Archives for 2014

Benefits Alliance Travel Insurance Review

If you’ve never heard of Benefits Alliance travel insurance, the first thing you should know is this company is the trading name of General Insurance UK (maybe the penny has dropped now)! Apart from knowing who they are you’re more than likely interested in finding out how they can help with travel insurance. After all, why would you be reading this blog otherwise?

The fact is that when you delve deeper into what this company is willing to cover, it’s probably one of the most comprehensive on the market and I’ll bet it will have you thinking it’s too good to be true once you’ve finished reading this. Of course, you could just skip to the sub-headings that are relevant to you, but you might just miss something you hadn’t thought about.

When you visit the Benefits Alliance website, and I hope you do even if it’s just to double check the information I’ve given you, you will find the set-up is so simple even a child could understand it. You don’t have to click on various links just to find out what type of travel “mishaps” are covered, it’s all there right in front of you. The only clicking you might have to do is when you want detailed information on a travel insurance policy that interests you. Even then, it’s as simple as downloading a PDF file so it’s a no frills, easy to understand website.

With that out of the way, let’s get on to what you can expect from the travel insurance policies Benefits Alliance has to offer. Oh, and I’ve taken the liberty of using their numbering system (hopefully it won’t upset the MD)!

A1 – Curtailment or cancellation

What this means is kind of obvious, but I’m guessing you’re more interested in how much you’re covered for. In fact, you will be surprised to know this company will cover you for up to £5,000!

A2 – Catastrophe

This title sounds a bit over the top, but all manner of things can go wrong when you’re travelling and I’ve yet to come across a company that will cover you for the “catastrophes” below:

  • Overall you can be covered for a number of things up to £750.
  • If you’re unlucky enough to be involved in a hijack of some sort (and in today’s world this is a possibility), Benefits Alliance will cover you.
  • Being mugged when you’re on holiday can be a horrendous experience, and money won’t always make things right, but it sure helps!
  • This one surprised me the most. Benefits Alliance will cover you if you’re a victim of air rage! This is something I had NEVER thought about, but when you consider how stressful flying is these days, it is a possibility. Not to mention that if you travel 1st class you could come across a rock star that has just about had enough!

For all of the above (except for the first point of course), you will be covered for up to £500, and get this – there’s no excess to worry about.

B & C – This section covers emergency medical treatment, expenses and hospital benefits.

If you opt to have this included in your travel policy you can expect to be covered for up to £3,500 if you need to cover accommodation or travel expenses as a result of illness, and (God Forbid) should someone lose their life the basic cover offers £1,000. However, I suggest you read the detailed information on their website because you can be covered for as much as £10,000.

D & E

This section deals with everything from travel delay to holiday abandonment and even takes your pets into consideration. Depending on what policy you choose, you could be covered for anything from £200 to £5,000.

F – Personal Accident

Whilst I try to put a humorous spin on many of the blogs I write, this is a pretty serious subject. You never know what life has waiting for you and Benefits Alliance has thought about this. This type of policy will cover you if you lose any limbs, are permanently disabled, or in the worst case scenario someone dies, cover is available up to £25,000.

The List Goes On….

I’m limited to the number of words I can use here, but when you visit this travel insurance company’s website, you’ll find their list of benefits goes well into the L’s. You can expect to be covered for your golf or skiing equipment. Loss of baggage, travel documents or other personal items, they’ll even help you out if you’re delayed because of an avalanche!

Plus, (and I MUST mention this one), if you’re intending to go on a golfing holiday, not only can you protect the equipment you have, if you get a hole in one Benefits Alliance will give you £100 for the bar bill! Now, you can’t say fairer than that can you!


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John Lewis Wedding Insurance Review

So, you’ve found your soul mate and the two of you have decided on a date for the wedding. Exciting isn’t it? Well, it should be but there are a great deal of people who believe this (the most important day of your life), is one the most stressful projects you can undertake.

There is so much to plan. The venue, the cake, flowers, choosing the guests (probably the one part of your wedding that can cause a few arguments) and, of course the dress! Are you exhausted by the list yet? It doesn’t stop there! There are all sorts of other things to consider and anyone who has planned a wedding will tell you the list just grows.

However, all is not doom and gloom. You should welcome this celebration in your life the way it’s meant to be. After all, you’re going to tie the knot with the one person you will spend the rest of your life with. There are many insurance companies on the market these days. In fact, it can be a true minefield no matter what type of insurance you’re looking for but, I’ve decided to talk about John Lewis wedding insurance because I think it’s a great idea that you can get insurance from the same place you can your gift list.

Some of you may be thinking (father of the bride especially), that insurance is just an added expense you can do without. But, what happens if the best man loses your wedding rings, the dress is involved in an unfortunate dry-cleaning accident, or worse a supplier you’ve chosen goes out of business?

When you think about it, the cost for insurance far outweighs both the stress and the added cost for a new dress or pair of wedding rings.

So, what can you expect from John Lewis wedding insurance (apart from a plethora of choices on gifts)?

Loss or Damage Due to Suppliers

John Lewis will cover everything from your wedding dress to the cake. They will even cover things you haven’t thought about like your stationary or photographs. However as with all insurance companies, they do have their clauses.

