • The Student Option – Ah, parents, I feel your pain! And that’s why I think this is a great idea. If you have children at college or university, contents they take with them from the home will be insured, so there’s no need to worry about the proverbial glass of “cordial” spilt over a computer keyboard!


I have covered the top end of the John Lewis home insurance buildings and contents insurance policy however, for those of you who have a budget to worry about, you can choose to take out their Essential or Plus cover instead which also have some great benefits!

John Lewis Car Insurance Review

John Lewis Car Insurance

Some of your reading this who are of a “certain” age may well be surprised to learn that John Lewis offer car insurance policies these days. After all, this company has always been considered as one of the more up market department stores in the UK, (visits reserved for most of us at Christmas or when shopping for a special birthday present)!

They have long been synonymous with all types of products that include clothing, home-ware and electricals to name but a few. But John Lewis car insurance who would have thought it! Now, some of you may be thinking that companies should stick to what they know best. However, John Lewis has an awful lot of “clout” when it comes to expertise so they can afford to employ the best in their field! That’s why I think they’re definitely worthy of a look if you’re want to start a new car insurance policy or need to renew and would prefer a different company.

Types of Car Insurance Policies Available

First of all, it’s important to remember that not all companies will offer you “pure” third party only cover anymore however, John Lewis are different. With them, you can opt to have this one, Third Party Fire and Theft or Fully Comprehensive.

Of course, it goes without saying that in this day and age you should, where possible always opt for a fully comprehensive policy. These days, taking to the road can be a little, shall we say, “Dicey”. For the most part, many of us won’t experience a major accident, but little problems can occur and that’s where a fully comprehensive car insurance policy comes in VERY handy!

So let’s start with those of you who are looking at the more basic car insurance available:

Third Party Only

Below is what you get for this bargain policy:

  • Liabilities to Third Parties – Confused what this means? Let me explain. Basically, if you’re unfortunate enough to be liable for the injury or, (let’s hope not) the death of a person, you’ll be covered. This also extends to any damage caused. Do remember though, because you’re paying for third party only there will be restrictions so make sure you get the amount you can claim in writing before your policy starts.


  • Using Your Car Overseas – Legal liability to others you may have a problem with on the road will be covered under this level of car insurance with John Lewis. However, don’t think you can meander your way down to the Sahara desert to take in the scenery! You will only be covered for up to 90 days in European countries (or Non-European as pre-agreed).


  • No Claims Discount and Protection – Ah Ha! The wonderful no claims discount! John Lewis are not about punishing you because you can only afford to pay for a bargain car insurance policy, so they will give you no claims discount and protection with this one.


Third Party Fire and Theft

It goes without saying that whatever you get with Third Party Only car insurance policies John Lewis has to offer, you will also get with other levels. So, if you’ve skipped straight to this section it might be worth having a look above or you could miss some of the benefits!

So, what else do you get with this level? Let’s see.

  • Fire and Theft – It would be pretty silly not to include this since that’s what this car policy is based on! As with any car insurance company, there are some things not covered. So, if you think you might get a new CD player when there wasn’t one there before, think again!


The Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy

As we all know, any company that insures cars will advise it’s best to take out a fully comprehensive policy, and with good reason! There are so many benefits included in the policy available from John Lewis; it’s easier to give you a quick bullet list instead!

  • All of the above (of course).
  • Car Damage
  • Broken windows or your windscreen
  • Medical and personal accident expenses
  • Personal belongings
  • Personal accident costs
  • Replacement locks

The Little Extras

It doesn’t stop there with a John Lewis car insurance policy! If you prove you can be a careful driver, they will reward you with a no claims discount of up to 75%, and in some cases you’ll even get to protect it. Courtesy cars are provided should you need one, and if you need to be somewhere fast after an accident, the company will kindly pay your taxi fare!

Other optional extras include breakdown cover for your car which includes both roadside and home rescue assistance, and excess protection.

