Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Our top tips for those summer journeys

"Are we there yet mum?"

  1. Plan Your Journey

    map illustrationAvoid stress whilst you’re on the road and plan ahead. It is well worth planning a route to take across the country, planning roughly how much you can spend each day and planning activities that you can stop and do along the way.

     
  2. Check Your Car’s Fluids

    Check car fluid levelsTo keep your car in tip top condition and avoid the risks of breakdowns, you should make sure the following fluids are kept topped up: including engine oil, windscreen washer fluid, engine coolant and of course, fuel.
  3. Check Your Tyres

    Check car tyre pressureTake a few moments to check the tread and pressure of your car tyres. This may save you from breaking down or worse, a crash. Check that you have a road worthy spare wheel in your car in case of an emergency and maybe a can of tyre foam?

     
  4. Prepare Car Games

    Prepare car gamesPreparing a range of car games that the children can play may delay or at best, prevent the dreaded question asked by every child on a car journey, ‘Are we there yet?’. Grrrrrrrr!

     
  5.  An Emergency Kit

    Emergency Car KitMo matter how old or new your car is, it could break down. An emergency kit should consist of a breakdown triangle, a blanket, a torch, high visibility jackets (legal requirement in France), a mobile phone, a map, and most importantly breakdown cover details. If you break down put on the hazard warning lights, get out of the car on the passenger side and move away from the vehicle.
  6. Pack The Car Well

    Pack the car wellIf you pack the car in a rush you have a tendency to miss things, and to forget where everything is in the car. Take your time, put things in the glove box that you will need on the journey. Make sure you can easily reach things like CD’s, tissues, snacks, map etc. Everything else should be packed in the order you will need them.
  7. Stop For A Picnic

    Have a picnicWho says that your holiday has to start when you reach your destination? Why not start it on your journey and stop for a picnic along the way? Take a few snacks, sandwiches, crisps, drinks and fruit and find a nice spot to stop and have a picnic.
     
  8. Plan A Scenic Route?

    Avoiding MotorwaysRather than just traveling along the boring motorways, why not plan a scenic route for your journey? Advantages of taking a scenic route to your destination include, avoiding long holiday tailbacks, stopping to stretch your legs more often, and discovering quaint little villages and beautiful scenery along the way
  9. Take Anti Sickness Remedies

    Prevent Car SicknessThere is nothing worse than having poorly children in the back of the car. As well as over the counter anti sickness tablets you can use acupressure bracelets which have a small plastic button on the inside which put gentle pressure on acupuncture points. One final remedy would be to try ginger snap biscuits, as ginger can be a natural remedy to nausea.
  10. Have you got your Free Motor Legal membership card & accident survival checklist? If the worst happens and you have a bump that was not your fault, calling our 24/7 claims line on 0800 144 44 88 could have you back on the road without needing to claim from your own insurance policy and avoid paying your excess.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Solved - the increase motorists are seeing from IPT hike
Instead of being nearly £100m worse off, Britain can be £219m better off!

With no shortage of news stories appearing about the affect the rise in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) caused on 1st November, data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says that 7.3 million car policies will be affected with an average increase of £13.00

This means that aside from any other reasons for prices increasing, Britain will be paying £94.9m more in premiums solely as a result of the IPT increase.

There is no way of avoiding the IPT increase and insurers are not absorbing the costs, so motorists need to stay on their guard to make sure they can still get the best value for money. Enter Free Motor Legal, a UK based company that offer all motorists in England, Scotland & Wales a genuine free alternative to paying for motor legal protection insurance.

Motor legal protection is usually sold as an add-on in addition to the basic motor insurance policy and a typical annual premium for motor legal protection is £30. By offering all British motorists free lifetime membership, Free Motor Legal can completely reverse the additional charges the UK motorist is seeing from an increase of nearly £100m to actual savings of up to £219m! 

If those 7.3 million car drivers opted to choose a free alternative to motor legal protection, that would be 7.3m people saving up to £30 a year from their motor insurance costs, adding up to a staggering £219m!

Managing Director of Free Motor Legal, Lee Jones, said “Motor insurance premiums are already on an upward trend and any further increases due to the tax levy are an unwelcome sight for motorists.”

Jones went on to add “By offering a free membership scheme which provides lifetime membership, this saves most motorists around £30 from their annual motor insurance costs. Households with several vehicles can see significant savings as most insurers sell a motor legal protection policy for each separately insured vehicle.. Because we are not selling an insurance product, we are also exempt from having to add IPT”


This offers key savings for any motorist who is paying for motor legal protection, be it for cars, vans or motorcycles. Better still, this is not a one-time-only offer or only available to new customers. With free lifetime membership, there is no need to renew membership each year and the savings therefore continue.

