Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road incidents in the UK at present. With 1,732 road deaths in 2015, UK government has aimed to increase safety on the roads by introducing new rules and regulations which will encourage motorists to think twice before abusing the speed limit.
In accordance with these statistics, UK government enforced stricter speeding penalties on the 24th of April this year.
Say goodbye to fixed fines, fines will now range from 50-150% of the offender’s weekly income (using bands A, B and C). Band A offenders can expect to be fined 50% of their weekly income, 100% to be fined from those within Band B and 150% fined in Band C.
Table is taken from gov.uk website
There has been word of implications to the fine that will aggravate the amount such as a reduction if caught speeding due to an emergency or increased in the case of a repeat offender. Other aggravating factors include:
- Driving LGV, HGV, PSV etc
- Carrying passengers or heavy load
- Location (I.E near a school)
- Poor weather conditions
Factors reducing include:
- No previous convictions
- Good character and/or exemplary conduct
- Case of genuine emergency
- Zero tolerance for repeat offenders, who will receive 3 or more points on their licence.
The new limit to these new sentencing fines: £2500 for those caught on the motorway and £1000 everywhere else.
Statement – 21 April 2017
Following a strategic review, the underwriter of Cornmarket Insurance Services’ motorcycle insurance scheme has decided to withdraw from the motorcycle insurance market in the Republic of Ireland. As a consequence, from 1st July 2017, Cornmarket Insurance Services will no longer be in a position to offer new motorcycle insurance policies in the Republic of Ireland.
However, customers who currently have a motorcycle insurance policy through Cornmarket Insurance Services will be covered until their next renewal date
To ensure that the insurance needs of our valued customers continue to be met after this date, Cornmarket Insurance Services has searched the market for a partner who can provide specialist bike insurance expertise at a competitive price. On this basis, Cornmarket Insurance Services has selected Carole Nash, one of the country’s most experienced motorcycle insurance brokers to provide customers with a new quote at next renewal date. Carole Nash has operated from its Dublin office since 1999 and is a proud supporter of the biking community.
Cornmarket Insurance Services has written to a number of customers who are due for renewal shortly, advising them of this change. All of Cornmarket’s motorcycle insurance customers in the Republic of Ireland will receive a communication either by post or email in the coming weeks.
This change does not affect any other aspect of Cornmarket’s business in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland.
We would like to assure our customers that there is no change to existing policies, up until next renewal date.
If you have any queries, please contact Cornmarket Insurance Services on 048 90442200 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We have put together a list below to answer some of the questions our customers may have.
Q: I currently have a motorcycle insurance policy with Cornmarket Insurance Services. What does this mean for me?
A: The most important thing to know is that there is no change to your existing policy. You will continue to be insured through Cornmarket Insurance Services until your next renewal date. Before your next renewal date, Carole Nash will contact you with a new quote.
Q: As an existing customer of Cornmarket Insurance Services, what do I need to do next?
A: If you are happy for Carole Nash to offer you a quotation at renewal, you don’t need to do anything. Cornmarket Insurance Services has made arrangements to ensure that you will receive a quotation from Carole Nash in advance of your next renewal date. Until that date, you will still be insured through Cornmarket Insurance Services.
Q: How will I continue to pay for my policy?
A: In terms of payment for your existing policy, nothing changes until your next renewal date. Carole Nash will contact you before your next renewal date with a quotation. If you are happy with the premium, you will need to contact them to accept the quote and make arrangements for payment.
Q: I have an outstanding claim, who do I need to contact?
A: Cornmarket Insurance Services remains your insurance broker until your next renewal date so any ongoing claims will continue to be dealt with by Cornmarket Insurance Services.
Q: What if I want to make a change to my existing policy?
A: If you want to make a change to your existing policy prior to your renewal date you should contact Cornmarket Insurance Services as usual on 048 9044 2200. However, if you wish to make a change effective on, or after your renewal date, you will need to contact Carole Nash. Contact details will be included in the information pack you receive from them.
Q: If I need to report a new claim, who do I contact?
A: If the accident occurs prior to the renewal date of your policy, you should report your claim to Cornmarket Insurance Services on 048 9044 2200. Lines are open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Friday and from 9am to 12.30pm on Saturday. If the accident/claim occurs after your policy renewal date, you should report it to Carole Nash or your chosen new insurer or broker.
Q: Will you share my data with Carole Nash?
