New Research: The Insurance Industry Foots A GBP1.9 Billion Fraud Bill

•As the insurance industry shoulders a GBP1.9 billion fraudulent claim bill and investigators report a 44% increase in fake motor insurance claims, car insurance stealth charges are also on the up

•Compulsory excess payments have been increased by 32% in the last year from GBP129
to GBP170 – 85% of drivers would pay this charge in the event of an accident

•Drivers with a compulsory excess above GBP500 has increased almost tenfold from just 0.3% to 2.7% – 1.55% of these could pay between GBP1,000 to GBP3,000 to claim

•With over 4.4 million accidents resulting in a claim each year, this GBP41excess increase will make the insurance industry GBP154 million more in the next 12 months

•The number of drivers with a compulsory excess on their policy has jumped by 4% from 81% and currently impacts 21.5 million drivers

•On top of this, the average policy price has increased by 10% from GBP478.70 to GBP526.42 for fully comprehensive cover and almost 13% for third party

As the insurance industry foots a GBP1.9 billion fraud bill and recent reports reveal a 44% increase in false claims, new research from uSwitch.com shows that providers are strategically recouping this money from consumers by hiking compulsory excess charges by almost a third (32%) in the last year. In addition, the number of drivers being hit with a compulsory excess fee of between GBP1,000 and GBP3,000 has increased almost tenfold from just 0.3% to 2.7%. Across the country, this means that in the event of an accident, drivers will now have have to pay their insurer an average of GBP170, a fee which has gone up by GBP41 from GBP129 since August 2008.

With over one in five drivers (4.4 million) claiming on their car insurance each year, insurance providers will now be making an additional GBP154 million more from compulsory excess hikes in the next 12 months. This GBP170 compulsory excess charge combined with the average voluntary excess payment of GBP197 can make claiming for an accident a costly business. In fact, any damage that costs less than GBP367 to repair really isn’t worth making a claim.

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Protect Your Taxi Company with Taxi Insurance

The main source of transportation in big cities such as New York City or Chicago, taxis offer many people the convenience of not having to deal with the responsibilities of owning a car. For a taxi company to thrive, however, it must possess a quality taxi insurance policy to protect not only their employees, but the customers as well. A recently published article on InsuranceAgents.com explains how vital taxi insurance is to a company. To compare insurance rates, fill out this form now.

“Not only are taxis a cheap alternative to owning a car, they also act as our own designated driver after a long night of over-age drinking,” the article, Taxi Insurance: Protection for Your Yellow Vehicle, reveals. “At the end of the day, however, a taxi is first and foremost a business, and any legitimate taxi company needs taxi insurance to protect their business. Operating in an industry that results in over two million passengers injured each year, taxi insurance provides taxis with the assurance that they will be protected in case an unfortunate incident occurs.”

Unlike standard auto insurance, taxi insurance provides a number of coverage options designed particularly for taxis. This includes liability coverage that protects the cab company, the driver, and the company’s assets. It also includes comprehensive coverage against vandalism, theft, fire and other damages caused by an accident.

There are certain requirements a taxi must first meet before even being considered for coverage. On top of functioning as fare-based, taxi drivers must also be between the age of 25 and 65, have a valid driver’s license for more than two years in the United States and possess a clean criminal record.

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Take Action Against Car Title Fraud

Most people were raised with the value of treating others the way they would like to be treated but unfortunately in this cutthroat society we live in these days, that value gets lost and it becomes every man or woman for themselves. Car title fraud is a prime example of people taking advantage of people for an easy profit. However, car title fraud can be avoided by simply performing a vehicle title history check, according to an article recently published on InsuranceAgents.com.

Knowing why car title fraud exists and how it works is an important stop in prevention. “The main reason car title fraud exists is because states lack conformity on what constitutes a ‘salvaged car,’” states the InsuranceAgents.com article titled, ‘Car Title Fraud: An Introduction‘. “There has been a push for the federal government to step in and mandate what is considered a ‘salvaged car’ so there isn’t a discrepancy between states.”