The Best until Last!

There was no point in starting this article with the offer John Lewis currently has. After all, the purpose here is to give you some information on what you can expect from a practical point of view. However, I couldn’t finish without mentioning the fact you could win a 5 door Golf Match 1.4 and get this! You also get a choice of metallic paint! Before you get too excited, this is a competition and you’ll be entered into the prize draw if you decide to take a policy before 31st October 2014. Oh, and if you are lucky enough to win you won’t have to worry about insuring the car because John Lewis will give you it free for the first year!


John Lewis may not be the obvious choice for a lot of people looking for a car insurance policy, but as with everything-else this company does – they’re doing it well! In my humble opinion, I think this company is well worth a look before you decide which car insurance policy will work best for you.

You can also get a number of additional discounts for things like applying online or adding a new customer to your existing policy. Plus, their customer service division gets some pretty great feedback too!



Visit John Lewis For a Free Quote


Direct Line Home Insurance Review

Direct Line Home Insurance

There is probably a reason why the company name Direct Line was thought up, but who would have thought it would one day mean just that – direct! We in the UK have become a nation of bargain hunters in recent years, and for good reason! This is probably why comparison websites have become so popular.

However, Direct Line home insurance won’t be found on these sites – why? Simple! Because the only thing you get if you use a site like this is a comparison on the price. If you’re looking for some insurance on your home, there are more than likely questions you’ll need answering there and then. This is why Direct Line pride themselves on the fact that it’s best to get everything you need straight from the “horse’s mouth”.

Everyone has different needs with all types of insurance, and it’s no different when you want to protect you bricks and mortar as well as everything that’s housed inside. For that reason, Direct Line offer no less than three policies so you get exactly what you need.

The first option I’m going to “cover” is…….

Standard Buildings and Content Insurance

If you have a home that could cost up to £1 million to re-build or repair (including any outbuildings), this home insurance policy could be just what you’re looking for. To make for easier reading, I’ve decided to give you an “at a glance” list of all the benefits you can expect to receive:

  • If you’re contents don’t exceed a value of £50,000 everything will be covered.
  • Surprisingly for insurance companies these days, Direct Line offers a “new for old” policy. This covers everything from personal belongings, garage contents, carpets, curtains and everything in between.
  • If you’re still the type to hide cash under your mattress or, indeed in places like the freezer (the less said about that the better)! You will be covered for up to £500.
  • Items in your garden up to the value of £1,000 also come under this home insurance policy, so Dave the gnome will always be protected, even if he does end up becoming Dave mark II!
  • As we all know fire and water is something that can devastate a home, and that hasn’t been missed by Direct Line. You’re even covered if damage occurs due to a lightning strike or you suffer a flood.
  • As would be expected, things like lost or stolen keys, freezer contents and even items like the kids laptops are covered (even if they’re not at the house). Although there are certain stipulations with the latter. Plus, you will only be covered for up to £5,000.
  • As an added extra, the amounts mentioned above increase by 10% for 4 weeks either side of a wedding or Christmas. Now you can’t say fairer than that!

Not Forgetting Buildings Insurance

As mentioned, your building is also covered under this Direct Line policy and this includes just about everything you can think of when it comes to those little (or large) mishaps that can happen. Just make sure you double check when speaking with an agent.

Direct Line Home Insurance Plus

Personally, I think this policy from Direct Line is particularly useful for those of you who have older homes, or even for people who just want that added sense of security with regards to emergency problems.

Of course, you get everything mentioned in the standard policy plus a home emergency visit which includes the call out charge, labour and parts. However, do bear in mind this only goes up to £500. But, what is worth noting is what you can use this service for!

  • If your plumbing or drainage gives up the ghost, Direct Line will send an expert to you.
  • All electrics and heating is covered.
  • Security such as external locks for both doors and windows.
  • Pest cover is also included but I am talking about rodents or bugs and not the children!

