Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Police warn drivers not to hide car keys at home... to avoid violent clashes with burglars

Drivers should not hide their car keys when at home because it risks a violent confrontation with burglars, a policeman has warned.

The controversial advice was given after a case in Clifton, Lancashire, where a 16-year-old burglar murdered a pensioner for his car keys.

Speaking after the killer was jailed for life, a vehicle crime specialist from the Metropolitan Police said: 'I'd rather they broke in and found the keys and nicked my car than have them wake me up in the middle of the night because I value my life and like a good night's sleep.'If we say hide the keys then we are actually putting people at risk of ending up in the sort of situation which happened in Lancashire.

'However, an official spokesman for the Met said the comments did not represent their official advice, which was to keep car keys out of view.

It is estimated that more than 50 people a day across the UK have their cars stolen by burglars who ransack their homes and drive off with the spoils in their victim's vehicle.

A total of 15,741 cars were stolen last year by burglars who got hold of the keys after breaking into victims' homes while a further 2,858 were taken by force in robberies and car-jackings.

According to insurance and car crime experts that figure is rising at more than 15 per cent a year.Around 11 per cent of the reported stolen every year are as a result of the keys being taken during a house burglary or violence against drivers.

In recent months police from forces as far a-field as Warwickshire, West Yorkshire, West Mercia, Northampton, Kent and Manchester have all released car key burglary warnings.

'The amount of car key burglaries we have been dealing with has increased significantly,' said Asmar Chaudry, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police.

'It's because security systems in cars have improved so much that the only way you can actually get into them is by using the keys. It's not a problem that's restricted to one place, it's a nationwide phenomena.'


We sincerely hope that it will never happen to you, but the fact remains that no matter how much money is thrown at vehicle protection, the determined vehicle thief continues to ply his trade.

In the time it takes to read this page, three more vehicles will be stolen or taken without the owners consent.

MYTH: Every customer who has their vehicle stolen will be provided a replacement vehicle by their insurance company.
FACT: It is remarkable that only a small number of insurance companies offer any kind of solution, leaving the vast majority of the 30 million UK motorists exposed.
MYTH: But surely I will get a courtesy vehicle?
FACT: No courtesy vehicle will be provided whilst your car remains un-recovered (typically 10 - 14 days) and NOT when your vehicle is written off.

We are pleased to introduce you to Theft Protect, not previously available in the UK, protecting you in the unhappy event of your vehicle being stolen.

For a small annual premium, you can now obtain a like-for-like replacement vehicle facility for up to 28 days, allowing you to get mobile again with the minimum of fuss should the unhappy event of your vehicle being stolen.

Theft Protect is available from a UK network of insurance brokers. When buying your vehicle insurance, insist they include Theft Protect.

Click the links on these pages to find out more, or e mail us at enquiries@nice-1.co.uk

Sunday, 21 June 2009


£2,000 incentive will be wiped out in just 88 days due to depreciation

  • New vehicles purchased under the Government’s car scrappage scheme are set to lose £12.5 billion in depreciation after just one year
  • Even with the £2,000 scrappage bonus, motorists buying the UK’s top ten bestselling new cars are still set to lose £527 each month due to depreciation in year one, totalling £9.5 billion
  • On average, the initial £2,000 “cash for bangers” bonus is wiped out in depreciation in just 88 days of owning the new car
  • Purchasing one of the top ten most popular new cars costs £16,232 on average, this value plummets by 51% in the first year alone
  • The UK’s best-selling car – the Ford Focus Style – loses £8,635 or 51% of its value in the year one
  • Drivers are urged to read the small print on car insurance policies as the write off value varies substantially between policies
New research has revealed that vehicle depreciation is set to be the ‘thorn in the side’ of the Government’s new car scrappage scheme.

In fact, the £2,000 incentive will be wiped out in depreciation within just 88 days of purchasing a new vehicle. With 1.5 million motorists tempted to cash in on the scheme, these consumers are set to lose a total of £12.5 billion in just one year.

Furthermore, even with the Government’s £2,000 incentive, motorists buying the UK’s top ten best-selling new cars are still set to find themselves £9.5 billion out of pocket due to depreciation in the first year, equating to a loss of £527 each month.

On average, the value of a new vehicle depreciates by £8,321 within the first year of driving it off the forecourt. This means the initial scrappage bonus is wiped out more than four times over within the first year due to the extent it depreciates in worth.

However, despite the harsh reality of vehicle depreciation putting the Government’s £2,000 scrapping bonus in a measly light, the research highlights how consumers are still attracted to the other benefits the scheme may bring. For example, the environmental benefits such an initiative could generate is a persuasive factor, with 37% of interested motorists saying their main reason for participation in the scheme would be to swap their car for a greener model.

Interestingly, nearly one in ten (8%) would-be car swappers cited that their main reason for partaking would be to ‘do their bit’ to support the struggling car industry.

Table 1: Depreciation of the UK top ten selling cars (against purchase price)

Double click the table above to see the figures more clearly.