This offers motorists great savings but also the flexibility to still choose who they insure with each year and therefore shop around as there are no rewards with the insurers for remaining a loyal customer.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Free Motor Legal scoops an award

That's right, we have been selected by BBC Radio 2's resident Business Expert Nick Brown as Small Business of the Week!  #smallbusinessoftheweek 

Nick said "I first came across this company when the managing director of Free Motor legal, Lee Jones, rang me when I was on The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 ‪#‎R2Vine‬ a few months ago to tell Jeremy and I and the programme's six million listeners all about his business. The more I found out about it the more I liked the concept."

"Free Motor Legal was established in order to provide all motorists in England, Scotland & Wales with a way of making sure they had all the necessary assistance after a non-fault collision, but without the need to charge them for an annual policy. It is 100% FREE. To find out more visit www.freemotorlegal.co.uk or see them on Twitter at Free Motor Legal Well done Lee and the team."

We are delighted to be chosen for this award and it helps to single out our product and service, which is unique compared to the UK motor insurance industry, by offering motorists a free and genuine alternative to buying motor legal protection cover.

We remain committed to saving as many motorists on their annual insurance costs as possible and aim to save the UK motorist over £100 million a year. These savings are welcomed at a time that insurance premiums are increasing and a further rise is expected in November when Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) increases, which will put all premiums up across the board.



Friday, 10 July 2015

Insurers don't want to provide data in relation to "add on" products to help consumers decide on the "value" of the product.

Legal Expenses Insurance or Motor Legal Protection is an insurance "add on"

A lot of the focus of the report from the Financial Conduct Authority into the sale of add-ons was relating to products like Gap Cover, but Legal Protection insurance also comes under this banner.

An article in a trade magazine Insurance Age  reveals that providing such information would be a very difficult task and the insurance lobby will argue that it won't help consumers decide.

Our position is that the insurers and brokers do not want to provide any data such as the amount of claims where motor legal protection policies have actually paid out any costs or fees as they rarely if ever do so!

Our own insider knowledge is that often the motor legal protection policy that many people buy for around £30.00 each year as an add-on to their main motor insurance policy actually cost somewhere in the region of £0.50p to £1.00. The mark up is therefore incredible at almost 3000%!

The reasons the core cost of the product to the insurer or broker selling the legal protection policy is so low is that the policies seldom, if ever, pay out any legal fees. The solicitors who get appointed to deal with the claims work are essentially told never to claim for any fees if they lose a case and therefore the actual underwriter of the policy never has to pay out any money. Hence why the basic cost is as low as 50p.

If the claim does not appear to have "reasonable prospects of success" they will refuse to take the case on, so that no legal fees are incurred. Again, allowing the cost of the underwriting to be very low and the mark up and commission eared by the insurer or broker who sells you the motor legal protection policy very high.

We feel that insurers should have to reveal their claims cost exposure and the outlays they have had to make in relation to the number of claims they have had notified. We feel this would expose the true underlying fact that whilst motor legal expenses insurance/ motor legal protection is a good thing to have, the actual value of the product in terms of what you are being charged for relative to what the unit cost of the product is and the lack of any real risk the underwriting insurers face represents a product that consumers are being over charged for.

The alternative to being over charged is to look at the free alternatives like Free Motor Legal

Monday, 6 July 2015

The 6/7/15 Brighton Bus Crash
Might the injured victims and their families go without compensation?

York, 6th July 2015 – Managing director of Free Motor Legal, Lee Jones, observes that Brighton and Hove Buses managing director Martin Harris said: "We are exploring all the possible causes and that includes the suggestion that there may have been some sort of medical episode involving the driver." This harks back to the tragic accident in Glasgow on 22nd December 2014 when 6 people were killed and many more injured when the bin lorry driver fell unconscious at the wheel. In such circumstances, unless negligence against the driver or the vehicle operators can be established, claims for losses and compensation for injury and death may struggle to succeed.

Compensation is something that will be far from the minds of the injured passengers and their families at the moment, but once the extent of some injuries start to take hold and prevent people from earning a living or they are restricted with their lives, the thought of seeking redress becomes more prominent. At the moment the questions of “how and why” will prevail the most. It could simply have been an error of judgment and fortunately, most public service vehicles are now equipped with CCTV cameras that record both inside and outside footage from the vehicles, so this may shed some light on what happened and assist the investigation greatly, along with any eye witness accounts

www.Freemotorlegal.co.uk   Managing Director and Road Accident Lawyer, Lee Jones, who has been working in the insurance and road accident claims industry for 20 years says “in the event the driver has suffered a sudden and unexpected “medical episode” that was not foreseeable and was an unknown condition to him, proving the accident arose as a result of negligence may prove very difficult and any potential claims may fail.”He went on to explain that “it is not enough to merely show people suffered injuries and losses, it must be proven that on the balance of probabilities, the collision and resulting injuries arose due to the negligence of the bus driver or his employers. If a defence exists of automatism in that the driver was suddenly overcome with a medical condition that caused him to lose consciousness, the insurers of the bus company may well resist any claims”. Certainly it is too early to speculate accurately on the cause of the collision, but if it was due to a “medical episode” that was not known or detectable, then injured parties may have a hard time getting redress.