You will only be covered for services that haven’t been completed. For instance, if your photographer doesn’t turn up on the day don’t expect to be reimbursed for “undue stress”. You will only receive compensation for any money you’ve already paid or the cost for re-arranging someone-else to do it for you.

You can even take out cover if you happen to decide to use a friend or relative to take your photos and they have one too many whiskeys before the ceremony. But, just as with any professional supplier, you should make sure you have an agreement with them. This will help if you need to make a claim.

Wedding Rings

I don’t know a groom who hasn’t worried about his best man losing the rings. All sorts of things can go wrong. John Lewis will cover your rings from the minute you purchase them up to 24 hours before you get married.

Top Tip: If you’re worried about the rings being looked after properly, look after them yourself, even if it means handing them over to the best man when you’re standing at the aisle as you watch your bride walk towards you.

Wedding Gifts

OK, so everyone wants a table to display the gifts that have been lovingly chosen for them, but many weddings involve the consumption of alcohol and that means a few people who are wobbly on their feet. The last thing you need is for someone to go crashing into the gift table sending everything flying! John Lewis will cover you for damage or theft, but you need to make sure they’re being looked after by someone who is part of the wedding party or your family.


God forbid you’ll have to cancel your wedding but this does happen. For that reason John Lewis offers various levels of cover that will protect you if the wedding isn’t going to take place or, you have to rearrange for some unforeseen reason.

Overseas Weddings

Many people decide to escape to a sunny paradise to get married these days, and you haven’t been forgotten. John Lewis offers cover for overseas weddings but as an addition to their normal cover so speak to them about what you need. You can also speak to them about insurance for your honeymoon as well.

Marquee Cover

This could possibly be every newly married couple’s nightmare. Imagine? Dad has just downed a bottle of champagne and takes to the dance floor only to fall head first into a supporting pole. Suddenly, everything has gone dark and you’re covered in heavy plastic! John Lewis will cover this for you, but rules do apply so check these first.

All in all, add some peace of mind and think about taking out John Lewis wedding insurance.


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Home Insurance Review

Home insurance is possibly one of the most important insurance policies you will take out. As they say “a man’s home is his castle”. If you are not insured when it comes to your home, this can potentially be a complete disaster for you and in some extreme cases can even bankrupt you! You don’t need to end up in a situation like this, just make sure that you get a decent home insurance policy that will protect you, your family, your belongings and your house from anything that might go wrong.

How to Start Looking for a Home Insurance Policy

One way in which you can start looking for a home insurance policy is when you either take out a mortgage or buy a property outright; take the advice of the mortgage lender or the estate agent you have made your purchase with. These companies often have systems in place that mean that they receive a commission for inviting you to take a home insurance policy with certain companies. Of course, with mortgage lenders, it is in their interest to make sure that you have the correct home insurance policy in place, remember, they have a vested interest in your home too.

The other way you can set about looking for a home insurance policy is to turn to the internet, there are many price comparison websites you can use to get the best price possible for your home insurance policy, you will also find that on some of these websites you can enter any special requirements you might have when it comes to insuring your home. Do however, make sure that you don’t stop there with your research, there are a lot of companies that do not use price comparison websites and you might be able to better the price you have already found.

Some of the Best Companies that Offer Home Insurance

Direct Line – This Company will not be found on price comparison websites and they are proud of that fact. They have a wide range of home insurance policies that will suit just about everyone. As standard, Direct Line offers the following with their home insurance policies:

  • Contents cover up to £50,000.
  • Personal possessions insurance up to £50,000.

Direct line offer 2 types of home insurance plans, home insurance and home insurance plus. Between them Direct Line offers the following:

  • Buildings cover.
  • Alternative accommodation.
  • Accidental Damage.
  • Family Legal Protection.
  • Home Emergency cover.
  • Cycle Cover.
  • Online and identity fraud (this is really useful to have these days, we all use the internet for shopping or online banking to a certain degree and theft of your identity is big business).

All in all, the home insurance you will get with this company will cover just about anything you need.

More Than – This company has some really comprehensive home insurance policies available and at great rates. They promise to beat any quote that you may have when it is time for you to renew your home insurance policy, however, do not compromise on service. One of the first things you are faced with when looking at their website is the fact that they will offer you a saving of around £130 on your contents insurance. There are many benefits that come with More Than and their home insurance policies, here are some of them:

  • They pay for replacement keys and locks on your home if they are lost or stolen.
  • Garden cover (I think this a great idea), this is available as standard and will cover your plants and trees to the value of £2,000. You will also benefit from cover on your garden furniture, kids toys and your barbeque.
  • Have you ever tried calling up an insurance company either to make a claim or find our more about the service they offer? If the answer is yes then, like me, you are more than likely fed up with not getting the same person twice. More Than will allocate a dedicated manager to your account, another great idea. At last, a company that recognises the fact us, the public and their customers need some continuity when dealing with them.

You should also know that his company has been awarded the best online contents and home insurance award for the last 2 years on the trot. Another plus when you are looking for a home insurance company you can trust.

You may not know but many banks have now started to offer home insurance in the UK, so whoever you bank with, it might be worth asking the question.

Above are just a couple of examples that I thought you should know about when it comes to home insurance, in my opinion the 2 that I have mentioned are the best on the market at the moment.

