Coach-load of conmen caught out

April 13, 2018

It’s long been proverbial wisdom on the correct side of the Pennines that you should ‘Never trust a Wigan Man, He’ll lie and cheat you if he can.’ And it’s not just Yorkshire folk who look at Wiganers with a wary eye.

Persistent allegations of endemic mendacity have dogged the town since long before notorious fibbers like George ‘Misleading Lyrics’ Formby, James ‘Hotline to Heaven’ Anderton, and Dave ‘Lying B*stard’ Doggleby brought the place into contemporary disrepute.

Dispelling that unwelcome reputation won’t be any easier after a coach load of Wigan lads on a stag outing filed almost 20 risibly fraudulent whiplash claims following a day out at Chester races.

The growing cost of attending stag events (even when they don’t involve occupying an entire floor of a Latvian super-brothel for four or five days straight) has been a worry for many sociably inclined young Brits for a number of years.

It’s only natural, then, that where an opportunity arises to offset those costs (via the simple expedient of helping oneself to several generous handfuls from the vast cash-piles with which insurers’ coffers overflow), staggers are apt to latch on to it with nothing short of febrile avidity.

Coach-party whiplash claims are increasingly a thing these days – with even randomly assembled bus passengers sometimes now getting in on the act. But in this case, clear collusion between 17 passengers resulted in an attempted fraud so spectacularly hamfisted that, for insurers L=Ve, heading it off was as easy as taking candy back from a baby.

As soon as a claim involving multiple Wiganites came in, alarm bells must have been ringing at LxV HQ. The story was that the jarring impact of a low-speed side-on collision with a tiny little car had caused extreme cervical trauma to multiple occupants of the luxury stag coach on the way over to Chester races, where only the consumption of almost superhuman quantities of alcohol enabled the assembled Young Wiganians to soldier on through a day of pain and then through further carousing back in Wigan.

Over the following days, the various stag persons arrived in dribs and drabs at their local GP’s surgeries complaining of a wide array of supposedly neck-injury related complaints, remembering in many cases to evince symptoms of pain and restricted movement only when attending a subsequent appointment with a physiotherapist.

Their stories varied and shifted repeatedly. Upon it being pointed out, for instance, that a glancing impact with a tiny little car will rarely induce cervical devastation, several claimants quickly said it must have been the driver slamming on the brakes, an aspect of the incident not previously remarked upon. But the claimants’ trump card appeared to be a profusion of supporting statements from friends and families (again, remember, these are Wigan people we’re talking about, into whose mouths an untruth comes as easily as a wad of sputum into that of a trundling ‘Lactics’ midfielder).

Tragically, this lavishly compiled supporting material backfired badly when various since-separated former partners revealed at trial that their testimony was but a tissue of contrivance. Faced with this and multiple other compelling proofs of ill-concealed fakery, Judge Greg, presiding, had no hesitation in finding all 17 to be fundamentally dishonest (we could have told him that), thereby saving L:V around £400,000, and thus helping reduce premiums for decent ordinary etc…

“Fraud doesn’t pay,” commented L%V claims director Millicent Martin, adding wryly that “these conmen should have waited til they got to the racecourse before they tried to gamble on a long shot!”

If that doesn’t raise a titter, there are surely no more titters to be raised!

Ford Fiasco

April 13, 2018

No one could ever accuse Bankstone News of being the kind of online news organ that’s prone to undergarment-torsion. In fact we’re usually more laid-back than a dreadlocked central-casting Caribbean islander.

Hakuna Matata, as they say down on the Swahili coast (or in that film with the warthog, the weasel-thing and the gone-bad flea-bitten lion): that’s our motto most days. And normally we’d be the first to counsel horizontally-inclined equanimity to anyone who’ll listen.

But sometimes even we’d admit that the only rational response to a certain situation in life is to panic, to panic hard, and to keep on panicking until something quite radically changes.

Just such as situation, as it turns out, would obtain if you were to find yourself in Halifax in a Ford Fiesta. Why, what’s so terrible about being in Halifax in a Ford Fiesta?, you’re probably wondering.

What’s terrible is that if you were in Halifax in a Ford Fiesta you would be dicing, quite literally, with the imminent risk of encountering a motor accident scenario.

