Memorable marketing: how to do it

November 30, 2015

When not bringing you all the latest motor insurance claims news, Bankstone News also rather fancies itself as a kind of all-round wordsmithmanship resource. We’re hopeful that our services in this line will soon be a great demand, or some kind of demand at least.

As a sample of the kind of thing we can do, we’d like to offer the following bullet point list in which we cunningly turn the letters of our sponsor Bankstone’s name into a bullet point list of compelling corporate attributes or Unique Selling Pints as we call them in the business.

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November 30, 2015

It seems like only last week Bankstone News was reporting that there was going to be some kind of a consultation type thingy about whether personal injury claims should be banned or whatever.

With insurers complaining of a distinct superfluity of talk and a notable lack of trousers on the War on Claims initiative promised by government, talk of further talk was clearly not what anyone wanted to hear.

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November 30, 2015

A sobering new survey from nationwide luxury car dealership LexusNexus lists various ways of massaging your motor insurance application to secure a more competitive quotation.

It also reveals exactly what percentages of people think each of the suggested strategies sounds like a good idea.

Shockingly, 35% of UK motor drivers agree that not mentioning some of the dodgier parts of one’s recent driving history is something they’d be happy to try for themselves.

Clearly the message is starting to get through, because, last time LexusNexus checked (in 2013), just 26% of motorists said they thought it was a good idea to omit inconvenient details.

With around 24 million motor policies sold in the UK each year, LexusNexus calculate that more than eight million motorists commit application fraud annually in this country.

This rampant tide of mendacity also extends to claims fraud, with 14% breezily opining that blaming self inflicted damage on fictitious hit and runners is basically fair enough, really.

Astoundingly, almost ten percent of people believe it is OK to “exagerate the severity of personal injuries” to fund holidays, curvy-screen tellies, or spiralling credit card debts.

Alarmingly, almost six out of ten people said they probably wouldn’t bother telling their insurers that their premiums need putting up when they’ve had an accident but not made a claim.

Commenting on these findings, Dr Alfred Necessiter of consultancy Statistical Objectivity Direct suggested that – alarming as these numbers may seem – the true situation may be even worse.

Necessiter told industry journal Insurance Week that “people have a natural reluctance to speak truthfully when self-incrimination may result: the so-called politicians’ reflex.”

The actual numbers lying when applying, Necesiter argues, are likely to be at least twice those reported in surveys such as that carried out by LexusNexus.

It’s encouraging, at least, that more and more people these days are happy to discuss their vile deceptions frankly and openly with people claiming to be carrying out anonymous surveys.


November 29, 2015

Driving cars is dangerous. Not as dangerous as something crazy like bull running, base jumping, or riding a motorcycle, but pretty darned dangerous all the same.

Before you next decide to climb behind the wheel of car (or in front of the wheel of a car if you happen to be looking forwards at the time) consider this: driving is more dangerous than cycling, pedestrianing, and even gardening, for goodness sake!

So what can you do to make this dangerous thing less dangerous? That’s a question fleet management solutions providers Venison have been asking themselves a lot lately.

And not just themselves. They’ve also been asking ordinary people just like you and me (or probably more like you, actually, on reflection).

The key to safer driving, according to ground-baking new research from the aforementioned Venison, is patience. That’s right patience (cited by 24% of respondents).

Now, patience is not the most fashionable of virtues. As self-help guru Muscles McMichael has more than once vlogged: “Patience is a virtue… for losers!”

But down the centuries a lot of people have been quick (but not too quick, mind) to big-up the Big P (as no-one has ever called it, nor is ever likely to).

For instance: leading early Unitedstatesian Ben Franklin insisted that “He that can have patience can have what he will.” Coincidentally, the Franklin in the Franklin’s Tale by our very own Geoff Chaucer attests that “Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn.”

And it’s not just people called Franklin who say so either. Greek bloke Aristotle, acknowledging that being patient is actually incredibly dull, nevertheless stresses that “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

But if you’re still not sold on patience – and, let’s face it, driving is about getting from A to B as quickly as you possibly can, how about these alternative strategies for not getting killed too quickly:

  • 20% of respondents in the Venison survey said allowing more time for journeys makes them safer (but that’s almost as bad as being patient really, isn’t it).
  • 15% suggested “driving slower in bad weather” (ditto).
  • 13% said “sticking to the speed limit” (equally unhelpful).

So, yeah, all pretty useless, really. Sorry to have wasted your time. Although, lurking near the bottom of the list, one or two respondents did suggest that paying attention might be a good idea when driving  (as indeed it is with a surprisingly high proportion of human activities, when you come to think about it).

Reassuringly, just 1% of survey respondents were so Guardian-readingly bleeding-heart liberal-ish as to venture the namby-pamby “giving cyclists more room when overtaking”.

Frankly (or Franklinly, if you prefer), if you’re being overtaken by cyclists, you’re probably not going to need a lecture on patience from anyone – least of all Bankstone News.


November 23, 2015

Much as we all love to see our friends do well (rolls eyes while vigorously miming repeated auto-gagging double-digit insertion), Bankstone’s old muckers at ARAG have been well and truly taking the p*ss lately.

Winning the odd award here and there is all well and good. No problem with that. In principle. But, notwithstanding numerous gentle hints dropped in previous editions of Bankstone News, Bristol based BTE/ATE bad boys ARAG will insist on greedily scooping up any and every award that’s going.