The bin lorry crash from December 2014 is a case in point, where the driver fell unconscious at the wheel and the investigation has revealed no known medical conditions pre-existed the incident and there had been no failure by the driver to take say medication or seek medical advice which then lead to the incident. Lawyers acting for any of the Glasgow victims and their families are likely to face a tough time gaining compensation for their clients. Hopefully the investigators will soon be able to find a cause.
~ENDS~
About
Free Motor Legal provides a free lifetime membership to all motorists in England, Scotland & Wales saving them around £30 per annum for each vehicle they have insured and avoiding the need to purchase a motor legal protection policy. In 2015 we aim to save the UK over £100 million in motor legal protection premiums, creating significant 10% savings from the average insurance premium for life. The company mirrors the service offering of most established legal protection providers without the need to purchase any underwritten product. The company has been in business since 2012 and is located in York.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Our top tips for those summer journeys

"Are we there yet mum?"

  1. Plan Your Journey

    map illustrationAvoid stress whilst you’re on the road and plan ahead. It is well worth planning a route to take across the country, planning roughly how much you can spend each day and planning activities that you can stop and do along the way.

     
  2. Check Your Car’s Fluids

    Check car fluid levelsTo keep your car in tip top condition and avoid the risks of breakdowns, you should make sure the following fluids are kept topped up: including engine oil, windscreen washer fluid, engine coolant and of course, fuel.
  3. Check Your Tyres

    Check car tyre pressureTake a few moments to check the tread and pressure of your car tyres. This may save you from breaking down or worse, a crash. Check that you have a road worthy spare wheel in your car in case of an emergency and maybe a can of tyre foam?

     
  4. Prepare Car Games

    Prepare car gamesPreparing a range of car games that the children can play may delay or at best, prevent the dreaded question asked by every child on a car journey, ‘Are we there yet?’. Grrrrrrrr!

     
  5.  An Emergency Kit

    Emergency Car KitMo matter how old or new your car is, it could break down. An emergency kit should consist of a breakdown triangle, a blanket, a torch, high visibility jackets (legal requirement in France), a mobile phone, a map, and most importantly breakdown cover details. If you break down put on the hazard warning lights, get out of the car on the passenger side and move away from the vehicle.
  6. Pack The Car Well

    Pack the car wellIf you pack the car in a rush you have a tendency to miss things, and to forget where everything is in the car. Take your time, put things in the glove box that you will need on the journey. Make sure you can easily reach things like CD’s, tissues, snacks, map etc. Everything else should be packed in the order you will need them.
  7. Stop For A Picnic

    Have a picnicWho says that your holiday has to start when you reach your destination? Why not start it on your journey and stop for a picnic along the way? Take a few snacks, sandwiches, crisps, drinks and fruit and find a nice spot to stop and have a picnic.
     
  8. Plan A Scenic Route?

    Avoiding MotorwaysRather than just traveling along the boring motorways, why not plan a scenic route for your journey? Advantages of taking a scenic route to your destination include, avoiding long holiday tailbacks, stopping to stretch your legs more often, and discovering quaint little villages and beautiful scenery along the way
  9. Take Anti Sickness Remedies

    Prevent Car SicknessThere is nothing worse than having poorly children in the back of the car. As well as over the counter anti sickness tablets you can use acupressure bracelets which have a small plastic button on the inside which put gentle pressure on acupuncture points. One final remedy would be to try ginger snap biscuits, as ginger can be a natural remedy to nausea.
  10. Have you got your Free Motor Legal membership card & accident survival checklist? If the worst happens and you have a bump that was not your fault, calling our 24/7 claims line on 0800 144 44 88 could have you back on the road without needing to claim from your own insurance policy and avoid paying your excess.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The truth behind what causes motor insurance premium increases

Can insurance companies really be trusted to deliver the truth when it comes to the information they release to the press? They seem very clever at delivering a constant wave of rhetoric about how premiums are going to increase and that it is all due to whiplash claims, expensive hire cars and accident management companies. But do you realise the insurance industry is largely at the centre of all this?

Some insurers even have an agenda that compensation should be scrapped for injured motorists and that the insurers should just pay for some treatment and then wave you off into the sunset.

The trouble is, a lot of these proposed reforms go almost unchecked by government and regulatory bodies, riding on the back of the wave of support allegedly drummed up from the constant drip feed of almost shaming people who have the nerve to make a claim after somebody else injures them on the roads. The same goes for the alleged epidemic that is "fraud", with the UK supposedly in the grips of a tide of non-stop fraudulent claims being submitted.

