Finding The Right Business Insurance

Why You Should Use A Broker To Find The Right Insurance

Managing the day to day aspects of a business can be tiring enough, but with the pressure on every business owner these days, it’s easy to forget about the legalities of insurance. If you own a business, there are many aspects of it which need to be insured, from your staff to your goods and services. For example, a vegetable farm might have to insure their workers, their machinery, plus their fleet of trucks or vans which deliver the produce.

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It can be difficult to wade through the practicalities of insurance, so you should use an insurance broker. Here at Weir Insurance, we believe in customer satisfaction and in finding the right quote which will suit every need and aspect of one’s business. However, in this article, we’ll take a look at a few reasons as to why you should consider hiring a broker to find the right insurance. In Newcastle and Northumberland, there are many insurance brokers available to you, but Weir Insurance prides itself as being an insurance broker which combines in-depth experience with great customer service, leading you to a more profitable deal that works for everyone.

1. Experience

Brokers have decades worth of experience to help customers get the best possible quote. For example, take us here at Weir Insurance brokers. We have been assisting customers with their insurance since 1972, so that’s almost forty years! With our number of staff working here for decades, if you add up each member’s experience, it would be hundreds of years’ worth of experience. Nothing beats the time tested experience of brokers, because they have the finesse to find the companies with the best cover at the best rates, and their intuition can help give you the advice you need.

2. Finding the Best Cover at The Best Price

With so many insurance companies out there, wading through lists of insurance companies and their rates is like going through a minefield, and with each company offering tens of options, it can be very difficult to know which is the best deal.

Some companies offer discounts, depending on how many years you’ve been with them, while others might combine rates together to give you the best deal. However, finding these deals takes more than a lot of work and time, it might also depend on luck. Since you’re looking through so many companies and the rates they offer, you might miss out on a great deal or on a combination which will earn you the best money.

With an insurance broker, they will scan through every company and every option they provide, to ensure that you’re covering everything you need, at the best affordable price. Insurance brokers know which insurance companies provide the best experience and value for certain businesses, and what covers they want.

3. Less Stress

With an insurance broker, all you have to do is give them the details of your business and what you want to insure, and leave them do the rest! By allowing us to use our time-tested experience in getting you a great quote, you won’t have to worry about anything. As long as we have all the details, such as what you want to cover and how many employees to insure, etc., you’ll have more time to keep running your business and make sure everything is running smoothly. Managing an entire business is a lot more efficient, when you don’t have to worry about insurance, too!

Conclusion

If you’re living anywhere in Northumberland or Newcastle, and you want an insurance broker that will combine the three benefits mentioned above into a solid customer experience, you should choose Weir Insurance! We’ll help you get the best deal, use our knowledge and invaluable experience to find the best quote, and give you a great customer experience. Call today on 0800 281 453 or visit the Weir Insurance Brokers website. You’re in good hands!

Improve Your Home with a New Bathroom

Improve Your Home with a New Bathroom
Updating your bathroom is an excellent way of improving your quality of life and also adding value to your property should you want to sell in the future making it an excellent investment for your home, at P T Ranson they have an excellent range of bathroom products from designers such as Vitra Bathrooms that are sure to give you plenty of inspiration and new ideas to help you completely transform your bathroom into a space that you love.

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No matter what kind of theme or style you would like to create at P T Ranson they have a wide range of style and designs available that are sure to cater to any kind of tastes all created to the highest possible standards. With many baths, toilets, basins and other accessories available you can be sure to find everything you need to create a beautiful bathroom that complements your home and reflects your sense of style perfectly.

If you are looking to create a classic bathroom that has a real sense of tradition take a look at some of the beautiful designs of toilets, sinks, baths and other bathroom items available including those from Hansgrohe Showers. With everything you need to make the perfect bathroom that will last for years to come, products available from Imperial Bathrooms are manufactured using only the highest quality materials you will be sure to be impressed with the standard of any goods you may buy.

Or take a look at some of the of the stylish and contemporary designs available from Imperial Bathrooms if you would prefer a more modern look, with many innovative and unique baths, basins toilets and other bathrooms accessories available you will be able to create a bathroom that is reflects all the comforts and advantages of modern design perfectly. With elegant styles and a real eye for detail at Vitra Bathrooms they aim to combine high quality design with excellent value for money.