What Do I Do if I have a Specialist Item in my Home that needs to be insured?

That’s an easy one, tonnes of home insurance companies recognise that you may have belongings that are very dear to you but are not the run of the mill objects. Maybe you have a Grand Piano that has been passed down through the generations or you might have a grandfather clock that dates back to the 1700’s. All you have to do is make sure that the home insurance policy that you take out will cover these items. In some cases (depending on the value of the item in question) you may be asked to take out a separate policy for this item on it’s own as it will be treated differently to anything else you have covered on your standard home insurance policy.

What do I do if I live in a Flood Alert Area?

This is a question that sits on many peoples lips these days. In recent years the UK has suffered some of the worst flooding in decades. Initially, home insurance companies reacted with panic as they suddenly had hundreds more people claiming for water damage in their homes. Things, thankfully, have now settled down a little bit and the powers that be within home insurance companies have had time to re-evaluate how they treat this sort of problem. In the beginning it was very difficult to get home insurance (if you could even get insured at all) however, there are now policies available that will protect your home and it’s belongings from water damage. Make sure that whoever you decide to take your home insurance policy out with does in fact cover water damage or flooding.

A Couple of Pitfalls to Look Out For

One potential pitfall you can come across when taking out a new home insurance policy are clauses that are included in the contract that may not be clear to you. For instance, there have been many times when people have put in a claim because that 100 year old oak tree came crashing through the roof of their house due to an unexpected storm. When making the claim, they are told that “sorry, we cannot pay out as this was an act of God”. Not very fair is it, how are you supposed to know what is considered to be a “hand of God” and what isn’t. After all, that’s what Maradona refers to his hand as and I bet he hasn’t had any trouble getting insurance!

Make sure that you check with your chosen home insurance company what they consider to be this type of incident and what they will not cover. It’s just as important to know what the insurance company will NOT pay for as it is to know what they will pay for.

In Conclusion

Finding home insurance does not have to be a major headache, as mentioned there a loads of home insurance companies to choose from but as I have already said, price comparison websites can help take some of the hassle out of finding the right company. Also, try talking to your friends or even ask at work which company the business you work for has their insurance with. The chances are that whoever they use will offer home insurance as well.

Above all, make sure you have ALL of the cover you need when it comes to home insurance, it’s relatively cheap to obtain a decent policy these days. Home insurance is a very competitive market place and that can only be good for us consumers. In my opinion, take more cover than you are ever likely to need, that way you are covered for just about any eventuality.

If you have read this far and still think that home insurance is bottom of the list when ensuring that you are protected from any accidents that may occur in the home, think again. Even something as small as a leaking pipe can cause and inordinate amount of damage in the home and the last thing you need is to have to pay for your own repairs.

Car Insurance Benefits Coverage Plans and Discounts Review

Auto accidents can easily deprive you of your money as the costs of paying for another person’s vehicle, his medical bills, and your own can run into thousands of cash. Having car insurance provides you with financial coverage against unforeseen risks such as freak accidents, natural disasters, riots, and theft. In many countries, it is compulsory to have auto insurance before keeping or using a vehicle on public roads.

There are numerous benefits of having car insurance. First and foremost, it gives you financial security as you don’t need to pay up for the costs that might arise due to a road accident or theft. An insurance plan for your automobile gives you peace of mind because you don’t need to look for funds to cover up for the expenses in case a traffic disaster happens. Another benefit of getting a vehicle indemnity plan is that if you bump someone else’s auto and the fault is yours, then an auto insurance policy will become your saviour.

There are different types of coverage plans that insurance companies have to offer. Some of these plans may be required by your state, whereas some are optional. Auto insurance usually covers some or all of the items like medical payments to the insured party, cost for physical damage to the insured vehicle, and costs for vehicle damage and medical bills for the third party. A vehicle can also be insured against fire damage, accident damage, or theft independently. A variety of factors such as the model of your car, value of the car, your driving record, number of miles your car driven, and the amount of money you are willing to pay will determine the type of coverage plan you are eligible for.

Direct Line is an U.K insurance company that provides extensive auto coverage at superb rates. It offers you with a wide variety of cover options that give you confidence to drive peacefully. For example, “Comprehensive” is a Direct Line’s coverage plan that pays for loss or damage to your vehicle due to fire, theft or an accident. This plan also covers for claims made by other people for damage to their property or bodily injury. “Third Party Fire and Theft” is a plan that covers you if other people claim against you for damage or injury to their property or car, and if your car is damaged by fire or is stolen. Direct Line offers another plan known as “Third Party Only” that covers liability such as claims made by third parties, against you, for damage to their property or bodily injury.

Having car insurance through Direct Line will help you obtain discounts and other forms of rewards. This will help bring down further the cost of your insurance. Various discounts offered by Direct Line include Only Driver Discount, Named Driver No Claims Discount, Multi-car Discount, Breakdown Discount, Breakdown Multi-car Discount, Multi-product Discounts, Company Car No Claims Discount, and Pass Plus Discount.