Now let's get this straight, there is a problem of some organised gangs and bent accident management companies who pedal either staged or fictitious claims and from time to time, some people do exaggerate the extent of their losses or injuries, but we would ask the insurers to first of all define "fraud".

We have seen anecdotal evidence that some insurers classed any claim they managed to negotiate down by 10% or more as a fraudulent claim. So we submit the extent of fraud is completely exaggerated by insurers. Similar to the police reporting that dwelling house burglaries are down, because on many occasions a burglary won't be crimed as a burglary, no, they will classify it as "criminal damage" instead. So the stats say one thing, the reality is different.

Again, the driving force behind the reasons they scare motorists with increased premiums is to then lobby government for yet more control of the claims industry This all just comes from a desire for greater profits. Nothing will change in the end, the consumer will just have less choice of who represents them and the insurance industry will control all facets of the marketplace.

The major problem that has existed for over a decade is the actual involvement insurers have themselves in the number of personal injury claims that arise, as well as credit hire car claims. This is something that rarely has come to the attention of the press or indeed government.

Before April 2013, insurers enjoyed juicy kickbacks from lawyers for the personal injury cases they referred to them when their own policyholder called to report a non-fault claim. These were called "referral fees". They were banned. So all along, insurers were injecting plenty of claims into the system themselves and reaping the benefits from the kick backs they received.

Admiral Insurance Group (EUI) reported an income £15million from referral fees alone. Lawyers were making moderate costs which had been fixed for a couple of years. However, because the insurers had got a taste of the action at the point claims were reported (captured), suddenly we had a more efficient machine at the front of the queue, making sure all injured occupants in a car were identified and sent in the direction of the panel law firm they had a financial arrangement with.

This resulted in the situation where there were more effective means of getting more people involved in injury claims at an early stage, we had the statistic then trotted out by the insurer lobby that despite the number of road accidents falling each year, the number of injury claims were rising. Rather than looking inwards at the problem, they decided to put the blame on claims management companies.

All of this assisted the insurers in lobbying the government for reforms after the costs of premiums rose by over 40%. Yes, the insurers were causing the problem they were then complaining about. But the insurers were really clever. Not only was reform of the personal injury sector imminent, with solicitors fees being slashed by over 60% and the banning of referral fees, but a change in regulations surrounding external investment in law firms was about to chime in during April 2013 also.

Put bluntly, the insurers had helped to engineer the perfect storm of excrement, all for their own gain. This meant they were able to continue pumping personal injury claims into the system, but now they could send the claims into law firms they either owned or had a profit share arrangement with. This by-passed the forbidden referral fee set up with the use of "Alternative Business Structures" (ABS).

Some insurers and large brokers even have their claims reporting lines directed to call centres within law firms, making sure they are at the front of the queue to get injured customers and their passengers signed up. There has been plenty of "buddying up" between insurers and law firms they now own and this continues to bleed money out of the system and then give the insurers a reason to raise premiums.

One thing is certain, the insurers continue to look outwards for the cause of the problem. A recent article which seems to have done the rounds, almost appearing word for word in a number of different publications, with the exception that one of them put the alleged cost of whiplash at a staggering £472 BILLION, yet the same article, almost word for word seemed to have a corrected figure at £472 million. The blame being put on "criminals, no win no fee lawyers and claims management companies."

The press just can't seem to get enough of it and appear to publish copied & pasted press releases from insurers and their mouthpiece, the ABI.

It is a fact that the number of claims management companies registered with the Ministry Of Justice has declined since the April 2013 reforms and, they continue to decline.There has also been a reduction in the number of whiplash claims made, according to data obtained by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) from the Department of Work & Pensions.

The problem with the level of involvement the insurance industry has with the injection of personal injury and credit hire claims into the system is that they are just cutting each other's throats on a daily basis. When their customer reports a claim that appears to be non-fault, they can't wait to send their customer to a car hire firm to provide a replacement hire car and also to tout and almost pester for injury claims to send to their law firm. This is because they receive revenue from the service providers they refer their customer to.

All of this ends up in the lap of the insurer for the party at fault, who picks up the tab for it. The situation is then reversed for the other insurer when their customer reports such a claim and, the situation is repeated over and over again on a colossal sale.

The system is by no means perfect, but the insurance industry have got to stop taking everyone for fools and continuing with the hard done-by sentiment they keep pushing out there in press-releases. They need to be more transparent with what they are actually upto and stop passing the blame around when they are the biggest cause of the problems they complain about.

www.freemotorlegal.co.uk is a free alternative to buying motor legal protection for all motorists in England, Scotland & Wales.