What I think is really useful with this level of home cover is the fact you get annual travel insurance as well. Just so you have a brief idea of what you can expect from this, you’ll be covered for £5,000 in case of cancellation, £5 million for overseas medical expenses and should there be an emergency you’ll get help 24 hours of the day.

Another great idea which, yes, you guessed it, is also included in the price is ID fraud assistance and protection. This means your internet connection is monitored around the clock (perfect for things like online banking). Plus, personal assistance is available to help you stop this type of crime happening in your home.

Now, last but definitely not least Direct Line has the home insurance policy detailed below. In my opinion, this is really worth having if you’re lucky enough to own a property that needs some heavy duty insurance!

Select Premier Direct Line Home Insurance

Bear in mind that both buildings and contents insurance are available with this policy, but it does START at £100,000. As Direct Line say, this is the perfect insurance for high value homes. So, what else do you get?

  • Of course new for old is available if you need items replacing, but the difference with this policy is covers you worldwide.
  • You get your very own dedicated account manager.
  • Instead of £500 for emergencies, you get £750 and there is no excess to pay.
  • If, at this stage you’re wondering about your jewellery or art collection – don’t! Anything of this sort worth over £10,000 is covered as part of the policy.

Other Benefits

Like many other home insurance companies, Direct Line offer discounts when you apply online, and in most cases this can be as much as 20%. There are also loads of optional extras to choose from. In fact, if you decide you would like a particular policy but it doesn’t quite meet your needs Direct Line will do their best to help – Just don’t expect Mr. Wolf to be on the other end of the line!




Aviva Travel Insurance Review

The first thing I’m going to say about Aviva travel insurance is that you’re not likely to find it on a comparison website. Well, you might but the chances are you won’t get the best deal they have to offer. After all, travel insurance (for a lot of people) is an added expense you more than likely find a bit of a pain!

However, as is the way in the world if you don’t take out some insurance when you go on holiday, you’ll probably end up having an accident and the one thing you don’t need is a huge bill! This could mean you’re travellers cheques are spent before you manage to find the perfect souvenirs’ for everyone!

So, what makes Aviva travel insurance worth considering when you’re planning a trip away? Read on to find out.

Single Trips

If you want to take out single trip travel insurance, you can get it from Aviva. After all, I wouldn’t bother mentioning it otherwise! Generally, you’ll be covered for 120 days either abroad or in the UK but you will have to make sure you’ve booked at least 2 nights (in a row) at a hotel or some other form of accommodation.

Annual Travel Insurance

If you’re someone who travels often (lucky you)! The best thing to do is take out annual travel insurance as it does work out a lot cheaper. The difference with an insurance policy like this is you’re only covered for a maximum of 31 days each trip. But, this can be extended up to 90 days if you need it (although that will cost you slightly more).

If you intend to have annual travel insurance, you will also be covered for any holidays you take, but as with the policy above you will have to make sure you’ve booked at least 2 night’s accommodation.

The standard benefits you can expect from both of the above are as follows:

  • If you need urgent medical attention (and let’s hope you don’t), Aviva will cover you for up to £10 million.
  • Lost or stolen passports are covered for up to £750.
  • No-one wants to suffer a robbery when they’re away so it’s worth thinking about being “street smart” with your cash. However, if you are unlucky enough to lose money you’ll be covered for up to £500 overall. Bear in mind though, this will only be £300 for bank notes or change (not that you should have £300 in change – that would just be silly)!
  • Legal expenses, should you need them will be covered up to £50,000.
  • Should the worst happen and you need to cancel or abandon your trip, Aviva will kindly cover you for up to £5,000 and this for each person who is travelling. Oh, and if you’ve already paid for Fido or Tiddles to go into luxury accommodation and need to cancel those fees will be covered as well.

Exclusions to Think About

I find that many people looking for a travel insurance policy (me included) often forget about the “little” things that won’t be covered, and I think you’ll find that Aviva are not being unfair with their exclusions.