Direct Line also offers additional extras such as Guaranteed Hire Car (you will be supplied with a hire car for up to 14 days if your car is unusable), Guaranteed Hire Car Plus (Direct Line will supply a hire car for up to 21 days), and legal protection which means that if you have an accident that’s not your fault, then the company will provide you up to £100,000 of legal costs to recover losses which can’t be recovered from any insurance policy. Remember that you can avail these car insurance optional extras for a small extra premium. Last but not the least; Direct Line makes use of “Anti-Fraud Technology” to detect false and exaggerated claims. This, in turn, helps keep prices low and settles genuine claims as quickly as possible.

Churchill Pet Insurance Review

We love our pets don’t we? The English are well known for this and for good reason. Pets can bring an inordinate amount of joy into our lives, and it doesn’t matter if you have cats or dogs, they all have their own little personalities that help endear them to us. What I’m here to talk about today is Churchill Pet Insurance.

Now, you may be thinking that I’m discounting those of you that prefer the company of the more exotic breeds such as reptiles, or spiders by mentioning the two most common types of pets we English love to have, but I’m not. It’s the insurance companies that are. At the moment, insurance is virtually impossible for exotic breeds, and if you own one, you’ll understand why.

However, I digress, on to the important stuff. Let me start by saying I have 2 cats both of whom are now 18 going on 19 years old. Unfortunately, I don’t have the benefit of pet insurance, and it would be hard (if not impossible) for me to get it, for obvious reasons. Back when I first got my cats, insurance was fairly non-existent or at least, it wasn’t as heavily advertised then as it is now.

I’m going to draw on my experience with my two babies to help you make a decision on if you think taking out insurance is worth it. Here is what it costs me to keep my girls “going”:

  • Once a week I pay £8 for a pack of kidney tablets and this has been an expense I’ve had for the past 2 or 3 years.
  • Once a month I pay £16 for prescription food for one cat and the same for the other (one has thyroid and kidney problems, the other just kidney).
  • Once every 3-6 months I pay in the region of £30-£50 for a blood test just to check their liver, kidney and thyroid function.

Add to this the amount of kitchen paper and anti-bacterial spray I go through because of all the vomit they projectile across the floor and you begin to understand how much it costs to keep one elderly animal, let alone two! By the way, apologies for that last piece of information, it’s not the nicest subject, but it had to be said.

OK, so now you know how much it can cost when your pets get old. What about when they’re young? Just like kids, puppies and kittens will get into scrapes that require veterinary care and this can be costly. Add to that the fact that they’re open to all sorts of diseases that can’t be ascertained before you get them and you begin to see that having a pet isn’t just a moral responsibility it’s financial as well.

So, on to what Churchill Pet Insurance can do for you. Below you’ll find some of the benefits you’ll get with your policy:


  • If you book online, it will save you 20% (We LOVE the internet)!
  • Two levels of insurance – standard and emergency.
  • Vet fees are covered but with limits (a bit more on that in a minute).
  • If you’re pet is lost or stolen, Churchill will kindly give you £1000 towards a reward.
  • If your pet dies, it’s not nice, but this can happen, Churchill will pay you up to £500 of the original purchase price.

So, let’s elaborate a little:

Vet Fees Covered

If your pet is suddenly taken ill and needs emergency treatment, the policies with Churchill will cover you for up to £500. If your pet (God forbid) is involved in an accident that requires emergency treatment, you’ll be covered for up to £1,500.

The above is only if you take out their emergency cover (of course)!

General insurance will cover you for up to £3,000 for each condition, it’s important I mention this because your pet can get multiple health problems. However, this will only be for 12 months from the date treatment first started.

Other Conditions to Bear in Mind

Your pet must be at least 8 weeks old and no older than 10 years 11 months when you take out a policy. Check about certain dog breeds because some of them have a restriction of 6 years. As long as your pet is this age, cover will not stop just because they’ve just turned 11 or 7 years old.

Don’t think that just because your dog has been left at home all day, and you return to find he’s turned your sofa into a woolly mess, you can claim on your pet insurance. That’s what home contents insurance is for!

In Conclusion

If you love your pets (and I’m not tugging are your heart strings here), Churchill offers some of the most comprehensive insurance on the market and it will cost you less in the long-run.







Esure Car Insurance Review

As the name of the company Esure suggests; this is an online car insurance company. Before starting this article I didn’t really know much about them other than the fact that they appear on the TV ads from time to time. I’m glad that I have done some research for 2 reasons:

  1. How an earth could I write this article without it!
  2. I have discovered that Esure car insurance is actually a pretty good company to go for if you are in the market for a new or renewable car insurance policy.

