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Top tips to get ready for winter freeze

By Emma Drew

December 30, 2014

Top tips to get ready for winter freeze

With the wintry conditions setting in and temperatures dropping, and forecasters again warning of a prolonged period of very cold weather, we all need to be thinking about how to protect our home from the elements.


Burst pipes can be a real problem; often causing significant damage to property with even the smallest of leaks soon becoming a torrent. 30% of the population do not know where their stopcock is located and are therefore powerless to do anything in the event of a leak.

Escape of water is now a bigger risk for insurers than fire or burglary. The ABI reports that losses resulting from burst/leaking pipes or faults in a property’s plumbing system have a significant impact, with insurers paying out around £2.5 million every day to customers in what they term ‘escape of water’ claims. A significant proportion of this damage is due to pipes bursting during freezing temperatures in the winter months, but much of this damage can be prevented by taking a few easy preventative measures.

  •  Check your central heating regularly and ensure the thermostat is working. Consider annual servicing by a registered Gas Safe engineer
  • Some new central heating systems are fitted with an anti-frost device. If your boiler is a few years old think about fitting frost thermostats to your heating system
  • Keep the heating on during freezing temperatures, even at night
  • Any exposed pipes should be lagged or suitably protected
  • Make sure you know how and where to turn off the main water supply to the property
  • Replace washers on dripping taps.


If your property will be unoccupied for a period of time:

  • Drain the central heating system and turn off your water supply or ideally leave the central heating on low
  • Where possible get a neighbour, friend or family member to regularly check the property
  • Leave the loft access open to circulate air.


It is not always possible to prevent your pipes from freezing, or bursting, but you can help minimise the damage:

  • Turn off your main water supply
  • If you notice a leak call a plumber immediately
  • Check for any damage to your electricity supply, if you suspect any damage have it checked by an electrician
  • Keep a list of useful emergency numbers to hand
  • If you notice a frozen pipe slowly thaw the affected area with a gentle heat, such as a hairdryer. Never use a blow torch or open flame
  • Install a preventative solution such as a Sure Stop Water Switch. This multi-award winning device allows you to easily control your mains water supply at the flick of a switch and can be located in an accessible position such as inside a kitchen cupboard door.


By following the above steps you can help prevent damage to your property, and avoid any personal upheaval, and in the longer term, save money on your insurance premiums, we hope you find this information helpful.

To discuss the issues raised, or to talk to someone in more detail, please speak to your usual Perkins Slade contact. Alternatively you can call us on 0121 698 8000 or email



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Vishing – the latest emerging crime trend

By Emma Drew

December 12, 2014

Vishing – the latest emerging crime trend

Vishing is where victims are told there has been suspicious activity on their bank account and advised to transfer their money to a different account. In a recent case victims have been conned out of £650,000, by fraudsters claiming to be from their bank.


As part of an awareness campaign, all public branches of the main banks will display posters reminding the public never to give out their details if they’re cold-called.

Vishers seem to be targeting the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities, however our advice is aimed at everyone. If you receive a call like this hang up immediately and ensure the line has been cleared before contacting police.

Earlier this year an Edinburgh woman almost lost £160k savings in such a scam. The 53-year-old was targeted in a sophisticated and elaborate scam when she received a call at home to tell her that her bank account was being hacked, with instructions on how to move her savings into a new account.

Her bank managed to stop £100,000 before it hit the other account but the remainder did go through. Around £20,000 was recovered after an investigation and the bank reimbursed the rest.

The anonymous victim said she considered herself to be competent and security-aware in dealing with her finances but fell victim to the “well-organised scam probably carried out by professional criminals”.

She said the most important part of the fraud was that she thought she’d called the number on her bank card which the fraudster had told her to do to report the alleged crime, but they had simply kept the line open and unbeknown to her she was still speaking to them and not to her bank.

She added: “Banking security is clearly everyone’s responsibility, the banks and customers alike, and we hope that some of the information we have provided, in some small measure, helps towards saving other people from experiencing such a cruel, harrowing and near life-wrecking ordeal.”