For a start, if you intend to visit a country that’s shall we say, a tad volatile, don’ expect to be insured if you run into trouble. When I say this I mean that if you end up being in the middle of war zone, Aviva won’t be able to help! The only piece of advice I can give you here is to make sure you research any country you intend to visit that could suffer a military coup or something-else equally as dangerous to foreigners who are there at the time.

The same can be said for areas that are likely to cause illnesses (or indeed death) as a result of being exposed to nuclear related problems such as radiation, leaks and explosions. Again, the trick here is to make sure your holiday destination isn’t likely to be involved in anything like this.

If you’ve just read the above, and are turned off because the company you work for expects you to visit countries that are considered dangerous, then naughty them for not offering insurance to protect you from this!

Other exclusions include taking potentially dangerous trips on say, a quad bike; you intend to go on a skiing holiday or take a nice relaxing golfing holiday. HOWEVER! If you do go on either of the last two mentioned, it is possible to take travel insurance out as an added extra.

After all, Aviva don’t think its fair you can’t spend your time away sliding down a mountainside on two planks of wood, or swinging a potentially dangerous weapon at a small white ball in the middle of a golf course!


The one thing I would urge you to remember is that Aviva has been trading for a long time, and have an excellent reputation within their field. The prices you pay are competitive and the customer service (worldwide) receives some great reviews.

To justify the comment above bear in mind that you will be offered a 24 hour helpline no matter where you are in the world. With this one number you can sort out medical emergencies, trace lost or (let’s hope it never happens) stolen luggage or travel documents.

In some cases (where it’s needed) Aviva travel insurance will even pay your medical bills direct, so you can get on with what matters most – getting better! In respect of medical conditions if you do suffer from an illness, do yourself a favour and be honest about it before you take a travel insurance policy with them. If you’re not, it might mean you won’t get the care you need when you’re away.

All in all, Aviva is a trusted name within the travel insurance industry, and if you do decide to take out a policy with them, think about going direct. Why? Because they’ll give you up to 20% discount for not using comparison websites!


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Churchill Car Insurance Review

Do you like Bulldogs? If so then you will love the advertisements that you see on television for Churchill car insurance. This loveable little character has become a household name across the UK and I take my hat off to the firm that came up with this advertisement campaign. I’ll bet that Churchill car insurance policies are being taken out in their droves due to this successful ad. If you go on to their website, you will find that it is easy to use and it’s quick and simple to get a quote for a car insurance policy.

Some of the Benefits that Churchill Car Insurance Offers

  • Protection from uninsured drivers – this is an inherent problem in the UK right now, many people think they can get away without car insurance. If you happen to be in an accident that involves someone that is not insured, Churchill’s car insurance policies will protect you from this and your no claims discount will not be affected.
  • If you decide to have named drivers on your car insurance policy they will be able to have their own no claims discount. This is something that is relatively new to the car insurance market and Churchill has been quick to catch on to this.
  • If you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy with Churchill you will benefit from their 24 hour a day accident/recovery hotline. This means that no matter what time of day it is you will be able to speak to a real person on the telephone in order to get help.
  • If you find that you need to have repairs done to your car as a result of an accident or vandalism Churchill will cover the costs under your car insurance policy. Do bear in mind however, that this is only available if you take out a fully comprehensive car insurance policy.
  • Should you be involved in an accident that means your car needs completely replacing then Churchill will cover the cost for this if your car is under 12 months old and you can prove that you are registered keeper.
  • With Churchill, if you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, they offer personal accident cover for you and your partner, wife or husband.
  • If you happen to be in an accident and you incur medical expenses you will not need to worry about how you are going to cover the cost, Churchill will do it all for you. This is a great option and proves that Churchill have recognised that being in an accident can be traumatic for anyone and the last thing you need to be worrying about is how you are going to pay your medical bills.
  • Everyone carries personal belongings with them when they are in their car, especially us ladies, Churchill offer cover for personal belongings within your vehicle with their car insurance policy, however, there are limits so if you decide to carry around that gold bullion you have just “acquired” it is unlikely that you will get the value of this back if it’s lost or stolen!