When you load their webpage it is set out in a really simple and clean way and it’s easy to find the information that you want before actually asking them for a quote, which incidentally can be done online and within minutes. I’m a bit of an anorak when it comes to making sure that I know everything about a company before I choose to use them; especially if they operate online. When I clicked into the frequently asked questions on Esure’s website I was faced with up to 23 different questions that all have comprehensive answers to them. Here are a chosen few to show you just how good this section of the Esure car insurance website is:

  1. Is it possible for Esure to insure me? This is a question (in my opinion) that everyone should find out the answer to before going down the route of obtaining a quote. This is most important if you happen to be in your late teens or are in your twilight years. The answer from Esure is simple; you can get a car insurance policy with them if you are aged 21 to 80. However, if you fall outside of this age bracket they will refer you to a company that can help. I thought this was very generous of them as most other car insurance companies just say “no” and leave it at that.
  2. What if you don’t have a registration number? This actually happened to me recently which is why I am glad I have been asked to write this article. I’ve been having some real bother trying to find a car insurance company that will give me a quote without a registration number. You may well be thinking “why an earth are you looking for a car insurance policy without a registration number”? Well, the answer to that one is that I am thinking about changing my current vehicle and the cost of the insurance for the new one will determine which model I go for; I’m sure there are many of you that will make the decision on a new car in the same way. Esure car insurance recognises that this can happen and will happily give you a quote without a registration number.
  3. How do you pay for your car insurance policy? Well, with Esure car insurance, the sky is the limit really. You can choose to pay by credit card, direct debit and you can even pay online using their own protected payment server (sorry, that last one got a bit technical) but I’m sure you get the idea. When it comes to how much you pay, again, this is up to you. You can pay the whole lot in one go so you don’t have to worry about it again until it’s time to renew your car insurance policy or you can pay in instalments which are spread across 12 months.
  4. Do you need to prove your no claims discount? Of course you do! I found this question slightly obscure as I can’t understand why anyone would feel the need to ask but there you go Esure obviously felt the need to add this one to their list.
  5. What about no claims discount for life? Now, this one I can understand people asking. There are certain conditions that apply and this will cost you a little but extra however, as far as I am concerned this is definitely worth considering. Esure car insurance will protect your no claims discount for life (unlike many other car insurance companies) and it doesn’t matter how many claims you make. Do bear in mind that this snippet of information has been condensed into a few sentences and that you should make sure you understand the requirements to benefit from this under your car insurance policy. After all, I haven’t been asked to write a legal document about how Esure car insurance works!

So, those are just a select few of what you can expect to find on the FAQ section of the Esure car insurance website. What I am going to deal with next is just what you get with an Esure car insurance policy. Here goes, by the way, the benefits listed below come as standard with an Esure car insurance policy.

  1. If you are new customer to Esure, they will give you a discount when you take out a car insurance policy with them.
  2. If your car is involved in a smash and needs to be repaired, Esure will give you a courtesy car to use whilst yours is in the garage. However, make sure that you use one of the garages that Esure recommends.
  3. Windscreens can be a right pain in the proverbial, they are exposed to stones flying up from the road and they chip and not only that once you have a chip you are at risk of your windscreen shattering. If you need to replace your windscreen Esure will do this for you under your car insurance policy and there will be no excess to pay. Again, you will have to use one of their preferred windscreen replacement companies.
  4. No claims discount for life aside, under an Esure standard car insurance policy, you will have the option to build up as much as 75%
  5. Esure car insurance proudly announces that their call centres are based in the UK, so no more problems with a language barrier!

Those are the benefits you can expect to achieve as standard when you take out and Esure car insurance policy. It doesn’t stop there, there is more! Here is a list of some of the optional extras that you can take out with them:

  1. Assistance when you breakdown – Esure advertises the fact that they use Green Flag for this part of their car insurance policy. This is a trusted name throughout the UK and they have been saving people from breakdowns for over 40 years now. When you add this to your car insurance policy you can expect to get the following:
  • On average the response time will be about 40 minutes, for those of you that are more vulnerable, Esure will do their best to make sure that you are a priority.
  • If a mechanic doesn’t make an appearance within 1 hour, you will get £10 back by way of an apology.
  • It will not matter what time of day or what time of year it is, you will be able to call for breakdown assistance; Green Flag operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

There are many other options that come with this part of Esure’s car insurance policy, however, I have just noticed that I am running out of the number of words I’m allowed to use here and need to tell you a bit more about what else you can benefit from when you have an Esure car insurance policy.

  1. Legal Protection – This is an important part of any car insurance policy if you ask me. You may not know but it is possible for you to have an accident that is not your fault and still find that you have to reach for your wallet. If you add this to your car insurance policy Esure will protect you from this situation to the tune of £50,000! This includes covering any excess, solicitor’s fees, personal expenses (within reason of course), uninsured losses, loss of earnings and any expenses that may arise should you need to go to a tribunal or court.
  2. Personal Injury – Now this part of Esure’s car insurance policy I really like. If you, your passengers, any named driver or your partner are injured in your car Esure will cover the costs. Not only that and, this is the best bit… will also be covered if you happen to be injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle! I honestly do not know of any other car insurance company that will do this.

I could go on about Esure and their car insurance policies; however, I hope this article has given you an insight into what they can do for you when it comes to choosing a car insurance policy. Why not take a look at their official website today? I’m sure that like me, you will be impressed with both the price and the benefits you can receive.

Churchill Home Insurance Review

It doesn’t seem to matter where you live in the UK these days; there are all sorts of issues that arise that a few years ago were unheard of. Most notably, flooding! We have endured some of the wettest summers and harshest winters since records began and, this had an impact on how insurance companies look at making sure your bricks and mortar are protected.

This is where Churchill home insurance comes in. They have recognised the new dangers that face homeowners and have addressed it (more on that in a minute). They also know that it’s not just a tree through the roof or, a garage completely destroyed that can cause distress! This company pays just as much attention to the inside of your home and what’s precious to you.