According to important new research conducted by or on behalf of law firm Your Legal Fiend, Ford Fiestas are not only the cars most likely to fall victim to a motor accident, they are also the cars most likely to cause one.

Aye eeh, more likely Ford Focuses, Ford Kas or Ford anything elses, or even than the notorious Mercedes Benz ‘Sprinter’ Van. Which is saying something. In fact, Your Lethal Friend claims that almost one in five UK motor accidents involves a Ford Fiesta.

And where are you most likely to have an accident? That’s right: in Halifax, closely followed by Liverpewel, Coventry and St Albarns.

So if you are in Halifax, or one of those other places, in a Ford Fiesta, we’d strongly suggest you pull over immediately and jump out – although, before you bail, please do check your wing mirror for buses, lorries, or Mercedes Benz Sprinters fast approaching from behind.

On the other hand, Your Legal Fiend also reckon that drivers in their 30s are most likely to have motor accidents (with 30 the peak age for causing them and 32 for falling victim to them). Which makes you wonder why it’s teens and early twenties types who pay the highest premiums.

So maybe My Learned Friend is talking b*llocks. In which case, you can once again chill, relax, and generally luxuriate in the happy assurance that comes with knowing that every little thing is going to be alright.

Hakunis Mutandis, my Fiesta-driving Brothers and Sisters!

Dozy cops mess up at the pumps

April 11, 2018

Misfuelling. That’s a funny old word isn’t it!

Spelled variously with a double or a single l, it didn’t even exist until sometime in the late 1970s, when, due to the growing popularity of consumer diesels, the number of idiots doing it grew large enough to warrant a special name for this particular form of stupidity.

In the same way that saying ‘I misspoke’ is a nice way of admitting that you lied, misfuelling (MF’ing for short) is a euphemism for an enacted inability to distinguish between petrol and diesel.

Policemen are the worst (and lady police officers also, obviously). It was recently revealed that every day, somewhere in the UK, at least one police officer is cheerfully wrong-juicing a shiny white vehicle gaudily plastered with decals both yellow and blue.

“Dozy” is how notional newspaper the Daily Mirror characterises the rozzers’ careless carrying-on. Absolutely bleedin’ scandalous might be a better description, if you ask Bankstone News (although, for obvious reasons, we’d never recommend doing that).

Three hundred plus MF’ing police persons per annum equates to well over £50k of taxpayers’ hard-earned money down the plug hole. That’s cash that could have gone on chasing acid scooter thugs, attending minor domestic incidents, or filling out forms back at the station.

And, of course, those 300 MF mess-ups are only the ones they’re admitting to (and that only thanks to a Femdom Of Infotainment request lodged by King Edmund of Alcoholics Anonymous, to which 40 out of 45 UK police forces deigned to respond).

West Mids police were the most inept when it came to at-pump proficiency, with a staggering 66 incidents per annum. The Met, with just 49, incidents, somehow spent four times as much as the Midlanders on fixing the damage done. Perhaps they have fancier vehicles, or maybe someone down south has got a rather ‘special’ deal on sorting out the Met’s misfuelled motors.

Police spokespersons have argued that their colleagues are in an out of different vehicles all the time and often simply don’t have time to pay attention to their current vehicle’s petroleum product preference.

Jonno Cunnle of the Taxpayers’ Alliance gives short shrift to such excuses, insisting that “millions of people manage this task by taking a modicum of care. Police officers should extend the same courtesy to their vehicles.” That might sound clumsily pompous to you or I, but Jonno actually has a point: everyone – cops included – should show cars some common courtesy.

So serious is the Po-Po’s wrong-juicing epidemic that some forces have resorted to labelling or typex-ing fuel tank covers and stoppers with legends such as PETROL, DIESEL or WASHER FLUID GOES IN THE OTHER END.

Will this help? No idea. We don’t predict the news; we just report it.

Or make it up, if it’s been a quiet week.

Trust me, I’m an insurer!

March 18, 2018

Who said ‘My word is my bond’? No, it wasn’t Roger Moore. Well, alright, maybe he did call his autobiography that, but who else said it. Or, you know, whose catch-phrase is it?