Source: Depreciation figures from sales volumes from SMMT. (Averages weighted against SMMT sales data)

Levels of vehicle depreciation are based on various factors; such as the popularity of the car, the number of vehicles manufactured and the perceived value or quality of the brand among consumers.

The UK’s top ten best selling new cars on average cost £16,232 yet they lose over half their value (51%) in the first year alone. The UK’s best-selling car – the Ford Focus Style – loses £8,625 or 51% of its value in the first year alone. The worst performer is the UK’s 4th best-selling car – the Vauxhall Astra Hatchback Life – which suffers the highest level of depreciation in its first year at 67%.

On a more positive note, the UK’s third best-selling car – the Ford Fiesta Hatchback – depreciates the least, losing 38% of its value in the first year. It also costs a more consumer friendly £12,195.

The Government’s car scrappage scheme has been introduced to give the ailing motor industry a much needed shot in the arm by enticing motorists to participate with a £2,000 incentive.

However, whilst this is a positive bonus for consumers, it seems even this payout can’t hold its weight against the magnitude of vehicle depreciation, which dents the value a car from the moment you drive off the forecourt.

When choosing a new vehicle, motorists should ensure they research the rate of depreciation of their desired new car, as research highlights how some of the top ten most popular vehicles hold their value far better than others.

Any motorists tempted to take advantage of the car scrappage scheme should research the cost of insuring their desired new vehicle as a matter of priority, as the cost could be significantly higher than they are currently paying for their old banger.

All drivers who are planning to switch their old cars for a newer model need to be prepared for a hike to their premiums of up to 30%.

For example: A 40 year old male with 9 years no claims who currently owns a 1999 Ford Focus Zetec pays £154.66 for his car insurance. If he was to trade this in for a 2009 Ford Focus Zetec his insurance would be hiked to £200.98 – an increase of 29.9% for the new car.


Consumers should also be aware of the extra administrative costs associated with changing an existing insurance policy.

When it comes to making such a change, there are two choices available; consumers can either buy a completely new policy or amend their existing policy.

Whichever choice is made, a mid-term adjustment fee is likely to be incurred and this costs on average £15.94. Alternatively, a hefty cancellation fee charging anything up to £75 may apply.

These extra charges mean that insurance providers are likely to be the winners of the car scrappage scheme far more so than consumers, as they will cash in on drivers making these mid-term policy adjustments.

Finally, consumers must read the small print on their insurance policy, as the write off value on insurance policies varies substantially.

Out of the insurers surveyed only eight providers replace a brand new vehicle written off in an accident within the first 12 months with an identical ‘like for like’ vehicle. Notably, Saga is the only insurer to offer this within a 24 months timeframe. Other providers, such as Admiral, Diamond and Elephant actually factor in depreciation, so if the car is written off in the first month of ownership the driver could lose several thousand pounds.

Table 2: Insurers ‘like-for-like’ replacements

*If vehicle is written off per terms and conditions of policy


1. 1.5 million drivers are likely to take advantage of the initiative – source Experian http://www.moneyfacts.co.uk/Article/81606/Scrappage-scheme-could-tempt-1-5-million-people.aspx

2. Average depreciation on a new car is £8321.10 in the first year, which equals £693.43 per month. Minus the £2,000 offset by car scrappage incentive this is £6321.10, which equals £526.76 per month.

Average 1 year loss multiplied by amount of people potentially taking advantage of scrappage scheme. 8312.10 x 1 500 000 = £12,481,650,000.00 Net loss against scrappage scheme multiplied by amount of people potentially taking advantage of scrappage scheme £321.10 x 1,500,000 = £9,481,650,000

3. Average depreciation on a new car is £8,321 in the first year. £8,321 divided by 365 = £22.79 per day. £2,000 divided by £22.79 = 87.75 days.

4. All figures based on 31,245,416 cars in use in the UK according to Research Insight
(June 2008).

Article source : www.uSwitch.com

Friday, 12 June 2009

Accelerate Your Business Success With Linkedin

The growth of LinkedIn, which has signed up over 41 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world, confirms there is a distinct business social networking market. The site has over 1.5 million in the UK - a tenth of the professional workforce.

Its average user is 41, with a salary estimated at £70,000.

LinkedIn remains a great way for professionals to strengthen their online brand reputation and leverage their professional network.

Relationships Matter

Your professional network of trusted contacts gives you an advantage in your career, and is one of your most valuable assets. LinkedIn exists to help you make better use of your professional network and help the people you trust in return.

In a global connected economy, your success as a professional and your competitiveness as a company depends upon faster access to insight and resources you can trust.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that you need to work with to accomplish your goals.

When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts.