Churchill also know that every home insurance policy is different (just like people) and whilst you will find information here that tells you the basics, don’t be afraid to give them a call if you have a slightly unusual request.

Buildings Insurance

The best thing about the policies with Churchill is they won’t leave you homeless! If you have to leave your property while repairs take place, Churchill will kindly put you up somewhere so you have a roof over your head. Oh, and if you have cats and dogs, they’ll make sure they’re well looked after as well.

Their buildings insurance will cover your main building, garage and shed from all things “Godly”. If you suffer damage through a storm, flood (from the inside or out) or a fire you can be rest assured you’re covered. You can even take out policies that protect you from vandalism and subsidence.

What’s covered as Standard?

Below are some basic details about what’s covered and for how much:

  • Buildings Cover up to £500,000
  • Property Owner’s Liability up to £2,000,000
  • Accommodation for you (and your pets) up to £25,000
  • Emergency entries up to £1,000

You will also be covered for accidental damage (if this is taken out as an optional extra). For example, if you have someone in your home who is keen on DIY and is say, working in the attic only for you to witness a foot appear in the ceiling above you, Churchill won’t punish you for this. The same can be said for those of you that have to put up with someone who loves to use their tools around the home. If, for instance a nail is hammered into the wall and it bursts a water or gas pipe, you can also make a claim (after you’ve given your other half a good telling off, again)! You will even be covered for accidents that can occur in the garden.

Contents Insurance

This is just as important as protecting the structural part of your home. There are many possessions that are held dear to you and, if these are damaged you need to know they’re well protected. Again, the options with Churchill go above and beyond what many other companies offer.

It’s not just about carpets, furniture and household appliances. Churchill knows that other valuables such as money, jewellery, keys, works of art or any other collection you may have should be well protected.

In Addition you can also benefit from the following:

  • Items kept in your garden.
  • The contents of your freezer if someone (who is still to admit it) accidentally turns off the power or, you lose power long enough for everything to de-frost.
  • Theft from your garage or other out-buildings.
  • Contents of your home that have been temporarily moved somewhere else. This is a particularly useful option if your teen has just moved into student digs and you get a phone call telling you the laptop has been destroyed!
  • Churchill will even cover the loss of items that are in transit from your home.

You should be aware that some of the benefits mentioned are part of the optional extras that Churchill offers however; this is what makes them such a special insurance company. Perhaps you don’t have children who are going to take items out of the home? In which case, you won’t need this option as part of your policy.

The fact is it doesn’t matter what your needs are in terms of home insurance. Churchill has all sorts of options available to you. You can take out family legal protection, home emergency cover and you can even protect that precious bicycle you’ve spent hundreds of pounds on whether a problem happens when it’s at home or not.

Churchill is not just a company with a nodding dog that says “oh yes” it’s a true insurance company that strives to say “oh yes” to all its customers no matter what their needs are.



Direct Line Van Insurance Review

You may be wondering why companies like Direct Line are offering van insurance as oppose to a general motor policy. Well, the answer is that insurance companies have recognised that people who own and drive vans have slightly different needs to the average person that drives a car.

Why? I hear you ask. The main reason is if you own a van, you more than likely use if for business and this means more time on the road. Don’t worry you haven’t been singled out just because of the whole “white man van” reputation. In fact, you can get some really good discounts that aren’t available under general motor insurance.

Of course, if you own a van purely for personal reasons you’re not excluded and you can benefit from the same types of policies so, that’s that worry out of the way!

Major Advantages to Using Direct Line van insurance

There is an endless list of reasons why you should use this company. They haven’t been on the market for as long as some other insurance companies but, since they arrived on our television screens with that little red telephone and catchy tune, they’ve taken the market by storm.

Not only are they well known for their customer service, they are also known for their innovative approach to protecting you while you’re out on the road.

Below are some of the benefits you can expect before you even decide on what type of policy you would like:

  • Currently there is 20% off any new policy you take out with them. We’re not sure how long this is going to be running so be quick!
  • Get this! Direct Line will also give you a FREE MOT to the value of £54.85 when you take a policy out with them. Do bear in mind however; this is only valid for 12 months.
  • Direct Line is also offering something they like to term as “Together”. This means that if anyone in your household already has some other form of insurance with them, you can get yet another 10% off your van policy.

It doesn’t stop there either! Once you have decided Direct Line is the company for you (and why wouldn’t you)? They will offer the following as standard:

  • 15% off any additional vehicle you add to your policy (great for those of you that have more than one van).
  • Up to £500 worth of cover on your tools.
  • Internal rack and sign writing cover – This does however come with stipulations. If you have vinyl wraps, these won’t be covered.
  • If you purchase the guaranteed hire vehicle option, Direct Line will kindly make sure you get a replacement van within 24 hours AND have your own van repaired within 5 days.

What Type of Policies You can Purchase

This is the easy bit. Direct Line will offer you the same sort of policies you can get with pretty much all companies. These are:

  • Third Party Fire and Theft – It’s kind of obvious what this covers but, you will also be protected from claims against you for damage or injury to their property.
  • Comprehensive – Now, we could explain everything that this includes but we’re not writing a manual on how Direct Line works their policies. Here’s the quick version. Everything you get with Third Party Fire and Theft plus medical expenses, your personal belongings and personal accident cover.
  • Third Party Only – It’s not exactly recommended in this day and age but, Direct Line is one of the few insurance companies that still give you this option. With this type of policy you will be protected from any claims against you for damage to their property or personal injury.