So no matter what type of design you may have in mind, why not take a look at the great bathroom products available at P T Ranson with such a wide range of styles and ideas available from carefully selected suppliers you can be sure that no matter what bathroom design you decide you like any product you choose will be produced to the highest possible standard and delivered to you with the minimum of fuss. Whether your home is ten years old or 100 years old, adding a new bathroom or upgrading to designer bathrooms is one of the best investments you can make in your home.

The right luxury bathroom fittings will make your daily routine more enjoyable, impress your guests and put you in a favourable position to sell your home should that day ever come. You might even find that certain space-saving features are more attractive than the ones you already have. Make sure that the designer you choose can offer the best value for the design you have chosen, and your new designer bathroom will delight your family and guests for many years to come.

If you want a looking for a new shower that is truly effective that you know you can rely on check out the great range of Hansgrohe Showers where they have a great range of efficient and stylish shower designs that will really give your bathroom a modern edge along with all the accessories required to make sure that you get the perfect finish, including wall outlets and concealed valves so you can get the job done exactly how you want it.

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So if you want to install a new shower in your bathroom why not get some inspiration from P T Ranson? Regardless of your tastes or the style you are hoping to achieve with such a wide range of top quality products you are sure to find the ideal shower for your bathroom. They have been supplying and installing components for luxury bathrooms across the UK for over 15 years.

We work with architect’s specifications as needed and are prepared to guide homeowners through every step of the process, from initial consultation and planning to final installation. Let our experts outfit your home with the luxury bathroom of your dreams in 2015. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today on 0191 469 6999 or visit the P.T. Ranson designer bathrooms website today.

Opec Plans Oil Price Talks Soon

Opec Plans Oil Price Talks Soon
Oil producers in the Opec group of countries will make another attempt this week to reverse a slump in crude prices, according to Algeria’s energy minister. Noureddine Bouterfa said there would be an informal gathering of Opec members on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algiers on Wednesday. “We will not come out of the meeting empty-handed,” the minister added.

The fall in prices has been causing problems for poorer members of Opec. Oil prices collapsed from peaks of more than $100 a barrel in mid-2014 to near 13-year lows below $30 in January. The price on Friday was $44.48 a barrel.

Analysts remain gloomy about the chances of an agreement. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Given that Opec has failed to agree much of anything in the last 12 months, it seems unlikely that it will start now.”

Opec’s 14 members, which produce about a third of the world’s oil, have so far failed to agree a deal to cut output that would prop up prices. But the state of the oil market was “more critical” than when Opec last met three months ago, Mr Bouterfa said. Crucially, Saudi Arabia, the largest Opec member and which has resisted production curbs, may now be more willing to cut output, he added. Saudi Arabia pumped a record 10.69 million barrels a day in August compared with 10.2 million in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Although Wednesday’s meeting is an informal gathering, Mr Bouterfa did not rule out it becoming a formal event.

He said: “Either we reach an agreement, which would be good, or we reach an understanding on the elements of an agreement, and that would also be good. “Every state in the organisation agrees on the need to stabilise prices, it just remains for us to find a format that pleases everyone. The best solution would be a (production) freeze.”

Opec members are losing between $300m and $500m a day, Mr Bouterfa said. “No (oil) company will be able to withstand it if prices remain under $50 a barrel,” he added.

Mortgage Approvals at 19 Month Low, Consumer Credit Soars

Mortgage Approvals at 19 Month Low, Consumer Credit Soars
The number of people taking out mortgages fell to its lowest level for 19 months in August, according to Britain’s High Street banks. A total of 36,997 homeowners had their mortgages approved, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said. That is the lowest figure since January 2015, and a 21% drop on August 2015.

The number of people borrowing to buy a house or flat has been falling since April, when there was a rush to buy property ahead of stamp duty changes.

“Mortgage borrowing is growing at a slower pace than it has for the last few months reflecting both the slowdown in housing market growth after the April spike and broader trends in the sector,” said Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the BBA.

The figures do not include lending by UK building societies, which account for about a third of mortgage borrowing.

However, UK consumers are continuing to borrow more through loans and overdrafts. The total amount of consumer credit grew by 6.4% in the year to August, the fastest rate of growth for nearly 10 years. “Given the low interest rate environment and high levels of confidence during the summer, the strong credit growth can be interpreted as strong consumer sentiment,” said Ms Harding.

Economists said consumer confidence had recovered since the vote to leave the European Union.

“Consumers were clearly prepared to continue borrowing and spending in August, and it is notable that confidence recovered to a significant extent after slumping in July in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote,” said Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight.

