Tag Archives: Safety

Brokers warned to invest more heavily in cyber security

Image of cyber securityBrokers have come a long way over the past twenty years, especially when it comes to technology. These days very few insurance brokers work exclusively offline, as going online opens up your business and provides a wider market share.

However, as we all know there are certain dangers associated with working online. You just have to look at recent news stories to see that even the biggest names in the industry aren’t properly protecting themselves from cyber-attacks, which is why all brokers need to start taking the issue more seriously.

Over the past two years there has been a huge increase in cyber-attacks which have raised a number of concerns over the effectiveness of security tools used by businesses in the UK. Unfortunately, even though businesses are spending billions of pounds to strengthen their online security, attackers are still managing to find a way through these blocks.

Discussing the issue, Tom Reagan, a cyber insurance executive with Marsh & McLennan, said: “Some companies are struggling to find the money to buy the coverage they want.” He went on to add that it’s becoming even easier for hackers to buy personal information online: “Criminals are now able to purchase the data for around $1 a line which is $4 less than just under a year ago. The lines of data contain full names, addresses, date of birth, social security number and more.”

Meanwhile, Ron Green, MasterCard’s chief information security offices, said: “Security and product development are not mutually exclusive. We don’t look at security as being a solo responsibility. Our executive team has the expectation that we build security into everything we do as a standard practice. [Security] is table stakes for customers now, and you’re expected to deliver.”

Even though all businesses need to take the threat of cyber-attacks seriously, insurance providers in particular are required to take extra care as they hold sensitive, personal data about their customers including addresses, bank details and more. Furthermore, by law insurance companies must take appropriate steps to protect this data – even more so now that number of cyber attacks are on the rise. The Information Commissioners Office also has the power to issue fines to anyone who doesn’t comply with the required safety measures.

As a motorhome insurance broker you may feel that the data you store is not as sensitive as that of say, a broker that specialises in life insurance. However, the truth is that these days even a small amount of information can be used by cyber criminals to access bank accounts and/or commit identity fraud.

In order to protect your customers’ data it’s important that you keep up with news concerning cybercrime and how new or advanced malware could potentially harm your business. As a broker, one of the last things you need is your customers’ data being leaked, which is why it benefits both you and your customers to stay safe online. It is also essential that any business processing card transitions must be PCI compliant so that any payment card data is protected by the PCI Security Standards.

To that end, it may be wise for motorhome brokers to remind their customers on how to stay safe online. For example, you could ask them to call you if they see anything suspect or out of the ordinary on your website as well as not enter any personal details if unsure. Not only will this prevent hackers from stealing your customers’ information, it can also build trust with your customers and secure your reputation as a broker who takes security seriously.

One thing that all brokers should also keep in mind is that even if they run a small business selling niche products such as motorhome insurance, if your website is hacked and your customers’ details are stolen you could be held liable. This is why so many companies, especially those that hold extremely sensitive data, are now investing in public liability cover that includes cyber insurance.

In the future even more brokers will be moving online, which is why you should start thinking about keeping your customers’ and your business safe today. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and your customers will ultimately hold you responsible should you lose their personal information.

<span style=”font-size: xx-small;”><a href=”https://pixabay.com/en/security-protection-anti-virus-265130/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Photo</a> by Pixabay</span>

April Update: Motorhomes Getting Geared Up for Spring

Motorhome in ParkIt may have been an extremely long winter, but finally the weather is starting to get warmer and more people are beginning to plan their next motorhome trip. However, since the winter has been so long most people are having to give their motorhomes a bit of TLC or are planning on buying a new model, which is good for both motorhome manufacturers and mechanics alike. Here we look at the hot topics for April and how owners are getting geared up for the motorhome season: Continue reading

New Motorhome Owners are Taking Dangerous Risks this Winter

Research has shown that a worrying number of new motorhome owners have admitted that they won’t bother with basic vehicle checks this winter despite the safety risks. This includes simple measures such as checking tyres or carrying basic items such as de-icer.

As well as the safety risk involved, this “can’t be bothered” attitude towards basic winter maintenance may well turn out to be a very costly error of judgement. The results also highlighted that this winter new motorhome owners will set off on their travels without carrying some of the most basic cold weather driving essentials such as a torch. Many new owners believe that because they have food, blankets and a mobile phone they will be fine if they skid off the road or get stranded in snow. If they were to speak to those who have decades of winter mobile home experience they would be alarmed at how dangerous their actions could be.

The research showed that 30% of long term motorhome owners have had a skid on an icy road, 10% have been stranded by snow and a further 10% have been left stranded by a flat battery. Luckily they were prepared for every eventuality and had no problems. However, new motorhome owners who are starting their first UK winter may not be so lucky. They are being advised that some of the simplest winter checks like inspecting the tread on the tyres and changing the oil can have a huge impact on the safety of the vehicle. They can also reduce the likelihood of a breakdown and most importantly help to avoid having to make a claim on a motorhome insurance policy.