A: Yes. Details of your current motorcycle insurance policy will be sent to Carole Nash, purely for the purpose of providing you with a quote. Carole Nash may contact you about this quotation by phone or in writing. If you do not wish to have your details shared with Carole Nash, please contact Cornmarket Insurance Services. However, it is important to note that if you request that your policy details are not shared, responsibility lies with you to ensure that you have adequate insurance cover in place with effect from your renewal date.
Q: How will my new policy be affected by this change?
A: Before your next renewal date, a policy summary will be provided by Carole Nash as part of your quotation pack. Cornmarket Insurance Services has selected Carole Nash as they are an experienced motorcycle insurance broker and can offer you a great package at a competitive price.
What has happened?
The Ministry of Justice has announced that it will cut the Ogden discount rate, a calculation used to determine lump sum compensation to claimants who have suffered life-changing injuries, from 2.5 per cent to minus 0.75 per cent. The news came as a shock to the Insurance industry, which had widely expected the rate to fall between 1.5pc and 1pc and the entire industry is highlighting that this will have a huge impact on premiums. This change took effect from 20th March 2017, marking the first time the rate has been changed since 2001. The move will cost the insurance industry millions of pounds and the car insurance premiums of 36 million drivers are set to rise in order to fund higher pay-outs to victims of serious accidents.
What is the Ogden rate?
When deciding on the level of compensation pay-outs, Insurers have been allowed to apply a discount rate to overall settlement awards to allow for the amount of interest that could be accrued on pay-outs. This discount is set by the Courts and is known as the Ogden rate. It has been set at a level of 2.5% since 2001.
Why has it changed?
The Government now says that this discount level is inappropriate, as interest rates have decreased considerably since 2001 and they do not believe that pay-outs are adequate. They are adjusting the discount rate to allow for higher compensation awards.
What will it mean for drivers?
Car insurance premiums will rise substantially in order to fund higher pay-outs to victims of serious accidents, as insurers have to set aside substantially more funding to pay for these larger compensation awards. This change will apply to outstanding claims, as well as claims going forward. Early indications suggest that an average car insurance policy is likely to cost £50 to £75 more each year, whilst young drivers could face up to £1,000 in extra costs.
This table1 shows just how big an impact the change could make on claims payments:
||@ 2.5% Ogden rate
||@ -0.75% Ogden rate
1 Ageas broker notification.
This blog was produced with IAM RoadSmart. IAM Surety is the official insurance provider for the IAM RoadSmart. IAM Surety is a trading brand of Cornmarket Insurance.
Ice on the windscreen
Be proactive and leave your house ten minutes earlier than you usually would, and never attempt to drive until your vision is clear as the chance of accidents will significantly increase and you will more than likely be held accountable for any damage. Make sure that your windscreen wipers are switched off before stopping the engine to park to avoid damage. Try popping your wipers up when you park so they aren’t left touching the windscreen if a freeze is in the forecast. This makes it easier to clear ice from the windscreen. Keep a good stock of de-icer in your car and practise good utilisation of air conditioning to speed up the condensation removal inside your car.
Dirt or salt residue will magnify the effect of the sun. According to IAM RoadSmart, in 2015 low lying sun was a factor in over 2,500 crashes (including 17 fatalities). So, remember to top up your windscreen wash and it’s a good idea to keep a scraper in your car. Avoid using your windscreen wipers to remove ice from your windscreen as this could damage the blades.
Starting your engine
GEM motor assist advises that on starting the engine; depress the clutch pedal when starting. This will make sure the starter motor will not need to rotate the gearbox shafts with cold and thick transmission oil. After the engine has started you can release the pedal slowly.
Check your antifreeze
Make sure your antifreeze is effective and in good supply as it stops the water in the engine cooling system from freezing. Antifreeze tester costs around £5. This is a tube/pipette type object that you lower into the coolant (when the engine is cold) to measure the freezing point. Make sure antifreeze strength is between 30% & 50%. The engine will freeze if the concentration is too low, and if too high the effectiveness of the solution to disperse heat is reduced.
Remove the snow from the roof of your car before you begin driving. Snow falling from vehicles fall in the way and obstruct the visibility of yourself and other drivers. There is also an increased chance of being pulled over by police due to obstruction of registration plates, which can potentially lead to a penalty.
IAM RoadSmart also recommends dressing warmly for the winter. Many drivers dress based on their car heater, and do not consider the potential to be stranded in the cold.