But until the feds step up to the plate, here are a few simple tasks that be accomplished by the purchaser to avoid car title fraud.

-Perform a vehicle title history check online by running the vehicle identification number, or VIN, of any vehicle made after 1981. -Take a pick from any of the numerous Web sites designed to perform accurate and timely VIN checks.

-Purchase car title insurance. This is relatively low cost and can save bundles if the buyer runs into a fraudulent title.

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Breaks From Driving Fuel Accident Rates

New research released by Lloyds TSB Insurance has revealed the serious impact of driving breaks on accident rates, as nearly 100,000 crashes caused last year were by drivers taking to the wheel after a long break from driving.

Lloyds TSB Insurance commissioned road safety experts to test the roadworthiness of licensed motorists who had not driven for six months or more. The results revealed that these drivers made four times as many serious safety errors as regular drivers, worryingly increasing their crash-risk by a quarter.

The insurer estimates that 98,000 accidents last year can be directly attributed to lack of driving practice, causing over £200 million worth of damage. Yet public awareness of the risks is low, with half a million ‘rusty drivers’ planning to take to the road in the next 12 months.

Driver ability in all key areas is impaired, according to the findings, with serious deficiencies in observation (86 per cent), speeding discipline (27 per cent), clutch control (33 per cent) and steering (13 per cent).

Crash risk is also heightened by the length of the driving ‘break’, with those taking to the wheel after a year nearly twice as likely to have an accident.

Despite the experiment revealing no marked difference in performance between the sexes, further research suggests women are more likely to take extended driving breaks than men (58 per cent vs. 42 per cent).

Commenting on the research, Karen McCarthy of Lloyds TSB Insurance, said:

“There is no substitute for practice and anyone thinking of getting behind the wheel after a long break needs to think really carefully about the risks. A simple refresher lesson or practice in a low traffic area can make a huge difference to your confidence and road awareness.”

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Europcar Revamped Its Website By Enhancing Their Location Based Pages

Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle hire company, has announced that it has revamped its website by enhancing their location based pages throughout the site. This update will provide customers with additional information on all car and van hire locations across its 160 countries.

The new location pages have been designed to help improve customer experience for UK based Europcar customers, by providing them with additional details on the specific geographical location of Europcar rental sites as well as some up-to-date extra information regarding the local area, with this extra information provided by Europcar, customers can plan their journey more efficiently thus ensuring a relaxing and stress-free vehicle hire experience.

The new sections which have now been added to the UK site include enhancement through the use of Google Maps to help customers find the numerous car hire locations situated in cities around the UK, including the ever popular car hire London locations. As well as Google Maps, each individual page has up to date weather information for the city as well as details of any special deals for booking car hire online for each particular location.

Catriona Lougher, marketing director for Europcar, said: “The improved location pages on the Europcar website has really improved our customer’s experience. At Europcar we know that customers want as much information as possible available to them, to make their car hire experience simple and stress-free. With the inclusion of Google Maps, customers can now find out how far to travel to our locations and decide whether to take advantage of our free delivery and collection service.”

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Truck Insurance Quotes For That Trusty Pick-Up

Auto insurance should be as vehicle-specific as possible. Just like luxury automobiles require premium auto insurance, pick-up trucks require a specific policy that offers extensive coverage as well as affordable rates. According to an article recently published on InsuranceAgents.com, truck insurance can be expensive if the consumer doesn’t know what steps to take before purchasing a policy.

“With its sturdy frame, blue collar-esque design, and pension for being practical instead of flashy, you might think insuring your pick-up truck will be inexpensive,” the article titled, ‘Truck Insurance: Fill The Bed Of Your Pick-Up With Savings’. “[But] auto insurance—and more specifically truck insurance—is determined by a number of different factors that you should be aware of if you want to find the lowest possible quotes.”