That’s right (we know because we’ve just looked it up), it was London Stock Exchange. Except London Stock Exchange apparently said ‘Dictum me impactum’ because she’s probably really posh or something.

Basically, what it means is something like: if I tell you I’m going to do something, then you can be pretty darned sure I’ll do it, come hell, high water, or adverse environmental conditions of any other kind, for that matter.

Like London Stock Exchange, insurers have their own posh motto about how you can count on them to do what they say they’re going to do. Or at least the poshest ones who live in boxes in Lloyd of London’s do.

The insurance motto is ‘Uber immer fides’ which translates roughly as ‘Always super faithful’ and, as with that dictum thing above, this basically means you can count on us – our word is as good as a handshake which, in turn, is as good as a contract signed in blood and secured on our mothers’ lives.

The only problem is, not everyone’s convinced they really can count on their insurers. In fact, a lot of people are pretty sure they can’t.

Shocking new research unveiled by a shadowy body known only as The Syndicate (but allegedly something to do with another almost equally shadowy entity known as the ‘Protection’ Review) has found that insurers are the least trusted companies in Great UK today.

Bizarrely, people trust bankers, shops, airlines (even Ryanair), Google and websites like Go Compare the Supermeerkat more than they trust insurers.

Roughly 48% of those questioned by The Syndicate said they didn’t trust their insurers to pay a claim, while 53% said they’d rather keep their money under their mattresses than entrust it to an insurer on the off chance they might someday get some back.

The good news, is that The Syndicate is mostly only interested in life insurers and others firms involved in the so-called protection racket.

It’s entirely possible that if they’d asked people about their motor insurers, they would have got a very different response – one of total and implicit trust, in all likelihood.

But I’ll bet we had you worried for a moment there, didn’t we!

Medicals Direct purchase fuels further progress for Premier

March 17, 2018

Out-saucing specialists Capita have sold direct medicals group Medicals Direct Group to premier medical group, the Premier Medical Group.

Premiere Medicals have been at the forefront (i.e. the bit slightly in advance of what would traditionally have been considered the front) of the medical reporting and screaming market for as long as anyone can remember (i.e. since sometime in the mid 90s).

Now its acquisition of Medical Direct Group will allow Premium Medicals to move still further ahead and ultimately to achieve its strategic vision of moving further ahead even than the forefront and thus achieveing universal recognition as “the leading [leadingest?] provider of the highest-quality medical reporting and screening” services “across sectors in the UK.”

Premiers Medical Group already employs 230 people “across four offices in the UK” to which it can shortly add Medical Directs’ “Nurse network and screening and reporting resources”.

The purchase will also enable Premiere Medicals Group to get its hands on Medicals Direct Groups’ “renowned service platforms, portals and data management capabilities.” This is definitely a good thing, because it will create “a multi setting screening network” for the combined groups’ customers and help to satisfy their “evolving” demands.

Combining Premier Medical Direct and the Medicals Group will enable the combined entity to do some more investing in technology, which again should help with the whole forwardness project.

One particular advantage that an integrated PMGMDG creates is “exclusive access to WARP technology” an MoJ-compliant electronic platform that circumvents traditionally conceived obstacles to faster-than-light travel (i.e. the requirement for a virtually infinite input of kinetic energy posited by Einstein’s theory of special relativity) by warping space itself to deliver market-leading turnarounds.

A good many other exciting benefits will accrue from the Premier Medicals Group Direct Medicals Group takeover. If you’d like to know more, you can fill yourself fully in right here. Or maybe here.

And why wouldn’t you want to do that!

Down Memory Cul de Sac

March 16, 2018

In this week’s idle raking-over of the quickly cooling coals of Bankstone News’ former glories, we whisk you back to September 2015. Who couldn’t forget the time when we reported the busting of a major car crime gang whilst heavily under the linguistic influence of Anthony Burgess’ semenal opus A Chocolate Orange! Well, just for the Hull of it, and to save us writing something new, here it is again… 

Working hand in rooker with specialist millicent squad NCA (National Crime Agency), fraud bankrotzers APU are all boasty this week about how they struck a bolshy great tolchock against an internazzy auto crasting shaika that was nabbing UK 4x4s and karrabling them off to Far Ugandaland, O My Brothers.