‘See and be seen’
Daytime is shorter and weather is worse. Ensure exterior car lights are clear and don’t forget to turn your lights on in the dark mornings and early evenings. Remember to carry extra lights in case you need a replacement.
The AA recommends that motorists have 3mm of tyre tread depth in winter for driving (the legal requirement is 1.6mm). The tread disperses loose water and snow and helps the car from aquaplaning (the deeper the tread depth the better in terms of snow/rainy conditions). Check tyre pressure once a week also. Tyre pressure in winter can also be an important factor to consider. Tyres lose a pound of pressure for every drop of 12 degrees Celsius – and an under-inflated tyre will not grip through the snow as one with pressure.
Don’t risk running late because of a flat battery. Winter can increase stress on battery life particularly if you park outdoors. Check your battery (some car-parts stores do this for free).
GEM motoring assist recommend that if you cover many short journeys then there is a higher risk that your engine will not get the chance to warm up fully during the winter months. Try driving your car for a longer period of time at least once a fortnight (in speeds of 45mph+). Make sure your turn off any accessories that are likely to drain your battery as soon as you are finished with them, such as heated rear windows and seats.
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Congratulations to Motorbike Renewals Team Leader Shaun McElhinney for winning the CIS brand ambassador award
Shaun, pictured above with Stephen Neeson from Motorbikes New Business, has been specialising in Motorbike Insurance for 9 years and is currently working towards the completion of his ILM Leadership Level 5 course. Shaun joined Cornmarket Belfast in 2007 and has been selected as brand ambassador for his excellent customer service skills, his leadership skills and his enthusiasm. Shaun always displays a positive attitude to work and an excellent team spirit.
Congratulations to Shaun for actively promoting the 3 elements of the CIS Brand; Service, Integrity and Value.
“I am pleased to receive this award, and I appreciate the recognition Cornmarket Insurance has provided in giving me this award.”
Winter is coming…
From August 21st, GB Energy Supply increased gas and electricity prices by 7% and experts are saying that the Big Six suppliers (British Gas, EON, EDF, npower, Scottish Power and SSE), who supply 98% of Britain’s households with their energy, could be increasing bills as early as autumn.
We’ve researched a list of our top tips to save money whilst keeping warm in the home this winter:
Technology in the home
The Nest thermostat shows you just how much energy you use every day and allows you to adjust your home heating and your hot water tank while away from your house, using your phone. Its Auto-Away feature automatically turns itself down when nobody’s at home.
According to GRENUM, there are two key requirements to preventing heat loss/gain through a window covering: the material needs to be an insulator, and there must be no gaps around the edges as this will result in the air between the window and curtain escaping and setting up a convection current. An insulated curtain is usually comprised of three layers: face fabric, liner (bumph) and rubber-backed curtain lining.
A good money-saving tip to prevent unnecessary heat loss from radiators, according to Sophie Neuburg, energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth, is tinfoil. Aluminium foil behind the radiator can reflect heat back into the room, rather than losing it through the wall.
Double Glazed Windows
Double-glazed windows can prove incredibly energy-efficient. Alongside lower carbon footprint and lower energy bills, double-glazed windows also reduce condensation and act as great insulation against external noises.
Double-glazed windows consist of two sheets of glass with a small gap in between which is used to create an insulating barrier, keeping heat in.
Alongside offering privacy and light control, honeycomb blinds offer insulation from the cold winter winds. These types of shades have large channels which trap the air at the window. The R-value of a double-glazed window (the measurement of resistance of the shade to heat transfer) can double by just adding these cellular shades to a window.
Cover bare floorboards
Varnished wooden floors look great in a well decorated room, but according to the National Energy Foundation (NEF) can result in as much as 10% heat loss if they’re not insulated. Blankets and rugs can be used to cover floors and keep feet warm as an added bonus.
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Schools are back! Our top tips for creating a positive learning environment for the new school year ahead.
September has arrived, and whether you’re ready or not you’re back to school as you know it. To help and get your head in the game we are revisiting some top tips on creating a positive learning environment for the new school year ahead.
Learn from previous experiences
If you are to ask anyone to recall a story about a teacher from their school days, 9/10 times someone will recall a bad experience. Remember the time that your teacher made you feel less intelligent than you deserved? Build students confidence in their creativity and intelligence by rewarding good behaviour more than enforcing punishments for mistakes.