However, he predicted that such confidence could run out of steam in the months ahead. “Consumers are likely to face diminishing purchasing power over the coming months as inflation rises and earnings growth is limited by companies striving to limit their costs.” He said unemployment was likely to rise, and predicted that inflation could hit 3% by the end of next year.

Mark Carney; Green Finance ‘A Major Opportunity’

Mark Carney; Green Finance ‘A Major Opportunity’
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said climate change risks can be reduced in part by increased green financing in emerging economies. Mr Carney said long-term financing of green projects in emerging markets would promote financial stability.

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Speaking at an event in Berlin, he urged Germany to use its G20 presidency in 2017 to make progress. Mr Carney has previously warned of climate change risks for the finance industry. At the event on Thursday, Mr Carney said that in theory capital should flow from advanced to emerging economies due to high returns. In practice, however, the opposite has happened – and this has driven down bond yields in advanced economies, he said.

When money has sporadically flowed to emerging economies it has had a destabilising influence, he said. “In this context, green finance is a major opportunity. By ensuring that capital flows finance long-term projects in countries where growth is most carbon intensive, financial stability can be promoted,” he said.

Mr Carney said the issuance of green bonds – for example, to help finance water or renewable power projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions – could double in 2016 from last year’s $42bn.

But they still represent only 1% of holdings by global financial institutions, he said. “The development of this new global asset class is an opportunity to advance a low carbon future while raising global investment and spurring growth,” he said.

He elaborated on a conundrum – that by the time there is a clear economic incentive to act against climate change, it will be too late to do anything about it.

A further potential problem he pointed out was that “too rapid a movement towards a low-carbon economy could materially damage financial stability.”

As part of the transition towards a low-carbon economy, Mr Carney also urged companies to disclose the financial risks that climate change poses to their business models.

Mr Carney has previously warned of the risks of climate change for the finance industry, including the possibility that the majority of fossil fuel reserves might not be recoverable as governments push to limit global warming.

Lloyd’s of London Considers Setting up EU Subsidiary

Lloyd’s of London Considers Setting up EU Subsidiary
Insurance market Lloyd’s of London is working on “contingency plans” to ensure it can trade across Europe when the UK leaves the EU. Chief executive Inga Beale told the BBC that Lloyd’s may set up a subsidiary or branches in mainland Europe. She estimates that 4% of revenues could be lost after Brexit because Lloyd’s would lose its licence – or passporting – rights to operate across the EU. The fallout from Brexit “is a major issue for us to deal with”, she said.

Lloyd’s, one of Britain’s oldest institutions, is the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance market and houses around 90 syndicates. It focuses on specialist markets, such as marine, energy and political risk, and this year insured the taste buds of a Cadbury’s chocolate taster.

Continental Europe accounts for about 11% of gross premiums written by the London market. Ms Beale told the BBC that Lloyd’s was now “focusing our attention” on maintaining its position in a post-Brexit landscape. It had not yet been decided whether to establish branches in individual EU countries or an EU-wide subsidiary, but the latter option would probably be cheaper, she said.

But Ms Beale said Lloyd’s had to respond. “It’s the lack of certainty for our clients. Business cannot hang around,” she said. “Boards are going to insist that they make plans [for life after Brexit]”

She did not disclose details of the size of any EU-based subsidiary or consequences for jobs, but said: “Some people may end up doing their jobs in other parts of Europe rather than in London.”

Her comments came as Lloyd’s reported half-year pre-tax profits of £1.46bn, up from £1.20bn for the six months last year.

Despite the rise, premiums continue to be under pressure, said Lloyd’s chairman John Nelson. He said: “Whilst we are operating in difficult conditions, we have continued to make significant progress in growing our presence in the fast-growth markets across the globe. In 2016 we have applied for onshore reinsurance licences in India and Malaysia as well as opening a new office in Bogota, Colombia. This complements the growth we are seeing in Dubai, China and in our more traditional markets, particularly the United States.”

Mike Ashley Steps in at Sports Direct

Mike Ashley Steps in at Sports Direct
The founder and majority owner of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley, has stepped in as chief executive at the retailer after the surprise resignation of Dave Forsey. The company has been under fire over zero hours contracts and disclosure that staff at a warehouse were paid less than the minimum wage.

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Independent shareholders had called for changes to the way the company was run.

The main request, though, was for the removal of chairman Keith Hellawell.

Mr Ashley said in a statement: “I feel like I have lost my right arm, but I do hope to have the opportunity to work with Dave again in the future.” He owns more than 50% of the business he founded. His formal position was executive deputy chairman.

