I Love Lunch

January 22, 2018

If you were at Friday’s I Love Clams’ Motor Claims Networking Lunch at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms, you won’t need us to tell you what a fabulous event it was.

If you weren’t there and would have liked to have been, you probably won’t want us to tell you what a fabulous event it was, because that would just be rubbing (metaphorical) salt in your (equally metaphorical) wounds.

If you weren’t there and, quite frankly, wouldn’t have gone if they’d paid you, then, again, you won’t want us to tell you what a fabulous event it was, because you’re Lukewarm About Claims at best.

None of that, obviously, is going to stop us bringing you the following in-depth account of what a fabulous event the 2018 I Love Clams Motor Knitworking Lunch really was.

Our man on the spot, Bankstone MD Dip-thong Tie-string, reliably informs us that this was the best attended ILC lunch ever, with m>re than 500 persons squeezed in around tables (some of them tucked away on the balcony this year) with actual tablecloths and proper cutlery and everything.

Style-conscious Tie-string noted the prevalence of boldly checked suits, and, if we know him, will be nipping down to his tailor in Dilman’s Yard any time now to have himself fitted for something natty crafted from a broad expanse of black and orange chequerboard velour.

ILC chairman Chris Ashworth, one of those seen sporting checks

Regular readers will be familiar with Mr T’s well-documented love of food. On which basis, you won’t be altogether surprised to learn that the next thing you will learn here about the ILC motor launch is what there was to eat there. This was as follows:

Cornish crab with three diamond-shaped lozenges of cucumber jelly, followed by an excellent ‘lump’ of pan-fried fillet o’steak, celeriac puree, Portobello mushroom, a fair quenelle of watercress and Madeira sauce, culminating in cheesecake and sorbet (or possibly, since this is Tie-string we’re talking about, cheese, cake and sorbet).

Compere for the event was none other than Jonny Gould who is apparently some kind of TV presenter who runs auctions at charity events on the side. Tie-string reckons he was rather good at this, wringing ever more extravagant bids from those intent on proving they had cash to splash.

But he wasn’t as good as guest speaker Matt Dawson, a former rugby player, we’re led to understand, and also a regular on some TV thing called a Question of Spores. Dawson had the crowd on tent hooks at he recalled his stint on (another TV show) Strictly Come Ballroom Dancing, then soothed them with a blow by blow break-down of the build-up to Jonny Wilkinson’s world cup winning ball-through-posts kicking thing in 2003, and finally roused them to applause by explaining that he was going to stop talking and sit down again now.

Somewhere along the way, he also explained that episodes of a Question of Spores are filmed in batches of three – punctuated by lengthy stints at the bar (i.e. the kind of bar where people drink alcohol, not the legal or the balletic kind) – resulting in subtle modulations in the degree of enthusiasm, hilarity, abandon, and indeed coherence in participants’ comportment (which readers may wish to see if they can discern for themselves when watching future emissions of this popular show), and why anyone tempted to ‘touch’ noted grilling expert George Foreman might be well advised to reconsider.

Some people (though not all) also talked a bit about motor insurance claims.

All in all, a truly fabulous event.

Cornish Claire becomes a fellow

January 12, 2018

What with the news always being so gloomy and boring these days, it’s nice to have something just plain positive to report.

Bankstone News was delighted to learn this week (or was it last week – we’re not a time-sensitive publication, you know) that Claire Longman, who is technically leader of South-West based insurance purveyors Cornish Mutual, has attained the ultimate rung in the insurance-knowledge game by joining the Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CIA).

This is not some ad hoc informal fantasy thing like the Fellowship of the Ring, nor indeed a spirit-empowered community advancing the kingdom of God like the Fellowship Network, a novel by Franz Kafka, or a town in Florida.

No, indeed. It’s something where you have to pass exams and everything to prove both your total mastery over the arcane arts of insurance and that you’ve once and for all foresworn and abjured the dark side through an absolute personal and professional commitment to Ethical Practice.

Claire can now add the initials FoTCII after her name, and the affix the honorary title Lady Fellow before it, should she so choose. But she’s probably far too modest to insist on such formalities.

A true Cornwalldian, having grown up in Truro more than 15 years ago, Claire Longman travelled the land (mostly its Southeasterly parts) in search of insurance experience before returning to her home country, where she quickly found herself at the forefront of developing offerings for the mutual insurer’s members.

Certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas – none of these hurdles in the leastly daunted Claire on her path to insurance mastery. And now at last the ultimate accolade is hers. And thoroughly well deserved it is too.

Congratulating Claire, CornMut MD Alan Goddard called her election to the fellowship “testament to her commitment and the depth and breadth of her expertise,” adding that “for our Members, these accreditations give peace of mind, showing that we have the best people who really understand insurance.”