Ignoring vital winter preparations is extremely risky as over the last few years the winter weather in the UK has become extremely unpredictable and breaking down or having an accident in these conditions can be both costly and dangerous. Meteorologists say there is a chance that the coming winter could be the coldest for decades and before the winter weather really takes its toll, experts are urging new mobile home owners to make sure their vehicles are winter-ready.

Elddis Lead the Way on Seatbelt Safety

Famous motorhome manufacturers Elddis has stepped up their efforts to promote the company’s continuing “Belts = Berths” motorhome passengers safety campaign which is now into its second year. The initiative has seen the motorhome manufacturer strive to make sure that every sleeping berth on all of their vehicles is provided with its own seat belt.

Elddis believe the campaign is very important and are proud to have become the only UK manufacturer to apply such standards. It’s an initiative that Elddis is highly passionate about and something they believe is essential to basic on-board safety; they believe others will follow where they have led.

The “Belts = Berths” campaign sees Elddis make seatbelt provision a priority and the safety straps they use undergo extensive testing before being given the green light to make sure they are safe, as well as complying with European Safety regulations. The company are so committed to safety they have made a point of detailing their extremely thorough tests, which they believe are the best in the industry. They are also confident that if the vehicle is involved in a crash that results in a claim on a motorhome insurance policy, all those using a seatbelt will be safer for doing so.

The test involves a simulated crash scenario where the force applied to the seat belt and frame is calculated taking into account the deceleration which happens in all crashes, as well as the weight of two adults sitting in the seats, and the weight of the frame itself. Elddis have a history of making safety a priority. They became the first manufacturer in the United Kingdom to gain EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval for their motorhomes three years ago and experts believe other manufacturers should follow suit.

Motorhome owners will not embrace driverless vehicles

New research has shown that motorhome owners look set to snub driverless vehicle technology despite over 300,000 miles of accident free driving in a range of different vehicles.

The technology would see the mobile home use GPS, radar and other sensors to automatically drive itself without any human intervention. But this has been criticised by owners who are concerned about the safety of the systems on the roads of the United Kingdom and even more so on the roads of Europe. Almost all the drivers questioned (98%) said that driving was part of the enjoyment of exploring in a motorhome. In the survey 40% refused to even consider ownership of the technology and 65% were sceptical they would live long enough to see the technology. These results show the builders of the technology have a lot of work to do if they are to sway the public’s opinion.

Additionally, 56% thought the technology would be best served as a crash prevention system to reduce the number of expensive claims made each year on motorhome insurance policies. Only 33% thought that driverless technology would be beneficial to road safety. According to the analysis, 21% of mobile home owners have prior driving convictions, and speeding-related offences accounted for 71% of these convictions. Despite this, half of those surveyed felt the technologies ability to never exceed the speed limit was an attractive quality but not fool-proof. Certainly most of those interviewed thought the technology was something that will not be seen in motorhomes for many years, and in the meantime thought more should be done to improve driver standards via better training, as well as incentives by the government and motorhome insurance companies.

Without doubt 2012 has seen huge advances in driverless technology and the technology may become the norm much earlier than some think. Recently a video release showed the practical benefits of the technology to help the lives of the elderly and it may be this sector of the market where the technology first takes hold.

Safety campaigner set to see minister

The safety of VW campervan conversions will come under the microscope this week and it is something that will be of interest to all motorhome insurance providers. A Government Minister meets with campaigners who believe laws to improve the safety inside campervans and motorhomes could be improved, and the outcome could have far reaching effects.

David Bebb is concerned about the safety aspect of campervan conversions and feels a new law recently introduced to improve safety has a date loophole that will enable conversion companies to by-pass the new requirements. He has brought the issue to the attention of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) and has discussed the problem with the National Caravan Club. This week he will go a step further and in the company of his local MP Daniel Kawczynski (Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham) he will meet Transport Minister Mike Penning to articulate his fears.

Bebb says many campervan conversions have seat bed systems that have no seat belts and are an obvious safety issue if the van is involved in an accident. The new regulations don’t apply to vans registered before April 1st and this he believes is a big problem. He said “Around 100 vehicles per week get converted in the UK and I estimate that only about five per cent comply with the new standards that were introduced on April 1.” He has spent the last 18 months perfecting his own seat bed system which has a four –piece bracing kit that secures the bed to the vehicle body. The quick release Rock n Roll seat bed also has two seat belts and iso-fix points for two children’s seats, the new seat can be rapidly converted into a bed and a quick release system allows it to be removed from the vehicle completely when not required.

Bebb and the Minister are sure to discuss recent changes to legislation by the EU that will drastically alter the regulations around motorhome and campervan conversions. The new regulations could make considerable differences to owners getting vehicle reclassification approval from the DVLA.