The Sports Direct statement does not make clear why Mr Forsey is leaving. He has worked there for 32 years after starting as a part-time worker when he was 18. Earlier this year he agreed to forgo a £3.7m share award in recognition of the problems at the company.

Mr Forsey said: “I have given my entire working life to the company and in return the company has given me amazing opportunities and experiences.”

Sports Direct, which has around 450 retail outlets, came under the spotlight after an investigation uncovered that staff were kept on site at its giant Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire after their shifts for body searches. These took so long that their pay effectively dipped below the minimum wage.

Mr Ashley, Sports Direct’s billionaire founder, was called to answer questions from MPs, who compared working practices at the warehouse with “that of a Victorian workhouse than that of a modern High Street retailer”.

In the wake of that, the sportswear chain’s lawyers produced a critical report of its working conditions. The company was criticised for its use of zero hours contracts. It says it will offer workers who want them guaranteed hours. It also said it would put a worker on the board. That report also criticised Mr Forsey for failing to inform the Sports Direct board about some of the issues at Shirebrook.

But calls for an independent review continued and earlier this week, Sports Direct said it would authorise such a study of working practices and corporate governance, following concerns raised by shareholders.

Mr Ashley denied knowing much about the way Shirebrook operated, telling the BBC: “You’d be surprised how little I knew of what was going on.”

Sarah Wilson, chief executive of shareholder pressure group, Manifest, told BBC Radio 5 live the move added another corporate governance problem: “Are we going to see [Mike Ashley] step down from his other job as deputy chairman? Had Mike Ashley listened to shareholders four or five years ago, we might not be in the situation we’re in at the moment.” She said the company’s actions were not just damaging to shareholders but “undermined the general public’s perception of capitalism – full stop”.

Mr Ashley’s brash style is unorthodox for the founder and executive of a leading UK company. The owner of Newcastle United football club was photographed with a wad of cash when he took shareholders and journalists on a tour of the Shirebrook site after the shareholders’ meeting. He also revealed that he travels to work by helicopter. The company employs Mike Ashley’s daughter’s boyfriend to run its property arm.

Financially, the company is not in a good place. The company’s shares have fallen by 50% this year, and earlier this month Sports Direct warned that that profits next year would be down on this year.

Sports Direct’s board made two other changes, promoting Karen Byers to the role of global head of operations, and Sean Nevitt to the role of global head of commercial.

Home Insurance that Works for You

Home Insurance that Works for You
Identifying the right home and property insurance, plus the correct amount of insurance cover is essential when you need to make a claim if something goes wrong. However, sometimes shopping around for insurance can be daunting as there are so many conflicting deals and offers, with many insurance companies offering added bonuses or advantages that you may not even be sure that you need.

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At Weir Insurance brokers they aim to help take the stress out of renewing your insurance by offering you all the information and advice that you need to make a really well informed choice.

As one on the more established insurance brokers in the North East, Weir Insurance have over forty years experience helping their clients locate great value and appropriate insurance in Newcastle and Northumberland and make good decisions about what insurance policies they choose to hold. With a wealth of knowledge from within the industry and a focus on providing every customer with a top quality service every time they are experts at making sure they get the best deal available every time, no matter what level of cover is required.

If you are looking to renew your insurance or you are taking out a new policy entirely the first thing to consider is the type of insurance that you require and the level of cover that is needed, at Weir Insurance they will complete an initial assessment with you to decide what type of cover is most suited to your specific needs and also what you are able to afford. You will then get the opportunity to discuss what types of cover might be most suitable to you.  Once you have been guided through the options and decided what types of policy you will require one of the team will find what companies have the best deals available.

You will then have the opportunity to take a look at a selection of policies that are suited to your requirements and have any questions or queries that you may have answered so you can be sure that you will have all the information you need. Once you have made a decision Weir Insurance will get everything arranged on your behalf as soon as possible and let you know when your cover will begin, giving you total peace of mind that everything is well protected.

No matter what you want to insure or the type of insurance you want at Weir Insurance they have all the experience required to provide expert advice to residential and commercial customers alike and with a range of specialist insurers available as well they are also able to help with more difficult items to insure such as classic cars, charities and caravans. They also offer specialist advice and hard to beat quotes on a variety of services such as legal advice and road side assistance and many other types of insurance including travel, horse and commercial fleets.

So if you are finding it hard to find a competitive quote, too busy to spend hours searching for the best deal or simply overwhelmed by the amount to policies available and want a bit of guidance why not get in touch with Weir Insurance? With a great range of insurance advice on offer, many years experience within the industry and the expert skills to provide you with the advice you need you can be certain that they will do everything they can to ensure they get you the best value policy and the right level of cover for you.