Encourage open networking
Team activities in the classroom are excellent opportunities to engage students with different personalities and cultures than their own social circles. Assign introverts with extroverts, and give shy personalities a chance to develop confidence. Find ways to channel an introvert’s idea through a more confident extrovert when during presentations in order to encourage confidence.
Keep lectures short
Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada to study brain activity, and results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 (due to the backlash from technological advancements), to 8 seconds in 2015. Considering a fish has an average attention span of 9 seconds, it can be said that people now have an attention span of a goldfish. Keep students engaged with activities and open questions. Try not to let yourself go off on a whim, despite how much information your brain has managed to retain on the topic.
Learn from other teachers
Make a conscious effort to discuss with other teachers about their classroom experiences. Find out what works for them, and how they deal with stress and unsettling behaviour.
Make information relative
Use relatable examples when story telling. Compare main characters to people whom the audience already know, or can compare with. This will help students feel more involved, and therefore remember information easier when it comes to exam time.
Listen to your students
It is important to remember that not everyone’s brain works the same way. Whenever the opportunity arises and classroom discussions give insight into students’ lives, community and culture then learn as much as you can about your students. Try and always assume the best in all of your students and try not to pick favourites. A classroom where each student trusts the teacher can prove to be an excellent learning environment, so from the start, identify yourself and tell your students who you are and why you are there.
Cornmarket Teacher Scheme recognises teachers as responsible people, and therefore responsible drivers. The scheme offers improved teacher packages on Car, Home, Travel, Gap and Motorcycle insurance. Register your renewal date and telephone/email and we’ll get in touch with you for a quote when you’re due.
Teachers Car Insurance
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Remember that you and your students are only human. You can plan, map, and research all summer, but once those kids get in the room anything can happen. You don’t have to have everything together on day one.” – Amy Hirzel
The mobile phone game Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are warning against the dangers of using your phone while driving. The augmented-reality game challenges users to catch Pokémon on an abstract map on their smartphones. This has led to people running through parks, shopping malls, car parks and everywhere in-between.
The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995 and is centred on fictional creatures called “Pokémon”, which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. The internet and the virtual world can be a great place to learn and explore and although games such as this can be fun, it is also important to be aware of the risks involved.
The list of most dangerous driving distractions currently includes talking on the phone, using social media, driving whilst drowsy and eating or drinking. No doubt Pokémon Go will be added to the list before long.
According to IAM Roadsmart, 8% of drivers admitted to driving while using a video calling application and the IAM welcomed the banning of mobile phones as smartphone use whilst driving reduces reaction times by up the 35%.
“Using a phone causes physical, visual, mental and auditory distractions, leading to significantly slower reaction times. Recent IAM research has found it can be more distracting than driving with alcohol or cannabis in your system.”
The game launched only a matter of weeks ago and already a number of road accidents have made media headlines. Just last week the body camera of a Police officer filmed the moment a Pokemon Go player crashed into a patrol car.
It is illegal to drive a vehicle or ride a motorbike while using a hand-held mobile phone or a similar device. Hands-free phones can also be a distraction and you’ll risk prosecution for not having proper control of your vehicle when using one.
Inspector Rosemary Leech, from the PSNI warned that,
“The offence of using your mobile phone to perform an ‘interactive communication function’ whilst driving will leave the driver liable to a £60 fine and 3 penalty points. PSNI will be actively seeking out Pokémon participants, so don’t be caught out by going hunting whilst behind the wheel of your car.”
How you could be breaking the law:
If, while driving, you pick up or use any type of phone that must be held you will be breaking the law.
This means you should not use your mobile phone:
• when you are stopped at traffic lights
• when you are queuing in traffic
• to make or receive calls
• to send or receive picture and text messages
• to access the internet
A lot has been going on in Cornmarket UK this month to be celebrated, not least Rory Griffin, being crowned as the CIS Brand Ambassador!
Rory, an Insurance Advisor specialising in Home Insurance, has been working with CIS UK for almost 4 years. He was selected as the Brand Ambassador for being a great representative for the Cornmarket brand, and for embodying the Company ethos of integrity, value, and service. These values are at the core of our business and strengthen the unique customer focus that we uphold as a team.
His colleagues commended Rory for his helpfulness, positive attitude and professionalism, and for demonstrating a good team spirit throughout the month. It’s not just his colleagues who endorsed him; Rory’s excellent service level was also praised directly by customers in the month of July with one of our IAM Surety clients recommending him as an ‘asset’ to the business.
