Archives for October 2014

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!



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