Additional Extras

Yes! The list goes on! Here are some additional extras that Direct Line offer:

  • An accident action pack – this is really useful because it tells you exactly what to do if you’ve been involved in an accident.
  • Accident helpline – this is open 24 hours a day and you’ll be met with someone that can not only calm you down but give you expert advice.
  • Windscreen helpline – this is also open 24 hours a day (stones don’t know what time of day is when they decide to send a huge crack through your windscreen).
  • If you take out comprehensive cover, you will be covered for the repair of your windscreen.
  • Motor Legal Protection – this is something that’s slightly more complicated and you really should speak to one of their representatives to find our more.

In Conclusion

Just because you drive a van and have to put up with that “label” (we all know what it is), it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be entitled to decent cover at a reasonable price and that’s what makes Direct Line Van Insurance one of the best!

Aviva Pet Insurance Review

If you’re not a lover of animals I have absolutely no idea why you’re reading this! However, for those of you that own cats or dogs and are interested in going that extra mile to make sure they’re fit and healthy please, feel free to read on.

Many people who don’t have these furry little friends as part of their families find it hard to understand why you would consider insuring them. Of course as pet owners we do know why and it’s not just about saving money if you happen to need a vet for a major and, unexpected operation.

It’s about making sure that we can constantly afford to make sure our animals are kept in tip-top condition and, when needed, they get the proper professional care and attention they need. Aviva is one of many insurance companies that have recognised our animals should not be excluded when it comes to medical cover.

In the following few words, you’re going to find out what Aviva has to offer and just how comprehensive their cover is. Oh, and it won’t break the bank either (not that you care about that of course).

There are three different policies you can choose from and these are silver, gold and platinum:



  • This policy will cover you for vet fees totally £1,500 per year.
  • Alternative or complimentary treatments will be covered up to the value of your policy BUT, only if recommended by your vet. It doesn’t mean you can take them to the local grooming centre for a wash and brush-up and claim the cost back!
  • Behavioural Problems are covered up to £200. There are lots of reasons your pet might start to act a little “odd” but, again this will only be covered if your vet recommends it.
  • Burial or cremation costs will also be covered. It’s not a nice subject but our little fluffy friends do pass away and, if you know you don’t have to worry about the cost of a proper burial it leaves you the space to grieve the way you want to. Incidentally, Aviva will cover up to £100 of this.
  • If you have a dog you will be covered under the silver policy for accidental injury or death to a person. You will also be covered for damage to their property and the limit here is £1 million. The reason cats are not covered is obvious to anyone that owns one!




Everything mentioned in the silver policy and:


  • Up to £500 of the cost of your pet should he or she die or have to be put to sleep. Age restrictions do apply here and they are under 9 years for dogs and under 11 for cats.
  • If your pet is lost or stolen Aviva will cover up to £500 for advertising costs so you can be re-united with them. They will not however, cover the cost of a reward.
  • If you fall ill and need to stay in hospital for more than 48 hours, Aviva will pay £500 towards boarding fees for your pet.
  • If you have to cancel your holiday because your cat decides it was a good idea to chase a mouse through a hole they wouldn’t fit into and injures itself, or your dog decides that playing with car tyres is a good idea and they need medical care, Aviva will kindly pay £1,000 towards this.


Everything mentioned in the gold policy except the amounts covered can be doubled.


You should also know that no matter which policy you take, your pet will be covered for a trip abroad for up to 6 months. However, you MUST make sure they’re in a country that takes part in the PETS travel scheme.

Additional Information

Aviva pet insurance policies are all about making sure that the furry members of your family are well protected against just about any eventuality. However, they haven’t forgotten you either. There are various help lines available that are accessible to all customers and these include:

  • Counselling for bereavement.
  • It you and your pet are in a strange place (that is to say, not at home) and they need medical assistance, Aviva will locate a local vet for you.
  • If legal issues arise with your pet, there are people on the other end of the phone to help you sort things out.
  • Aviva will also offer you registered pet minders but this is limited to dogs.

In Conclusion


We couldn’t possibly cover all the questions you might have about the policies Aviva offer for your pets but, we hope we’ve covered the main points. If you’re in any doubt, give them a call, they will be more than happy to answer all your questions.

Oh, and for those of you who are not technophobic, if you buy online you’ll get a very nice 10% discount!