Optional Extras that you can get with Churchill Car Insurance

The optional extras detailed below will cost you extra nonetheless, they are worth considering:

  • For an additional £2.21 per month you can benefit from legal assistance with Churchill. They will provide you with up £100,000 worth of legal expenses. Some of the things that you will find are covered with this optional extra are:
  • If you happen to be injured or in the worst case scenario are killed in a road accident Churchill will pay compensation to you or your spouse for this.
  • If you do not decide to take out a fully comprehensive car insurance policy with Churchill you can still benefit from cover with repair costs for just a little bit extra each month. I happen to think that this is a great idea, not everyone wants or needs a fully comprehensive car insurance policy and the fact that you can choose to have this sort of cover as an optional extra is fabulous. The other thing you can choose if you don’t have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy is protection for your clothing, personal belongings or luggage.
  • Costs for hire cars and also loss of earnings are another of the optional extras that Churchill can offer you.

All this said you can pretty much make up your own car insurance policy with Churchill; they know that car insurance is big business and is also a very competitive market. Plus, they also know that everyone is different and we all want different things from our car insurance policy.

Churchill Car Insurance for Ladies

This type of car insurance policy has (as the above subtitle suggests) been designed specifically for ladies. You may be asking yourself why, well, the fact is that we ladies are a far safer bet when it comes to being on the road. We tend to be far more careful when we are driving compared to our male counterparts. As a lady, if you take out a car insurance policy with Churchill you will get all of the benefits listed in this article plus…get this… can save over £400! This is possibly one of the largest savings available from any of the major car insurance companies. Bear in mind that you can also add you partner or husband to your car insurance policy which means that you will both save money.

Multi-Car Insurance with Churchill

Churchill offer multi-car insurance policies, this is not uncommon in the car insurance market however, the discounts that you can get with Churchill if you want to take out a multi-car insurance policy are less common. They will offer you 15% discount in the first year of your policy and 5% every year thereafter. Do remember that should you be with Churchill for a number of years you may well be able to better this should it be time for you to renew your policy and have found a better deal elsewhere. However, for now, don’t be greedy, these discounts are some of the best to be had right now.

Some Great Advice from Churchill on how to stop Fraudulent Claims

I was on Churchill’s website recently and I found a snippet of information that I have found really useful. We all know “ambulance chasers” as they are lovingly referred to and they help people who are genuinely hurt in an accident to claim compensation for the injuries they suffer. Unfortunately, this has also brought along a number of undesirables that have decided that they can make money by deliberately causing accidents. I happen to think I am a good person and it had never occurred to me that this might happen to me.

Churchill are working with various official bodies in order to stop this from happening, here is some of the advice that they offer in order for you to ensure that you do not become a victim of this type of “crime”. I use the term crime loosely; there is a very fine line here on this type of con!

  • This is an obvious one but if you are involved in an accident make sure that you stay calm and exchange details with the other driver.
  • Try to remember how the accident came about and if there was anything that seemed out of place or odd to you. Things like passengers looking at you before you were actually hit is quite an obvious thing to look for, this tells you that the accident may well have been pre-meditated.
  • This is something I have never thought about doing if I was involved in a car accident – make sure that you take as many notes as possible about the driver and passengers; what they are wearing, are they male or female, how old are they and anything else that you can think of.
  • Make sure that you ask the other driver to do the same as you.

Remember, car insurance is there to protect you and I think the fact that Churchill has posted this information on their website is great. It’s always better to have too much information rather than not enough. It’s hard to imagine but it is a cruel world and there are people that have no scruples, so if you are involved in a car accident, don’t let your good nature get in the way.

