All blazers gunning

April 16, 2018

There are basically just two things you need to make it in the world of insurance. One is a mile-wide competitive streak. There other, clearly, is a blazer.

But on certain special days of the year, even the blazer is optional. One such opportunity for informality occurs when the great and the good of the motor insurance market gather somewhere near Grantham to race karts. The name of that opportunity is Insurance Endurance.

And who better to fill you in on all details, you’re probably thinking, than Bankstone News!

You’re right, of course, who better indeed! But given that time waits for no man (nor woman neither) and that – even as we write this – they’ve already been serving at the Badgers for the best part of an hour, we’re going to leave that task to Insurance Business UK (a sort of a disintermediated news website that largely dispenses with the distorting lens of journalism to deliver the pure undiluted  truth, direct from the original press release).

Here’s how IBUK reported on the happy day this summer when insurance people will once set aside their habitual commercial rivalries (and their blazers) to buzz around a lengthy twisting stretch of tyre-lined tarmac for literally hours on end:

Insurers’ day to ditch the blazer and don racing suits

It’s a competitive industry all right, but who said people in insurance can’t enjoy themselves while trying to outdo each other? All in the name of good clean fun, of course. 

With everyday work feeling like a race to the top, here’s a literal race that insurance workers can participate in – a six-hour endurance kart race happening at the UK’s largest outdoor karting circuit. Teams of between four and eight drivers get to compete in Sodi GT5 karts at the PFI Racetrack in Grantham.

Insurance Endurance, aside from being a creative means to network with industry peers, also serves as a fundraising event for The Insurance Charities, whose beneficiaries are insurance employees in the UK and Ireland.

“We’re delighted to be chosen as the nominated charity for this event,” said marketing and communications executive Emma Bangar. “We welcome the opportunity to meet people working in insurance face-to-face and to tell them about The Insurance Charities and how we are able to help and support those working in this industry.”

The event, which has a practice round prior to the race, will also feature the pit stop challenge, wherein teams change the tyres of a Formula 1 car in the quickest time possible before returning to the endurance track.

More than 80 drivers took part in last year’s edition. Insurance Endurance 2018 happens on June 26.

He’d rather be karting!

 

The A-Z of a great day out

March 19, 2018

As everyone should know by now, Insurance Endurance is the UK’s leading self-drive kart track experience for those with a passion for all things motor insurance.

If you don’t know that already, then you J-well should (you can educate yourself by reading about it here or here or here).

In the meantime, we thought we’d have a go at encapsulating the enduring appeal of this most gruelling and time-consuming of motor-sports-themed competitive corporate entertainment and networking get-togethers. So, ahem, here we go:

 

I is for Insurance, motor Insurance in fact, but there’s no M in Insurance Endurance

N is for Nothing that immediately springs to mind

S is for Sexy which is how everyone will look in those snug-fitting all-in-one karting overalls

U is for Unisex (see sexy all-in-ones above)

R is for Really fast which is the speed at which those super-speedy new karts go

A is for A great day out, which is what you’re sure to have at Insurance Endurance

N is for No, I still can’t think of anything

C is for Catering, which will definitely be better than last year’s!

E is for Eating, which you can now safely do with C above

 

E is for Ever fancied yourself as a Formula 1 driver?

N is for Nothing. I still have Nothing

D is for Day, a great one of which you’re sure to have at Insurance Endurance 2018

U is for U – because it just wouldn’t be the same without U there!

R is for Rain which will certainly not be stopping play at this event!

A is for Anyone who is Anyone, who’s sure to be at Insurance Endurance

N is for Now this is getting ridiculous – could you please stop asking about N

C is for Catastrophe, which is what it would be if you were to miss this event

E is for the End, which this is of the list above, mercifully.

 

So that’s the nation’s number-one naughty but nice competitive karting experience in one neat little nutshell!

Now you know all that – don’t dilly-dally – get clicking/keying and book your team places today!

Like sponsoring Formula 1, but cheaper!

March 4, 2018

As regular readers will probably have spotted by now, at Bankstone News we spend a lot of time speculating about our readers’ dreams. Last week we wondered whether you might be harbouring secret hankerings after a career as an F1 driver. This week we’re forsaking such ludicrous delusions for the more realistic project of wondering whether you might ever have fancied yourself or your corporate vehicle of choice as the sponsor of an F1 team.

Imagine the thrill of seeing a brace of cars plastered with your firm’s branding lining up on the grid then senselessly colliding with one another on the first lap as intra-team rivalry leads to high-speed impact with barriers for both your beautifully branded cars.