For further information please call one of our experienced insurance team to day on 01670 365533 or visit the Weir Insurance brokers website. We have been helping our clients’ with their insurance needs since 1972. We talk to you about your requirements, work with you to figure out what cover you need (and what cover you don’t) and then use our relationship with dozens of insurers to find the best solution for you.

Students Warned of New ‘Phishing’ Scam

Students Warned of New ‘Phishing’ Scam
New students are being alerted to a scam where fraudsters claim to offer a “educational grant” in a bid to con them into divulging bank details. The personal finance site Money Saving Expert says it is aware of students at major universities being targeted in a new wave of “phishing emails”.

At Queen Mary University London, one student was tricked out of £300. University of Glasgow said it was also aware of the scam and had advised students to ignore the email.  The mother of the QMUL student said her daughter had received the scam email last week. It looked as if it had come from the university’s finance department, complete with the logo, and invited the young woman to claim a government bursary.

An online form asked her for personal and banking details and took her to a bank verification page, which was when she became suspicious. But, MSE says, the student found the fraudsters had already taken £300 from her bank account.

In a statement QMUL said: “We were made aware late last week that a number of QMUL students had received these phishing emails.

“QMUL proactively monitors its systems to prevent and detect breaches, and there is no evidence to suggest any system has been compromised in this instance. A message was sent to all students warning them about the scam and providing them with advice on how they can protect themselves online, including details of our cybersecurity training courses.”

The university said it did not believe the scam had affected many students and said it was confident its own systems had not been breached.

The University of Glasgow said it would never ask for banking information in this way. In an email to all students, the university said it had become aware of a scam email headed: “Educational Grant Information”.

“This is an email message that appears as if it has come from the University of Glasgow’s finance department. It has not,” the university said.

Earlier this year, the police site Action Fraud warned of a similar “phishing” campaign at universities.

The Student Loans Company said students were particularly vulnerable to “phishing” attempts around the main payment dates, in September, January and April. “Phishing emails are sent in batches so there will be more in circulation,” it said.

“We want to remind students to stay vigilant with the details they provide online,” said Paul Mason, the SLC director responsible for combating fraud. He advised students receiving unsolicited emails to be alert to poor spelling and grammar and to demands for a rapid response. They are also advised not to reply and not to click on any links.

Suspected attempts should be reported to phishing@slc.co.uk or to Action Fraud.

Alcohol Sales Climb as UK Toasts Olympics Success

Alcohol Sales Climb as UK Toasts Olympics Success
Alcohol sales jumped 8.5% in the summer as shoppers celebrated the UK’s success at the Olympics, a study suggests. Sparkling wines including prosecco and champagne led the way with sales up by 36%, said market research firm Kantar Worldpanel. Kantar credited “promotional events across a number of retailers which successfully tapped the nation’s celebratory mood”.

The uplift came despite an otherwise flat UK grocery market.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “While overall [grocery] sales growth has been slow, consumers have been keen to celebrate Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic golden summer, boosting alcohol sales.” He said that Tesco’s summer Drinks Festival had helped to grow its alcohol sales “faster than any other major category” at the store, while Waitrose and Co-op also booked strong drink sales.

In the 12 weeks to 11 September, overall UK grocery sales increased by 0.3% from a year earlier to £24.7bn, said Kantar Worldpanel.

This was while grocery inflation was negative, at -1.1%, meaning shoppers were paying less for food and drink than they were in 2015. Tesco remained the UK’s largest operator with a 28.1% share of the grocery market, although its sales have not yet returned to growth. Its 0.2% year-on-year decline, however, was its “best performance” since March 2014, said Kantar Worldpanel. Sales at its closest rival Sainsbury’s fell by 1.4%, reflecting a lower price strategy and leaving the retailer with a 15.9% share of the market.

Asda’s sales were down 5.4%, leaving it with a 15.7% stake, and Morrisons’ fell 2.3%, leaving it with 10.4%.

The fastest risers were discount operators Aldi, whose sales increased by 11.6%, and Lidl where they grew 9.5%.

Mr McKevitt said: “The discounters are helping drive the industry-wide growth in premium own-label lines, with marketing campaigns moving away from showcasing only price to a focus on quality. Shoppers now spend an average of £19.24 when visiting the discount retailers and at a time of falling prices this increase of 4% is not to be sniffed at.”