No doubt there will be accusations that all this knowledge makes Claire some kind of ‘expert’ or that joining the Fellowship marks her a member of the ‘elite’. Nonsense, we say here at Bankstone News. Insurance is a subject about which a person simply cannot know too much.

So let us simply say: Congratulations Claire!

Teams of Endurance

January 5, 2018

It may only be early January (don’t quote us on that, but that’s what we’ve heard), but already no fewer than three whole teams have signed up for Insurance Endurance 2018 – this summer’s must-attend insurance-themed karting event.

The teams in question, Bankstone News is led to believe, are former winners Lamp, along with Planchest and Aquarium. So it’s a broadly furniture themed event so far.

But having three teams already signed up before Epiphany certainly suggests this will be a bumper year for good old IE!

There is also much excitement around the new caterers for this year’s event. With top cat-co Cherry on Top lined up to do the honours, there’s sure to be a veritable smore gas board of fabulous fare on offer. Frugiphobes will be cheered to learn that CoT don’t literally pop a cherry on top of everything they serve.

If you want to know more about all the unique features that will make IE18 quite simply different from any and all other non-unique karting events, why not click here to pop along the website where you can get up to speed with all the latest news.

One popular new feature for this year’s event will be the introduction of a strictly enforced ban on ringers.

After mildly-worded complaints from a number of participants in previous years’ events, we ultimately decided that it was simply not in keeping with the original spirit of the event to allow teams to include drivers who are campanologists.

Sorry, but you have to have some rules – otherwise it would just be anarchy (again).

Season’s Greetings (and a recipe)

December 22, 2017

Anyone lucky enough to have received a Bankstone Christmas card this Christmas will doubtless have shared the bitter disappointment Bankstone News experienced upon discovering that it’s exactly the same card as last year.

It seems a couple of stray zeros on last year’s print order will see this card in use for at least another decade.

But since it’s deja vue on the card front, we thought you might perhaps be interested to learn the fascinating true story behind the dismal scene depicted on said card (pictured below).

You would? Then simply click here, Reader, and you’re sure to be glad you did – it’s a rollicking old tale!

In the meantime – along with wishing all our readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and preposterous new year – we thought we’d sign off for the year with our favourite minced pie recipe.

Firstly take the following: two satsumas or tangerines (the things you find at the bottom of your socks around this time of year), one apple, the zeal of one lemon, some icing sugar (if not available, basically any white powder will do), 400g plain flour (see comments under icing sugar), 250g butter (or some substance whose identity as anything other than butter would be hard to credit), 125g of standard-issue sugar (again, see other white powders), one large egg (something avian ideally), 600g of lean minced beef (or, if you fancy ringing the changes, why not try lamb and simply swap out the lemon zeal for 4tbs of dried rosemary).

Next place all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir vigorously for at least 30 minutes. Then simply plop your mixture into a sturdy and capacious baking dish and stick it in the oven at 250C (fan 250C) for 45 mins or until you smell burning. Remove from the oven and place on a flat heatproof surface. Quickly open all your windows and use a tea towel to fan any overhead smoke detectors until smoke-free silence is restored. Allow your minced pie to stand for 10 mins. Then serve in small shallow bowls and watch your guests’ faces light up with yuletide good cheer (it helps if you’ve warmed them up first with a couple of Snowball Surprises (one part Advocaat, one part lemonade, five parts Absinthe, 10 parts full strength export lager). But that’s enough recipes for now!

We’ll be back in the new year with the usual mix of hard hitting factual news analysis and that other thing we do.

Until then, here’s hoping you’ll be simply having a wonderful Christmas time!

Click to learn more!

Share the gift of karting this Christmas

December 15, 2017

Here’s a topical question for this time of year: what do you give the man or woman who has everything?

Ha, trick question!

You can’t give them anything, because they’ve got everything. And you, consequently, have nothing. Maybe they should give you something instead.

And speaking of presents, why not get yourself and/or your favourite colleagues and/or business partners the perfect early Christmas present (or alternative mid-winter seasonal festivity of your choice present) by signing them up for Insurance Endurance 2018, the UK’s premier insurance themed karting type event!

Granted, you and/or they will have a little while to wait before enjoying this present, as IE18 doesn’t take place until 26 June next year. But if you don’t sign up now, you and/or they could miss out altogether, as spaces are limited.

Plus, if you get the thing booked now, you can while away those lazy Yuletide hours dreaming happily – as you rinse mince pie crumbs from betwixt your claggy teeth with a hearty slug of Louis Frotteur Premium Cognac – of tearing round Grantham’s PFI Kart Track in an absurdly pokey kart-type thing in the balmy haze of far off British Summertime.