The factors that insurance companies look at in determining auto insurance quotes for trucks include the age, make, model, and anti-theft devices of the truck. Those interested in the most affordable truck insurance should compare quotes before purchasing their truck since make and model do factor into premiums.

Go online to InsuranceAgents.com to get in touch with an auto insurance agents and learn more about saving on truck insurance today.

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UK Tyre Specialist Welcomes Kumho’s Eco-Friendly SUV

Online tyres retailer Blackcircles.com has recently welcomed an announcement from tyre company Kumho about a radical innovation in the “green” cars field: an environmentally friendly sports utility vehicle.

As almost every manufacturer offers 4×4 options, Blackcircles.com has always offered a wide range of 4×4 tyres, including Pirelli Scorpion, the Goodyear Wrangler and the Michelin Diamaris. However, traditionally, 4x4s are considered to be damaging to the environment. Usually you will never hear the terms ‘sports utility vehicle’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ used to talk about the same car, but this vehicle developed by Kumho, which they have named ‘Fortis’, accomplishes this anomaly.

Kumho Tires are currently a huge tyre supplier, producing millions of tyres for SUVs, among other types, every year and exporting them worldwide. The company is based in South Korea, but has factories in China, Vietnam, and most recently in the United States.

Rob Dolton, the car designer behind the Fortis, is in fact the only qualified vehicle designer employed in the tyre industry, and he is based at Kumho’s European Technical Centre in Birmingham. Dalton is using this car to demonstrate Kumho’s new breed of 4×4 tyres, and to show what SUVs of the future could look like.

Fortis is a combination of the brute force of an SUV, and delicate aesthetics inspired by South Korean glass sculpture. It still has a lot modern features: the drivetrain consists of four separate 100hp chassis-mounted motors for each wheel. This allows off-road traction, ESP and hill descent with trouble-free transitions between four wheel drive and two wheel drive, front wheel drive and rear wheel drive.

Mike Welch, MD of BlackCircles.com, said “The vehicle type and the terrain you drive on always dictate the best kind of tyres for you, tyres last longer if they are used for the purpose they were designed. So having tyres that can adapt to their environment is a great innovation! This is definitely a look into the future of tyre design.”

While these tyres are not yet in production, Kumho tyres such as the Kumho 769 and Kumho Ecsta are currently available through BlackCircles.com with some fantastic savings.

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Europcar Launched A New Service Which Makes Reserving Vehicles Easy Via Mobile Phone

With over 8 million adults in the UK accessing the internet via their mobile phone, a growth of 42% on 2008, Europcar, Europe’s leading vehicle hire company, has launched car hire booking on the go with a new mobile car hire service reservation service for online booking from any web enabled mobile phone.

An integrated search engine makes it easy to find the desired car hire location, and there is a special application for iPhone users which automatically selects the nearest station. Customers can also book additional equipment, such as satellite navigation systems and child seats, through this system. To ensure a reliable and practical service, confirmation of each reservation made by cellphone is sent immediately and free-of-charge by text message and e-mail.

Once booked, the confirmation is sent immediately by free text and email.

Available in seven languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish) and for all Europcar vehicle hire locations around the world, the innovative service is compatible with all mobile phones that have Internet access (including Blackberries, iPhones and other smart phones).

As part of the launch, a car hire deal of a 10% discount is being offered to Europcar customers until the end of November 09. This offer applies to reservations of all passenger cars, as well as to vehicles in the “Prestige” range. Contractual conditions for business customers will be applied automatically when they enter their contract number.

“We want to stay at the cutting edge of innovation and forge close relationships with our customers,” said Guirec Grand-Clément, Global Sales and Marketing Director of Europcar International. “This new service illustrates our commitment and provides greater flexibility for the most mobile among these customers. As a result, every owner of a mobile phone with Internet access can now reserve a Europcar vehicle at any time at any location in our network around the world.”

Providing a swift and easy way to book vehicles, this latest development is a further example of Europcar’s commitment to make car hire simple, accessible and stress-free.

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