Further information


Learn more about other emerging crime trends.

We hope our blog has been useful, and if you have any concerns or wish to report suspicious activity please contact the Police on 101, the non-emergency helpline.


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Top 10 crazy insurance claims

By Emma Drew

October 13, 2014

Top 10 crazy insurance claims

Between keeping up with technology, combating fraud and operating in an increasingly regulated environment, there’s no denying insurers are under a lot of pressure; added to this equation is also the crazy world of claims.


1. An Auto Windscreens’ customer service adviser had an unusual call about some ‘frisky’ seagulls. The claimant’s back windscreen had been shattered by seagulls pecking at it. They had seen their own reflections and were trying to mate with themselves.

Status: PAID

2. A potential claimant stated they‘d fallen asleep after drinking five cans of super-strength lager. Waking a little later and needing the toilet, the policyholder headed to the bathroom and, still inebriated, tripped and fell, cutting their head open. They held the brewer – rather than the decision to drink five cans of super-strength lager – liable for the personal injury suffered, and attempted to make a claim against the brewery.

Status: NOT PAID

3. A policyholder from Eastbourne rang Markerstudy Group’s Synchronicity contact centre to make a claim for car door damage after a pensioner hit their parked vehicle when trying to make a three-point turn on a mobility scooter. The policyholder, standing at their kitchen window, saw this happen and watched the pensioner flee the scene, albeit rather slowly, on the scooter. In hot pursuit, the policyholder followed the culprit to the local bingo hall, where the pensioner tried to hide. The claimant had to wait until the game of bingo had finished to find the miscreant and resolve the issue


4. A claimant was out walking their dog when, naturally, it opted to relieve itself on the nearest lamppost. However, the lamppost was faulty – causing the dog to receive an electric shock. The claimant immediately leapt to the pooch’s defence by pulling it away from the lamppost, but in doing so received an electric shock themselves. The rescued dog thanked its master in the only way it knew how – by biting them and running away


5. A claimant’s excited dog jumped up and turned on the cooker, setting light to not only a tea towel but also the house

Status: PAID

6. This policyholder was sitting downstairs watching television while her son was using the computer in his bedroom when they both heard a terrific bang. The son discovered a hole in the attic room roof and, upon further inspection, found the body of a Canada Goose. During impact this haphazard fowl had also damaged a chest of drawers, portable TV, games console and laminate floor. A neighbour had witnessed the flock of geese flying overhead and saw one of them smash straight into the policyholder’s roof

Status: PAID

7. A holidaymaker was injured as she slipped on a muddy path while searching for an elusive giant tortoise on a remote island

Status: PAID

8. A lady was caught short, while skiing an off-piste resort; Crouched behind a bush, she was suddenly caught in mid flow by a snowboarder who hit her ski poles; Hurtling towards the abyss, there was no way she could stop; Her salopettes around her ankles she skied down the course. She then hid for two days and nights. When she next ventured out she spotted a man in a sling, and asked what happened to him; He said he’d been on an uphill poma, when he saw a lady tumbling downhill who appeared to be nude from her waist, so he took a second look with haste; Alas with this move, he fell and broke his arm.

Status: NOT PAID

9. An unlucky motorist made three injury claims in the first 10 days of taking out cover, including one for an evening trip in a city centre – despite, it transpired, a curfew for anti-social behaviour.

Status: NOT PAID

10. The usually tranquil practice of cross-stitching resulted in a house fire after the sun was accidentally focused through a magnifying glass being used as an aid.

Status: PAID

Source: Taken from original article by Rachael Adams, UK and European Commissioning Editor, Post Magazine
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Perkins Slade advice for a safe school run

By Emma Drew

August 29, 2014

Perkins Slade advice for a safe school run

With the majority of schools returning next week, you may not be surprised to hear that according to research more than two-thirds of parents admit to feeling angry with other motorists whilst driving their kids to school.