Congratulations to Rory for actively promoting the 3 elements of the CIS Brand;
Rory demonstrated commitment to quality and advice, acted as a role model and demonstrated professionalism.
He was nominated for his helpful, positive attitude and honesty, team spirit, and involvement in CSR and company activities.
Rory was consistently dependable, reliable and efficient, and conscientious.
“It’s great to be recognised for good performance especially when a large part of the award was due to customer service. It’s such a key part of our business and something all the staff at Cornmarket take care to excel at.”
This blog has been approved by IAM RoadSmart. IAM Surety is the official insurance provider for IAM RoadSmart. IAM Surety is a trading brand of Cornmarket Insurance.
After months of hard work, what is more rewarding than a break away? They say travel broadens the mind and road tripping, in particular, is a great way to see the scenery and take in the atmosphere of a new country. If you plan on renting a car or taking your car abroad we have some helpful tips to keep you safe.
Thorough planning is of utmost importance, unless you really are looking to quite literally lose yourself. Research the country, familiarise yourself with the road and have a look at the weather forecast. Plan the route and assess the challenges you might encounter. Firstly, are you confident in your ability to drive on the other side of the road? Are there tolls? Where are the petrol stations?
We strongly advise you to service your vehicle before leaving the UK. Make sure that you check your oil and water. Check the cost of fuel in advance and incorporate the expense into your overall budget.
When driving abroad, it is essential that you hold a valid licence. If you are from the United Kingdom then your driver’s licence is valid in the EU and European Economic Area countries and Switzerland. If driving outside of the EU or EEA you may need an International Driving Permit which you can get at your local Post Office. This costs just £5.50.
Before you set off on your well-deserved break check for any delays or potential delays. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers updates on any cross channel delays.
Seat Belt Laws
In the UK it is illegal to drive without a fastened seat belt. Since 2006 wearing a seat belt is mandatory in the EU. If you are driving in a country that does not legally require seat belts, we urge you to wear one anyway – it is the most fundamental way to enhance safety in a vehicle.
If you are driving on a variety of roads check out the speed limits before you go. Contrary to popular belief not all autobahns are unlimited and even on roads which are, driving at higher speeds comes with its own risks.
In Europe the speed limit in built-up areas averages at 50km/h. Outside built-up areas, including dual carriage ways, speed limits vary but they tend to be between 80 – 100km/h in Europe. Motorways average at 120km/h but some countries such as Denmark advocate lower speeds.
Laws do vary from country to country.
In France for example, the law demands that cars have NF approved breathalysers. This law is strongly enforced.
French law states that if you have three years of experience, the alcohol limit is 0.2 grams per litre. For experienced drivers and motorcyclists the limit is 0.5 grams per litre.
However in Germany there is a zero tolerance policy to drink driving. You many not drink and drive at all. The German authorities are strict in their treatment of drivers who breach this law.
Accidents and Precautions
Accidents do happen. Always remember, if possible, to remain calm and contact your insurance provider. Each country has their own protocol for dealing with accidents. From October 2008 all drivers in France, including drivers of cars registered outside of France, must have one warning triangle and one reflective jacket in their vehicle. Penalties are spot fines of €90 – €135.
French motorways are privately managed, you are not allowed to request your own assistance company to attend to you if you break down. If you break down you should use the orange emergency telephones which are situated every 2km along main roads and motorways to call the police or the official breakdown service operating in that area. Alternatively, if no orange telephone is available motorists should call the emergency services by dialling 112.
Before you set off on your holiday, we recommend you check in with your insurance company to ensure your policy covers you for travelling abroad.
GPS & Maps
Bring a GPS to help navigate the roads. We would also suggest an old fashioned map for back up. Satellite signals are not always reliable but maps are. Buy one before you go and chart your trip. If travelling with children this could be a great way of teaching them independence and geography.
It is worth noting that the use or possession of devices to detect police radar is illegal in all European countries. As are using Sat Nav devices with speed camera location warnings in France. Penalties can include a fine, driving ban or even prison.
Whether travelling in the summer or winter take heed of the weather conditions in the country you are travelling to. Rain, hail or shine, be prepared. In France, they have a different speed limit for wet weather conditions.
If you are uncertain of any driving and motoring laws, we advise you to check the relevant country’s local embassy for further information.