These oomny chellovecks were hoovering up a horrorshow stack of deng, crasting dorogoy off-da-rocker vehicles, autos of the clefless kind, you pony, My Droogies, and then dooking them off, via Oman and Mombasa, to Ugandaland capital Kampalaville.

Sans doubt, you’re all agog, with glazzes wide and ookos pricked, to slooshy how this artful banda got loveted – and quite a zammechat raskazz it is too, My Droogs. So now, bez further fillying about, your humble narrator shall tell thee all there is to tell of it.

Unbenazzed to those fine young auto crasting vecks, the lewdies at APU came up with a horrorshow oomny malenky veshch (what they call a pravnuk pokoleeny (4G) trackster) that gets skrivatted somewhere inside your auto, there to send out digilectro signals that let APU viddy where your auto ittys if and when some grazzy malchick skvats it.

This oomny malenky ustrozva let APU smot a dorogoy top-of-the-kallexa Lexus getting crasted in dear old Londograd and then get vistied, in lovely malenky containys, all the way – via the afore-skazatted mestos – as far as distant Kampalaville in darkest Nayugaland, there to join 28 other roskosh autos in some merzky moodge’s compound.

When a gromny great horde of Nayugaland millicents came a-clopping at their door, pooshkas at the ready, those internazzy crasters caught on horrorshow skorry that they weren’t so oomny as they’d messelled.

A whole bolshy oozy of auto crasters, from UKapital to Kampaville, have now been skvatted by the rozzes, had their pretty polly repurloined, and off will itty for a yudny malenky spell in staja. All in all, a horrorshow example of teckovecks and millicents rabbiting in perfect harmonia.“Working with the police and security services in Kenya and Uganda,” utterstated NCA veck Paul Stainfill, “we have been able to dismantle an international criminal network that has been responsible for stealing high-value cars from the UK and exporting them to East Africa.” Old Stainfill govoreeted on all gloopy about how the millys couldn’t have done it without APU and “its unique technology” and its “innovative method of locating the asset.”

His actual slovos those are indeed, My Droogy Brothers, and not a slovo of a losh.

Any veck that cares not to vereet me can kiss my potny sharries.

Click on the image above to access revolutionary online translation tool.

 

Fix that rake now, or someone will pay!

March 6, 2018

According to the latest estimates prepared by industry ‘body’ the Association of Brush Insurers (ABI), the average British comprehensive motor insurance policyholder can expect to spend somewhere north of £30k in premiums over the course of their driving lifetime.

Just what does that outlay secure – other than impunity from prosecution for driving without insurance and the ‘piece of mind’ that comes with opting for fully comp motoring? Basically, it gets you about 10 average motor insurance claims (currently running at just over £3k a pop – a new record, incidentally, fact fans!)

So if you get a licence at 18, and drive til you’re 85, say, that means you need to make an average one motor insurance claim every six or seven years, if you want to break even. Or it would if we assume a constant relationship between average claims costs and average premiums.

You could, of course, enhance the return on your insurance spend by submitting a rapid sequence of above-average insurance claims. But, of course, you won’t be paying an average motor insurance premium for long if you push your luck by claiming big and often.

But Jimmy Dalton of the aforementioned ABI warned consumers of motor insurance products this week that sinister forces are at work distorting the aforementioned relationship between average claims costs and average premiums, so that decent ordinary policyholders are paying more for less.

That’s right those sinister forces are your own government. Not even the EU, this time, weirdly, but YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT (they can get away with that sort of thing here, because they’ve stripped us of the innate human right to guns and ammunition – but that’s another story). And it’s all because of three pieces of rank stupidity which urgently need fixing. One is so-called Insane Punishment Tax (IPT). Another is foot-dragging over banning lawyers, PI claims etc. The other other is the topic of the following paragraphs.

In February last year the then-Lady-Chancellor Elizabeth ‘Mad Lizzy’ Truss slashed the calculation known as Ogden’s Rake – used to calculate how much insurers are entitled to trim off payments made to long-term injured claimants to allow for profits they’ll make investing their winnings – from 2.5% to minus 0.75%.