The situation is becoming so bad that some schools are turning to employing parking wardens in the hope that they will put a stop to illegal parking and incidents of road rage; with more than a quarter of adults having witnessed or been in an argument with another parent over parking spaces outside the school gates.

The research furthered indicated that the West Midlands is the most dangerous place for school runs; 19% of the parents in this area have seen a child injured outside school by a car.

Please read Perkins Slade’s top tips on staying safe during the school run:

  • Keep the entrance as clear as possible for the safety of ALL children we would advise you park a short distance away from the school
  • Walking a short distance allows children to learn about risk and danger, making them safer road users
  • Observe and obey ‘School Keep Clear’ markings. They are there for a reason!
  • Always use the School Crossing Patrol with your children and always be prepared to stop to allow other children to cross. Using the Patrol helps to instil good safety behaviour
  • Ensure your child is wearing the appropriate seat restraint for the journey to and from school. Most child in-car casualties happen within a few minutes from home
  • Always get your children to exit the vehicle on the pavement side, not into the middle of the road where traffic will be passing
  • Ensure young children are walking away from the edge of the pavement and hold hands whenever possible
  • Slow down near schools – be prepared for the unexpected
  • Setting a good example will not only keep you and your child safe, but he or she will grow up being a much safer pedestrian, cyclist and driver.
Source: GoCompare and Road Safety GB


Let us know your thoughts about the school run and if you have experienced any such incidents, add a comment below


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Summer travel insurance advice

By Emma Drew

July 15, 2014

Summer travel insurance advice

Recent research by ABTA, the Travel Association, shows many Brits are unaware of the costs of medical treatment abroad and may be putting themselves at risk of sky high medical bills by travelling uninsured.


Did you know that:

•  48% of people don’t realise they’d be liable for their own medical bills abroad if they don’t have travel insurance

•  £5,000 (or less) is the amount that 47% of Britons believe a broken leg would cost in the USA. £40,000 is the actual cost of this treatment

•  Treatment for a stomach bug recently treated in a Californian hospital, with return flights to the UK, cost £100,000

•  26% of travellers think a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cover repatriation to the UK. It won’t.

Whether you’re going away for a well-earned weekend break, or planning a family holiday, we know the last thing on your mind is insurance, but in the event of something going wrong, make your holiday hassle free with our travel insurance.

Travel Plus insurance

Travel Plus provides wide-ranging cover with added-value benefits giving you peace of mind and protection both before and during your trip.

Choose the policy that best suits your requirements and be assured of a first class claims service together with 24 hour medical emergency assistance, just in case you need it.

Key features:

•  Single Trip and Annual Multi-trip

•  Children go free if under 18, or under 23, if in full time education

•  Independent travel cover for children under Annual Multi Trip ‘Family’ policy

•  Financial Failure cover

•  Cancellation and curtailment

•  Journey disruption including airspace closure

•  Cover for emergency medical expenses

•  Over 100 activities covered FREE

•  Winter sports cover

•  Travel risks – hijack, kidnap, mugging and catastrophe cover.

Get a quote and learn more about the benefits Travel Plus provides




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The benefits of Excess Protection

By Emma Drew

April 15, 2014

The benefits of Excess Protection

Did you know that Perkins Slade now offer a range of products designed to reimburse the excess you have to pay following a claim?

Paying an excess can be costly, therefore with the benefit of Excess Protection Insurance, you will not be out of pocket in the event of a claim. The following products are available and offer a choice of excess limits to enable you to claim as often as needed, up to the level of excess protection purchased: Lifestyle Excess Insurance:

  • Excess protection for multiple policies
  • Covers your private car, home, pet, travel and medical insurance excess.

Motor Excess Insurance:

  • Covers a single car, motorcycle or small van
  • Covers any person insured to drive it.

Multi Motor Excess Insurance:

  • Covers up to five motor vehicles and/or motorcycles kept at the home address
  • Covers any person insured to drive them.


Learn more about Excess Protection Insurance and obtain a quotation


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