I hope this article has not only explained what Churchill car insurance can do for you but also that you have found some of the safety information here useful as well. It’s great that a car insurance company such as Churchill have taken the initiative, they are not only offering great car insurance policies, they are thinking outside of the box by letting their customers know some of the pitfalls when it comes to accidents. “Oh Yes” Choose Churchill!

AA Breakdown Cover Review

Everyone knows who the AA are, if you don’t then keep an eye out for those professional looking mechanics that can be found on the side of the road in all weathers dressed from head to toe in yellow. They also drive very distinct yellow vans with AA printed all over them!

This company has been around for at least two generations that I can think of and I’m in my 40’s. They made it their business (initially) to protect people from all manner of issues that can arise when you’re out on the road. These days, their policies stretch over a good number of things but that’s not what this article is about.

What you will find here is some information on the types of breakdown cover the AA has to offer and why they stand out from the rest.

Why AA Breakdown Cover?

There are loads of reasons you would choose this company over someone-else, apart from the fact they already have a well respected reputation across the UK and your Grandfather has probably been using them since he learned how to drive!

Below are a few points to help you make a decision about whether or not you should look further into what they have to offer:

  • Awarded 5 Stars for roadside assistance by “WHICH?” magazine (no mean feat).
  • Awarded 5 stars by Defaqto for breakdown cover (yet again, no easy nut to crack)!
  • All the mechanics that work for the AA are properly qualified to the highest standard and this is why they can boast that 4 out of 5 vehicles are fixed at the roadside.
  • Every 9 seconds the AA rescues someone who is in trouble on the road (in the time it took me to type this sentence at least 1 ½ people have been rescued)!

Impressive statistics aren’t they? The best thing about them is they’re all absolutely true; otherwise I would not have posted them in this article.

So, now you know how good the AA actually is, let’s move on to how they can help with your breakdown cover.

There are three main polices you can choose from and I’ll start with the cheapest:

Roadside Recovery in any Car

This policy will give you around the clock roadside assistance and this doesn’t just mean any time of day, it means any time of year as well. So, if you’re looking forward to Christmas dinner with the in-laws (or not, as the case may be) and you breakdown on the way, a friendly AA mechanic will be with you in no time at all.

If your car cannot be fixed on the spot (and again, this may be a blessing), you will be towed to the nearest garage.

National Recovery

This can be taken as part of the above policy but you will pay extra. What AA offers with this is you and up to 7 of your passengers a kindly lift to any single destination if the problem cannot be fixed at the roadside. Do remember however, there are limitations.

At Home

Again, this can be taken as part of the first policy mentioned. If you like, you can have all three of these. If you come out one morning and find your car won’t start for some reason you can make a call and the AA will organise a time that’s convenient for them to come and fix it. Likewise, if you’re up to ¼ mile away from home, you will still benefit from a mechanic under this part of your policy.

Other Options

There are two other options you can take advantage of and these are parts and garage cover and onward travel options. Parts and garage covers the cost of labour and parts, and you can make up to 5 claims each year. Do remember though, there are stipulations. Onward travel means you can choose from public transport, a hire car or an overnight stay somewhere.

Note: What you should know is that all of the options stated below “Roadside recovery in your car” are optional extras to this policy and they are priced individually.

You should also know that if you travel in Europe there are various ways in which the AA can help, just give them a call and they’ll be happy to help.

Why AA Breakdown Cover is So Comprehensive

You may remember earlier in this article I mentioned that 4 out of 5 vehicles are fixed within minutes on the roadside. This isn’t just because the most common issue is something simple like a battery, it’s because the mechanics are so good at what they do.

This is why the company can offer all these little extras. They don’t often have to call upon them simply because their success rate is so high. However, not everyone is so lucky. Bear in mind the age of your car and how often it already breaks down before you opt for the cheapest option.


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