As you may recall from last year, the event involves teams of up to eight drivers competing in a six-hour ‘endurance’ race.

Everyone involved works in or around the insurance industry, making this the ideal opportunity, as the website stresses, to go head to head against ‘the cream of the sector’ or simply do some shameless networking. Or both, even. Probably both.

You can read about the 2016 event here. If you insist.

Oh, and you might like to know that, for 2018, the event has new very high quality (VHQ) catering contractors on board – virtually guaranteeing a complete and welcome absence of beige pork.

What, as they say, is not to like!

To book or find out more, click here without delay.

Fun in the sun at Bankstone’s Christmas bash

December 11, 2017

You can say what you like about Bankstone, and believe me a lot of people do, but those guys certainly know how to have a good time. Take their Christmas party for example.

When Bankstone News learned that our illustrious sponsors were off to Malaga for their Christmas party, we naturally assumed they meant the sought-after Huddersfield nightspot of that name.

But, no. They actually meant Malaga, Spain’s sixth most populous urban centre and Europe’s furthest-south city of significant size, located, as it is, just 80 miles short of Africa. Birthplace of Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas. That Malaga.

According to Bankstone managing director Ding-Dong Timebomb (pictured bottom right below), he and his ‘team’ enjoyed temperatures in the region of 24 degrees and a decent spot of proper sunshine as they sauntered on the playas and slurped exotic cocktails in the southerly city’s seafront bars.

Highlights included a round or four of ‘cocktail roulette’ at an establishment euphemistically referred to as the Nina Love Bar (where what was ordered corresponded not one whit with that was served), sharing a snapper for four (don’t ask us – we’re just telling you what Dugong told us), securing a 70% discount, by way of hagglage, on a leather jacket while “not getting physically molested” (the smack, perhaps, of excessive protestation here), green parrots (again, no idea) and accidentally turning up in evening wear almost exactly matching the attire of hotel cabaret artistes.

For anyone acquainted with Mr T’s flamboyant sartorial style, that last bit actually does sound quite plausible.

Oh wait.. there’s more… further highlights just in: inventing a cocktail dubbed the Lynchburg Nail, discovering that every song heard in Malaga sounds more or less the same (like Walking on Sunshine, in case you’re curious), “having your oversized deodorant confiscated twice” (we’re back in the realms of the unfathomably obscure here, sadly), and, finally, the superschadenfreude of sashaying effortlessly onto an exactly punctual return-trip flight whilst hordes of gloomy Midlanders faced 8-hour delays for reassignment to Greater Birmingham, EMA Catchment, or whatever benighted (and currently snowbound) realms they hailed from.

Hopefully that should give you a general flavour.

Not a flavour to savour, perhaps.

But, hey, we don’t make the news, we just report it.

Hazard Alert

December 4, 2017

Does the world sometimes strike you as a dangerous and scary place? It does? Then you’re exactly the kind of person who could benefit from a new information service brought to you by Bankstone News.

In this and future editions of Bankstone News Hazard Alert, should there be any, we highlight current issues about which you should probably be worrying – or worrying more than you already are.

The first of our three hot tips for anxiety-focus this week is pies.

Now, pies may seem like harmless tasty fun to you. But are they? Are they really? Ask yourself this: how do I know what’s in my pie? The literally terrifying answer is that you NEVER truly know what’s in your pie. Why? Because it’s all wrapped up in pastry or some such, and unless you packed it yourself, there could be literally any old rubbish in there.

A case in point is Morrisons’ Traditional Chicken & Mushroom Pie. If you’ve recently eaten one of these, you might have noticed something fishy about it. The fishy thing you noticed would have been fish. For fish is what was in these supposedly ‘traditional’ C&MPs, according to food standards agency the Food Standards Agency.

Makes you think, doesn’t it!

A second thing you should maybe fret about some more is snow. A lot of people – maybe you’re one of them – have some dangerous misconceptions about snow. Snow may look all fluffy and sparkly and white, but it’s literally deadly in a thousand terrifying ways you couldn’t even begin to image.

For example: if you try to walk in snow, you’ll slip up and shatter your elbow, or coccyx, or something. Attempt to drive in it and you’ll spin slowly and elegantly through 1080 degrees before disappearing off the side of the road into a tree-lined ravine, there to be discovered, fateful days later, frozen stiff and badly gnawed (perhaps while still alive) by hordes of hungry squirrels.

Snow happens just when you least expect it (especially in winter), and when it does, there is literally nothing you can do, except maybe stay at home if you have a good supply of biscuits, herring, and ideally some sherry.