Through your network you can:

  • Manage the information that’s publicly available about you as professional
  • Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
  • Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
  • Be found for business opportunities and find potential partners
  • Gain new insights from discussions with likeminded professionals in private group settings
  • Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  • Post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company

LinkedIn is free to join. They offer a premium version of your accounts that give you more tools for finding and reaching the right people, whether or not they are in your network. LinkedIn participates in the EU Safe Harbor Privacy Framework and is certified to meet the strict privacy guidelines of the European Union. All relationships on LinkedIn are mutually confirmed, and no one appears in the LinkedIn Network without knowledge and explicit consent.


1. Increase your visibility.

By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.

2. Improve your connectability.

Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.
You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment.

3. Improve your Google PageRank.

LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web> For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature.

4. Enhance your search engine results.

In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicise websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc.

If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View.”

5. Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks.

LinkedIn’s reference check tool to input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data.

Companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but with LinkedIn you have a way to scope them out.

You can also check up on the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck “Current titles only.” By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get the inside scoop on the job, manager and growth potential.

By the way, if using LinkedIn in these ways becomes a common practice, we’re apt to see more truthful resumes. There’s nothing more amusing than to find out that the candidate who claims to have caused some huge success was a total bozo who was just along for the ride.

6. Increase the relevancy of your job search.

Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.

7. Make your interview go smoother.

You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays football, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

8. Gauge the health of a company.

Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board.

9. Gauge the health of an industry.

If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find people who worked for competitors—or even better, companies who failed.

10. Track startups.

You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first.

[Republished from: Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn via "How to Change the World" -- Guy Kawasaki's blog]

Nice 1 Limited Comment : "We are new to LinkedIn but can see clear advantages of joining already. As our core product Theft Protect traverses the insurance and motor sectors, the benefits of networking and connecting with our business contacts are invaluable. Easy to set up and start connecting"

Carl Brandrick

Managing Director
Nice 1 Limited

To visit the Theft Protect page on LinkedIn click the LinkedIn button on the right of this page.

To Twitter Nice 1 click here


Thursday, 11 June 2009


If your business transacts business over the internet, this information from the National Office of Statistics may be of interest to you.
To see or download the full report click here.
As the tables are self explanatory, we'll let you form your own assumptions about the relevance and usefulness of creating an internet marketing strategy for your business.

To view or download the full report click here.

For the majority of businesses these days, the increase in internet use is too important to ignore.

Look out for further internet marketing articles from these pages, or explore the previous articles from the archives links on the right side of this page.

Kind Regards

The Team at Nice 1

Broker Feature - Ashbourne Insurance

click the image above to read the newsletter


The team at Nice 1 Limited would like to extend a big thank you to Peter and the team at Ashbourne Insurance Brokers, for featuring Theft Protect on the front page of this month's newsletter.

Ashbourne are a great supporter of the Theft Protect product and represewnt an excellent example of a customer focused insurance broker.

If you would like to include Theft Protect in any of your promotional offerings, please contact the team at Nice 1 on enquiries@nice-1.co.uk

In the meantime, to see how Peter is successfully promoting his business click here to read or download the company newsletter in full.

Twitter For Business - An Excellent Free Guide

In a previous article on Twitter For Business (click here to see it), it was estimated that 700,000 small companies in Britain are currently using Twitter – 17% of the 4,559,000 small businesses in the UK that employ less than 20 people (source: Federation of Small Business); furthermore, the number is growing at the rate of 6,000 a day.

The team at Nice 1 Limited are delighted to share with you a really useful free article

A guide for people who want to start getting business results on Twitter. Author: Mark Shaw

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Welcome All Insurance Brokers

If you are a UK insurance broker, this site is for you.

International brokers are welcome too. However, the content on this site is intended for the UK insurance broker market. Feel free to explore the site and make any suggestions for its improvement.

This site is all about the UK Insurance broker and the challenges, issues and opportunities faced by you and your business.

Over the coming months, the site will be updated with your suggestions. Whilst hosted by the team at Nice 1 Ltd, who promote Theft Protect replacement vehicle insurance, the content is driven by you, your interests and requirements.

Regular posts will be issued from the site, with a particular bias toward motor insurance. News items, discussion topics and a broker forum are planned, with select membership so that you may post your views and observations freely.

Replies to posts are up to you. Contact us with your e mail address and we will add you as an authorised member, permitted to post replies. When the forum is uploaded, posts may be anonymous. The content will be moderated to maintain acceptable standards. If you want to receive e mails when the site is updated, to be advised of new posts and replies, click the buttons opposite that best suit your requirements.

If you want your business, a discussion topic, or a piece of news to be featured here, please contact us at enquiries@nice-1.co.uk We will respond to your requests promptly.

From our travels around the country, meeting with brokers of all sizes and business profiles, we know there is plenty of worthwhile subjects to debate. Be as contraversial or innovative as you want. The tone is informal, so let's hear from you!

To send us a message now, to ask for more details of Theft Protect, arrange a meeting, click the "contact me" button below. Once you have sent the message, the software will return you to these pages so you may continue browsing.

With kind regards

The Theft Protect Team


On The Lighter Side . . . .

LinkedIn Tutorials

Internet Marketing For Business