That’s quite a thrilling kind of thrill, I’m sure you will agree. In fact, it’s so thrilling a thrill that it would probably be a bit much for you. What would suit you better, may we humbly suggest, is slapping a bit of your branding on the F1 Challenge car at this summer’s Insurance Endurance kart racing event.

That’s probably more than thrilling enough for you. And, better still, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than sponsoring a Formula 1 team, which is basically the only other way you’re going to get your branding on an F1 car.

Ignite did it last year (see below), and it certainly made them happy. And let’s just say, exposing themselves to a large audience of motor insurance movers and shakers in this manner certainly didn’t do this thrusting, go-ahead insurance software provider any harm!

So hurry, hurry, get your sponsoring hat on quick, and snap up this unique opportunity before someone else snaps it up first. Visit the Insurance Endurance website for further details.

And do it now, for heaven’s sake!

You too could feel this happy!

The kart track’s the fast track to living the dream

February 26, 2018

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a Formula 1 driver, Bankstone News could be about to set you on the path to living that particular dream.

Because, you see, most, if not all, F1 drivers, began their careers racing what are known as karts.

Yes, yes, but what exactly is a ‘kart’, you query with touching innocence. Allow us to enlighten you.

Not to be confused with carts with a C, which tend to involve horses, malodorous agricultural cargos, and trudging joylessly along deeply furrowed rural back roads that entail creaking slogs up hill, lurching wallows down dale, and, if you’re lucky, some dull-as-ditch-water flat bits in between, karts with a K are like supercharged low-slung ride-on mowers, without the mowing bits. They’re faster than a ferret and more fun than three or four barrel-fulls of monkeys combined into one concentrated compendium of simian ludicity.

Well, on Tuesday 26 June this year (that’s right, this year, not next year, or the year after, and – obviously enough – not last year either, although there was one last year (Perhaps you were there? Shame. You really missed out there), but this very year, 2018) we’re giving you a rare and exciting opportunity to drive a kart yourself (at speed, for a really long time, and in company with other speeding kartists) and, who knows, maybe take the first step on the path to podiuming, trophy-lofting and showering in Champagne, while eager, lycra-clad lovelies… (Oh, ok. Lovelies are off, apparently).

All you need to do is click here to be whusk off to Insurance Endurance website where you can book team places for you, your friends and some people who may or may not be your friends but with whom you believe it might be advantageous to cultivate good relations in the way that only a hands-on day at the kart track can.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now and don’t be the one who’s left out, again.

Riddle me this!

February 19, 2018

Knowing our reader’s enthusiasm for puzzles, we thought we’d set you a riddle to solve this week.

 

This is it:

 

North of Fixby

South of Hippohome

East of Batley

West of Mankiniholes

Pearl of the Calder

Ludenshite’s twin

Bet you can’t tell me

What town I’m in…

and, more importantly, why!

 

Answers on in an unsealed envelope addressed, in pencil please (so we can use it again), to editor@bankstone-news.co.uk

I’m sorry we can’t return any of your answers, but we give a small prize to anyone with whom we are particularly keen to ingratiate ourselves.

Click on the image above for clues!

Caught by the fuzz

February 11, 2018

Those fortunate enough to receive the email digests of industry new clippings circulated several times a week by Bankstone top dog Dimsum Trysome, may have been a little puzzled recently to find, nestling amongst the usual titbits on industry doings and comings and goings, an article extolling the sexual allure of male facial hair.

Those who’ve seen DT recently, may have been marginally less bemused as to the reason for this seemingly anomalous inclusion.

“It’s official – men with beards are more attractive” read the headline of an article culled from some obscure regional news title, before continuing somewhat redundantly “than those without”.

The story turns out to have been based on research published in the fancy-sounding Journal of Evolutionary Biology. This involved asking 8,500 women to “rate” men with and without beards for their “boyfriend potential”.

The same men were photographed in various states of facial hirsutity, from clean-shaven to full-on Charlie Darwin, and then rated for their desirability as longer term partners, as opposed to one-night stands, or whatever they call quick sh*gs these days.

Somewhat improbably, the research found that every single one of the 8,500 women rated some form of facial hairiness above clean-shavedness. “Heavy stubble” was the most popular choice, followed, according to the obscure regional news title, by “full bears [sic] and light stubble”.

What makes a man with face fuzz so alluring? Arguably, the photo below makes the case far better than mere words ever could. But if you want a scientific explanation, the JoEB naturally has one to hand. It is that “beards may be more attractive to women when considering long-term than short-term relationships as they indicate a male’s ability to successfully compete socially with other males”.