Our third and final top tip for those concerned they may not be worrying enough (or about the right things) is worry itself. That’s right: top scientists have discovered that worrying is really bad for you. Stress and anxiety can quite literally hasten your demise by years, if not whole decades. It works like this: when your brain experiences anxiety, your body secretes special chemicals that make you die more quickly.

A pretty scary thought, I’m sure you’ll agree. But try not to dwell on it – or your days may be cut short, and then you won’t have enough time to worry about all the other things you should probably be worrying about.

More on that in the next edition of Bankstone News Hazard Alert.

Pritchard pitches up at not-just-van-insurance firm

November 27, 2017

As regular readers will be well aware. there’s not much can confuse Bankstone News. But this week we finally met our match. ‘Business Insurance Solutions accelerates after rebrand’, the headline in Insurance Business said.

Already there were too many generic names involving words like Insurance and Business in play.

And Solutions? That sounded familiar. Wasn’t there some kind of a law back in the 90s that all businesses had to have Solutions somewhere in their name?

The next key word we came to was Van. That’s better. You know where you are with a van. The unrevealingly named Business Insurance Solutions, it seems, has a ‘reach’ in the van insurance market, a reach it has recently ‘grown’.

Provisionally assuming that reach growth is a good thing, we ploughed on, quickly encountering detail.

Business Insurance Solutions (formerly known as Van Compare Insurance Limited (VCIL) aka Van Line Direct (formerly known as Van Compare Direct – or possibly the other way round) claims to have ‘built’ a book. A book which, it further asserts, contains 50,000 customers and is profitable.

Basically, it seems Business Insurance Solutions is big in vans. But, because it fancied being big in things other than vans as well, it changed its name (what’s known technically as re-branding), to the considerably less van-specific name it now goes by (Business Insurance Solutions, in case you’ve forgotten already).

Since that happened, in September last year, Business Insurance Solutions has apparently ‘grown its propositions’ in commercial vehicles (which probably only sounds a bit like vans) and something called SME (possibly Something More Exciting?).

No wonder then, that Business Insurance Solutions has seen fit to beef-up its management team with the addition of a number of high-profile new hires, not the least high-profile of which is the legendary (by which we don’t mean he’s not real or anything) Ian P Richard, formerly of (the also emphatically generic-sounding) Strategic Insurance Services.

Not only is Ian a noted connoisseur of literary excellence in the reporting of insurance news, but also has the coolest LinkedIn profile picture in insurance (see below).

A justly revered doyen of all things motorised-transport-and-insurance-provision-related, Ian is sure to ‘drive’ Business Insurance Solutions to fresh peaks of profitable reach and proposition growth.

What he doesn’t know about motor underwriting is scarcely worth going into here, as we still have to find room to wish Ian the very best in his new role as ‘Group Pricing and Placement Director at Business Insurance Solutions Ltd trading as Van Compare Direct/Vanline Direct.’

ARAG’s three-peat challenge triumph

November 20, 2017

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it, like, literally a thousand times. Leading lethal expenses provider ARAG has to stop winning awards. There’s only so many ways you can write the headline ARAG wins award before it becomes, quite frankly, more than a little tedious.

ARAG’s latest gratuitous award wins came at the prestige-connoting Underwiring Service Awards 2017 held at the Royal Gordon Hotel in Kensington on 16 November, where the Bristol-based company scooped both the Legal Expensive Team of the Year award and the one for MAGA Team of the Year.

Each of these awards may as well be retitled ARAG of the Year A and ARAG of the Year B, since no one else has won either of them in the past three years, nor ever seems likely to do so again.

In a press release so closely resembling last year’s announcement of a similar triumph that Bankstone MD Dipthong Typhoon accidentally sent out last year’s version in his weekly selection of fascinating press cuttings, ARAG banged immodestly on about its unique “three-peat” in making off with both awards.

That’s all well and good, we say here at Bankstone News, not a little testily; but, seriously, this joke is wearing a little thin. We said very clearly way back in 2013 that no more award-scoopage would be tolerated. And we meant it.

Next time the prolific trophy-taker bags some gong or other, you’ll have to turn to some other weekly news email to read all about it.

Unless, that is, some appropriate and/or commensurate recognition of our previous generous coverage on this topic were to be, shall we say, forthcoming.

If you, ahem, see what we mean.

Picture competition

November 14, 2017

In the latest of our brain-teasing picture competitions, we invite you to win a once in a lifetime mystery prize by identifying the leading professional claims handling provider obliquely referenced in the cryptic picture clue below. Answers on a postcard to editor@bankstone-news.co.uk. Judges’ decision final no correspondence will be entered into.

Older Posts »
  • Archives

  • What our clients say about us

    Friendly staff who first was concerned about me (the policy holder)following an accident prior to taking vehicle details, which was nice
    Mr. C - Bury