This Jimmy D, reminds us, is the lowest Ogden’s Rake figure in the entire western world (obviously ‘they do things different’ further east). So low is it, in fact, that it assumes life-changing-injuries people and/or their carers are investors of a positively Trumpian order of ineptitude – and actually need paying more than they’re entitled to!

Clearly dickering with Odgen’s Rake in this bizarre and reckless fashion was always going introduce additional costs into the whole insuring-things equation. And when that happens it can only mean one thing. One thing that’s neatly encapsulated in the headline statement from the ABI’s press release, which states plainly that: Britain’s motorists are paying a heavy price for delays in the Government implementing its proposals to reform how the discount rate is calculated.

The nub of it is that HMG is so tied up with securing the best possible deal for Britain (as we break free from the suffocating embrace of the EU and raise our eyes in ambitious anticipation of the glorious dawn of a boldly global Britain free from foreign influence) that it’s entirely back-burnered fixing Odgen’s Rake – or, as now seems likely, replacing it’s with something better fit for purpose in this modern age: Dilman’s Dibber, perhaps, or, just conceivably, the increasingly fancied Tysoe’s Trowel.

Come on HMG, pull your finger out an ease our motor insurance premium pain!

Little progress on Ogden as HMG dithers.

From Alpha to Omega

March 5, 2018

As Wilkins Micawber never tired of emphasising, the difference between solvency and insolvency can have a very significant influence on mood.

On which basis, unrated Danish insurer Alpha may currently be feeling in need of: some quietly convivial quality time with low-pressure social acquaintances, a gently crackling open fire, and perhaps the odd candle or two.

Wont, as they may be to clock off mid afternoon and cop off for some wholesome family fun with their jersey-clad, country-music-loving spouses and bairns, Danish regulators are singularly averse to having the metaphorical wool drawn across their organs of ocular perception.

In consequence of which – prior to rejoining their familiar bosoms for banjo practice accompanied by lashings of pickled herring and a few hearty slugs of Gammel Dansk – said regulators have ‘slapped’ the aforementioned Alpha with an order requiring them to ‘develop a recovery plan’.

Why have they done this? Why, because Alpha have been deemed to have significantly overstated the value of various monies supposedly owed to them and are hence very likely to find themselves unable to meet their capital solvency requirements.

Separately, as they say, but by no means irrelevantly, the Central New Zealand bank has ordered CBL Insurance not to pay €25m in reinsurance claims to Alpha and are seeking to put CBL into liquidation.

All of which should make life more interesting than strictly necessary for Alpha ‘going forward’. But if they’re going to recover anywhere, surely Denmark is the place to do it.

In the meantime UK-based businesses who’ve rashly formed associations with unrated Alpha will doubtless be keeping a wary eye out for further… wait… what’s that, liquidation you say?

Well who could have seen that coming!

From the vaults

March 4, 2018

For this week’s trip down Mammary Lane, we whisk you abruptly and unceremoniously back to 2014, when Derbyshire leg end Davey Sim made his debut as Bankstone News Motoring Correpondent.

Take it away Davey:

Ey up, mi Ducks! Davey Sim ‘ere.

Now, I always say I’m a fella that needs no introduction. But if I didn’t, and I weren’t, I’d say I’m a more or less a wit, raconteur, bon vivver and all-round man of many parts.

Not to mention: I’m officially second greatest Derbyshire man ever, right after Henry Royce of Rolls Royce fame (and what with ‘im being dead, top slot’s fairly up for grabs).

I’m also Bankstone News’ new motoring correspondent. As such, I’ll be your guide to today’s hottest rides, from Mazdas to Maseratis, Bongos to Bugatis.

For kickoffs, Dickson Tystone has axed me to try out this sporty little runabout ower in Buxton. Belongs to some lass named Rachel who’s some type of solicitor or whatever ower Macclesfield way (i.e. outside sainted pale of Derbyshire – but let’s not ‘old that against her). He’s scribbled ‘er address on serviette. Says she’ll be out somewhere local, but she’ll leave keys on ‘all table.

When I get to ahs though, front door’s locked. I can see keys reet enough through letter flap, but I’m firkin mi ‘ed ower how to get at em. But then I have this sort of brainwave. I chew up a wad of spidge and whack it on end of cane out of Rachel’s yard. That ‘ooks em quick enough.