NatWest Car Insurance Review

If you are looking for car insurance and happen to bank with NatWest, you’re in luck. Many banks have recognised that they can offer other services than just keeping you money safe and, in today’s economic climate they have had to look for other ways in which they can make a bit of cash for themselves. NatWest is now possibly one of the oldest banks in the UK and the fact that they have managed to pretty much stay out of the news when the media decide to start to pick on the banking world is testament to the fact that they know what they’re doing.
You may, at this point be thinking that “putting all of your eggs in one basket” is not such a good thing at the moment, however, if you are currently a customer with NatWest then it’s worth looking at the benefits they can offer you with car insurance. After all, a bank account and a car insurance policy is hardly keeping everything in one place now is it? By the way, if you’re not currently a customer with NatWest you’re not excluded, you can take out a car insurance policy with them and reap the benefits because you are a new customer. The aim of the game for this bank is to have as many customers as possible in order for them to be able to continue to give the excellent service they have been offering for many years now.
So, what do you get with a NatWest car insurance policy; the answer? Plenty, in fact more than enough to ensure that you will be well looked after if you run into any trouble when you are on the road and, at competitive prices too. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to receive when you take out a car insurance policy with NatWest:
• Recovery for uninsured drivers – This is a massive problem in the UK, largely due to the fact that there are many people that use the roads but don’t understand that they need to be insured as a legal requirement. That said there are also plenty of undesirables that think that they can just get away without paying for insurance.


Companies such as NatWest have recognised that this is an issue and now offer, as standard, protection from these people. If you are hit or are in an accident with someone who is not insured, a NatWest car insurance policy will make sure that you do not lose your no claims discount. It doesn’t stop there; they will also make sure that you are covered for up to £100,000 should you need to make a claim for personal injury (that’s an article for another day)! Do bear in mind however; that you need to be under a fully comprehensive insurance policy and that the accident is not your fault. After all, how could NatWest make any money from their car insurance policies if everyone goes on the rampage and decides to seek out those that are not insured and start to ram them off the road!
• You and your partner or spouse can expect to receive up to £5,000 of personal cover if you are involved in a traffic accident. This is an amount that will cover pretty much most expenses when or if you have an accident and the fact that your partner is covered is an added bonus. For all those ladies out there that have “boy racers” in their lives; this part of the NatWest car insurance policy should make you feel a bit better about life when they zip out of the driveway in the mornings.
• If your car needs to go in for repairs due to and accident then if you use a repairer that has been approved by NatWest, you will receive a replacement vehicle for the duration of the repairs; not only that but you can expect to have your car collected from where ever it landed up and delivered back to your home address. Plus, those dear old mechanics will clean your car inside and out for you….no oily finger prints or stains on the carpets when you get your car back!
• If your windscreen or any of the windows on your car need replacing, this will be covered by a NatWest car insurance policy. However, this is only available if you have a fully comprehensive policy and you will still be liable for the excess.
• For those of you out there that like to drive so that you can blast out the latest tunes through your audio equipment and give the odd pensioner a near heart attack you will get cover for your audio equipment of up to £1,000 with a NatWest car insurance policy.
• If you need assistance at the roadside, NatWest can help with the car insurance policy that they offer. This part of their policy is completely optional and you will be looked after by Green Flag. Not only that, you’ll receive “mates rates” when it comes to using them.
• Should you need to make a claim then your NatWest car insurance policy will give you the ability to do this 365 days per year 24 hours per day.


So, if you happen to be in an accident on New Years Eve, you will still be able to start your claim with one simple phone call to their helpline.
For those of you that Already Bank with the NatWest
The information I have provided so far in this article has been for everyone, whether you bank with NatWest or not. However, if you’re already a customer then there are some extra benefits available if you take out a car insurance policy with them. Nothing like making you feel a bit special now is there? Listed below are some of the benefits that NatWest offers its existing customers:
• Currently, if you go to NatWest’s official website and apply online for a car insurance policy, you will receive a discount of 15% on your 1st year. Do be aware though that you have to enter a promotional code which the IT guys at NatWest have kindly put in bold on the website so that you don’t miss it.
• If you’re currently a customer with NatWest, you will know that they have different types of bank accounts; these are Silver, gold and black advantage accounts or, advantage private accounts. If you are lucky enough to be one those people that have this type of account then you can get an additional 10% off the 1st year when you take out a car insurance policy; this means that you can make a saving of up to 25%. Not many other car insurance companies can boast this and I’ll bet you would be hard pressed to find another bank that can!
• Perhaps you have home insurance with NatWest; you guys have not been left out either. If you take out a car insurance policy with them, they will give you a 10% discount on your 1st year.
• When it comes to no claims discounts you can expect to get up to 65% and if your are over the age of 50 this will rise to 70%….simply because those of you that are older are considered to be safer drivers.
These are just some of the benefits that you can expect to achieve when you take out a NatWest car insurance policy. If you thought that banks were not the way to go when taking out a car insurance policy then think again. NatWest have been offering these sorts of policies for sometime now and I don’t know of anyone that is not happy when it comes to the service that they offer. Ok, so if you have a bank account or home insurance policy then the benefits you receive out way those than if you don’t but that’s only fair isn’t it? At the end of the day, if you are current NatWest customer you wouldn’t be too happy if “newbie’s” where receiving the same sort of attention as you.
NatWest have also made it very easy for anyone to apply for a car insurance policy, you can get a quote online from their official website, or you can find them on many price comparison websites. If you prefer the personal touch then why not go to your local branch. For those of you that have little spare time to visit a branch then you can call them up; you will find their staff friendly and knowledgeable.
NatWest are not just helpful when it comes to banking, they are also helpful when it comes to a new car insurance policy. Why not give them a call today and see if they can beat your latest renewal quote? Whether you are a new customer or an existing customer NatWest will do what they can to make sure you get the right policy.

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