A beard, Bankstone News imagines, could bespeak social competitiveness in a variety of ways.

Beardiness might betoken the ability to ‘beat off’ other males to monopolise supplies of eggs, brazil nuts, gelatin, sorghum and other facial-hair promoting nutrients.

Alternatively, having a beard (a wild and wooly one in particular) might indicate that a male has accumulated sufficient social status that he no longer needs to concern himself with social niceties such as personal grooming (think Brad Pits’ down-and-out-in-a-tux look circa 2009/2010).

Or it might simply be that, like dream-catchers catching dreams (if that’s what they do), beards have some supernatural ability to collect social status (along with bread crumbs, small insects, dead skin etc) and concentrate it in the persons of those who sport them.

Who knows.

Whatever it is, it’s clearly working for Bankstone’s Mr T.

Or so he would have you believe.

IE18: Act in haste or repent at leisure!

February 3, 2018

If you’re thinking – as well you might, amidst the dank dreariness of early February – that summer is a long way off, you almost literally could not be more wrong.

Not in geological terms. Not in historical terms. And most certainly not in terms of still having plenty of time to get round to booking your team place(s) for this year’s Insurance Endurance.

The longer one spends on this planet, the faster the days and the weeks and the months seem to slip through one’s fingers. Like new-fallen leaves borne off on the waters of brisk autumn streams, participatory motorsports corporate-entertainment/networking opportunities are apt to get carried away, along with those days, weeks and months.

How horribly soon, Dear Reader, you will wake up one morning to find Feb’s  given way to Mar, Mar to Apr, Apr to… oh, you know, whichever one comes next.

And, the next thing you know, it’ll be June, and you’ll have completely missed your chance to be part of what is incontestably the UK’s leading kart-racing event exclusively catering for persons in some way connected with the world of motor car insurance.

Then you’ll be sorry!

But… it doesn’t have to end like that.

On the contrary, all you need do is click here and you’ll find yourself magically transported to a very special webpage where, with but a few fleeting clicks and a soup’s-on of ‘field’ filling, you can protect yourself against the catastrophic outcome to which we alluded in Paragraph 2, by the simple expedient of securing your team place(s) for Insurance Endurance 2018.

And then you can relax and get back to whatever it was you were doing before. Although why you would want to waste your time on something like that, Bankstone News will never properly understand.

Still, it’s your life. If that’s the way you choose to carry on, who are we to remonstrate?

Experience for yourself the unforgivable thrill of insurance-karting on a grand scale!

Group aims to reduce crime involving motorcycles

January 29, 2018

Despite what you might have read in the MSM, it’s not just Mayor Khan who’s getting stuck into resolving the scourge of motorcycle crime on Britain’s streets.

The latest meeting of the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group was honoured, when it met at the recent Motorcycle Live show at Birmingham’s NEC, by the presence of no less a luminary than Bankstone’s own Dixon Tiepin (whose broad shoulders, steel-edged teutonic crop, expressive ears, and manly neck flesh can just be made out (centre-left) in the image below).

In the chair was newly anointed Motor Cycle Industry Association CEO Antonius “Tony” Campbell who relayed tidings from the recent Home Office Roundtable meeting, including the news that an over-reaction to the current spate of scooter crime would not now – as initially feared – see Lembit Opik banned from carrying pillion passengers.

There was also discussion of the worryingly high rate of thefts from motorcycle dealerships witnessed of late, and an update on the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Venus which appears now to be achieving some modest success in curbing bike theft in the capital (which currently accounts for 44% of total UK bike thefts).

Other parts of the country, however, delegates agreed, should not be overlooked. Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), a group committed to taking action on issues related to motorcycles, is in the process of submitting Freedom of Infotainment Requests (FIRs) to every police force in the country, with a view to establishing which forces most urgently need to divert resources into combatting the menace of bike purloinage.

Before wrapping up the formal proceedings and giving delegates a chance to rub shoulders with (and perhaps even request an autograph from) Bankstone’s Tiepin, the group turned its attention to MCIA’s MASTER scheme, under which nearly 50,000 bikes were registered from Jan to Oct 2017.

Just 0.33% of these have subsequently been nicked, compared with a historical average of 2.6% of all bikes. Which just goes to show, all agreed, that if you don’t want your bike stolen you should buy from a MASTER manufacturer (i.e. any one of BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kaurismaki, Suzi Q, Trump, Yuma Honey, Harley Davidstowe or Indians).

If you’d like to get involved in the fight against motorcycle crime yourself, and perhaps even get the change to meet Dixon Tiepin in the flesh, as they say, you hold on to that ambition. One day your time may come.

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!

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