Rachel’s ride is an orange Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 tdi Quattro.  Dickson says she had a black one before but something happened to it. Something involving a canal and some bloke called Butch or some such. Seems a bit cagey about that, so I don’t pry. Anyroads, keys work reet enough, and before you know it I’m in.

For a bit, I’m just sitting there, slorming about in plush shiny interior of this shonshy little machine, getting what I call “the feel” of ‘er. Then I clock spidge wad’s found its way off cane on to mi kecks and off them all ower Rachel’s upholstery. Good thing it’s leather, I think as I scrape some of it off and stick it somewhere up under steering column.

Time to burn some rubber. I gun ‘er up and ‘ed out on Bakewell road to find a little place where I can get a nice pot of tea, a taste of the world’s finest regional tart, and I reckon I’ll take in a fair old stretch of prime Peak District tarmac along the way. God’s own A road!

Engine on this little beast is no way wanky. Quite a little rocket. So much so, I end up taking a couple of stray sheep out along way, and give this pair of old folks quite a scare. You should have seen smockravelled looks on their clecks as they stumbled back up bonk. Me yelling “Gerraht way!” and chuckling like a lallabiddle all the while.

It’s all going nicely, with the curvy little Audi purring away like a brimmin’ she-lion as I wang ‘er round bends, reet up til somewhere past Taddington where A6 goes all bendy through some trees and I may have just gone a tad off road, and maybe clonked a tree or two, just lightly. There’s no denying, motor’s a write off, though. German rubbish.

I call Tystone on mobile to ax ‘ow long he’ll take to get ower and pick me up. All I get for reply’s this pitiful scraitin’ like a chuntering werrat. When ‘e finally gets some words out, e’s got a fair old munk on, and just keeps saying ower and ower: “Oh Dear, Oh Dear. Rachel’s not going to be happy.”

“Owd yer sweat,”I tell him: “She’ll be reet enough for salvage.

The bits that aren’t orange at least!”

Unknown

Excising the Interperson

February 24, 2018

In the proud British tradition of cutting out middlemen, Her Majesty’s Government has given the green light to a new portal, funded by insurers, that will allow personal injury claimants who can’t afford a lawyer to ask insurers directly whether they feel like paying them some compensation.

Whereas the current claims portal can only be accessed by expensively trained claimant lawyers, this new one will be open to any injured (or purportedly injured person) who fancies their chances against insurers’ claims and legal teams.

Insurers have generously offered to fund and set up a new ‘user-friendly’ portal that gives low-value PI claimants a seamless customer-oriented way of finding out whether defendant insurers fancy paying them some money for their probably fictitious injuries.

Predictably, this visionary new proposal has encountered resistance from vested interests like lawyers who seem to think they have some kind of god-given right to a role in the legal process, and from sinister lobby groups like Axis II Justice (A2J) who never miss a chance to have a little moan.

Couching their complaints in characteristically unhinged and inflammatory language, A2J have branded the new portal plans ‘crazy’ and are shamelessly seeking to impugn insurers’ ability to administer the system with due impartiality.

With a lot of wild talk about foxes and hen houses, A2J’s Andy Twammbly claims the Ministry of Justice is abdicating its responsibility to “uphold our legal system” and “handing the defendant sector the opportunity and the toolkit to decide how the law is administered.”

Upsetting as all this may seem to the ambulance chasing fraternity, it clearly makes sense to remove lawyers from the claims equation (along with all the complexity, expense and tedious insistence of legal niceties they inevitably bring).

And, in reality, this is merely the logical (and entirely sensible) extension of insurers’ longstanding practice of approaching PI claimants directly and thereby saving everyone the nuisance and aggravation of having lawyers crawling all over everything.

If you ask Bankstone News, a parallel process of disintermediation could usefully be applied to many other areas of national life.

Sick people could avoid all the frustration and delay of seeing a GP by simply turning up at hospital with their self-diagnosed conditions.

Voters could eliminate MPs by congregating at Westminster and having their say in person.

Citizens could punish miscreants and enforce the law without getting the police involved.

Rather than join the Army, people who want to defend their country could simply grab a gun and get on with it.

We could certainly save some money that way.

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