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November 20, 2015

Awaking with a start on Friday morning from the four-day stupor induced by last weekend’s festivities down the Badgers (and subsequently back at Gareth and Kayleigh’s with Deano and the Hove Edge lads), Bankstone News stretches, scratches, and staggers across the office to slump down again in front of our trusty Star-Boy E17 Multimedia PC.

Having chipped and chiselled away sufficient curry sauce to get the keys moving freely, we quickly and expertly log in to the world wide web and check in with ever-reliable online insurance news oracle Insurance Ache to see what we’ve been missing this week.

Imagine our consternation, Readers, to realise we’ve entirely missed the launch of this year’s long awaited Broker Apprentice web-TV spectacular. There it is: Episode 1, Meet the Teams, just waiting to be clicked and viewed.

Pausing only to scurry over to the office mini-bar and fish out a still surprisingly fresh prawn korma for brekky (nicely ‘set’ now and thus easier to eat with just a wooden chip-fork), we get stuck in straight away, to both prawns and Apprentice. Let’s see what sort of a shower they’ve rounded up this year to raise awareness of the manifold attractions of a career in professional insurance broking.

Cue dramatic thudding bass. Cue frenetically swooping and scraping string section. Cue carefully enunciated female voiceover declaring: “Six up-and-coming brokers. [Dramatic pause.] Six ambitious candidates.” Just a hint of saucy provocation on the word candidates.

How Bankstone News’ heart pounds! Our slackening jaw still rising and falling abstractedly against a crunchy paste of grease-steeped spicy crustaceans, we’re right back under the spell of general insurance’s most compelling reality TV substitute.

So who have we got this time? First up, there’s beardy slicker Daniel Abbot, visually a young Dave Gahan of Pesh Mode fame crossed with Strictly’s Robbie Savage. Dan thinks he’s going to win because “I’ve got something about me that I think people would like to see,” and because he follows the emerging market.

Baby-faced Charlie Barrett freely admits to having no technical knowledge whatsoever (“that will come”), but reckons forging relationships is his main strength. By a mile. Intriguingly, he also appears to claim he can think with his feet. Whether this unique ability will give him an edge remains to be seen.

Plaintive-sounding Virginia Church hints obscurely that she is “part of different groups within the insurance industry already.”  She is clearly confident drinking coffee from a paper cup in profile, and thinks her strengths lie in “being ambitious and trying to think out of the box a bit more”.

21-year old Nick Magee has “grown up with a lot of things” and has a lot of things he can bring to the insurance industry, on to which, he says, he offers “a fresh pair of eyes.” (Hope these prawns are still alright.) All of which, Nicky suspects, should enable him to clinch this’ year BA crown.

“I’ve not been back into the insurance industry for a long time,” declares Emma Garrity as she breezes through a swinging glass door. It turns out she’s popped out to have a baby, but now she’s back. “I’ve got to the finals,” she declares with a hint of giddy disbelief, and… “Here I am!”.

Ché Chesterman lookalike Tristan Antrobus-Holder (not half as posh as the name suggests) cheekily confides that he has “a fairly innocent take on the insurance industry,” but then claims he can see things that other people cannot. Things like technology and stuff. Could this special power prove his trump card?

Also on board for this season is seasoned insurance veteran, and accomplished touch typist, Jonno Rork of L0V= Insurance (along with his faithful sidekicks L0V= Broking MD in Waiting Mike Crayne and L0V= Personal Limes Director Michael Lorrance).

Jonno says he’s looking for “real people”, so any undeclared fictional characters or robots or whatever should probably do themselves a favour and quit the process now before they get found out.

Congratulating the contenders for having already beaten off a “wide number of your peers to get to this level,” Jonno sets them the challenging first task of coming up with Team Names.

In Huddle Number 1, Beardy Daniel (teamed with Charlie and Ginny) likes Triumph or Indemnify. Stony silence ensues. Charlie proposes Evolve, which Ginny gives a cunning twist by transforming it into Ee… Volve! Deal done.

In Huddle 2, Emma suggests they look for something “insurance-y but not too insurance related”. Tris and Nicky nod appreciatively at the subtlety of this nuanced approach. “I really like the word Re-broke,” says Emma. “That’s cool” nods Tristan, hand on chin. Aspire says Nicky, before worrying that it sounds too much like Perspire. Inspire says Nicky. That’ll do nicely, they all agree.

So there we have it: the battle lines are drawn. Team Ee…Volve! will battle Team Perspire. Gloves will be removed, eager platitudes mouthed with heartfelt vehemence, and, for all Bankstone News knows, all hell will break loose in Episode 2 when the two teams go literally head to head on the mean streets of Wimbledon armed only with chocolate eclairs.

Can’t wait!

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 14.10.39

Click on image to view episode

November 20, 2015

These days you hear a lot of people saying: Politicians? Bunch of amateurs. Don’t know arses from elbows. Never done honest day’s work in lives. Run the country? Most of them could barely run a bath. Time to get army in. Dose of martial law’d sort all those misfits and malingerers out. That kind of thing.

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November 19, 2015

Justice Minister Caroline Drainage raised hopes this week that tough new curbs on people claiming to have so-called whiplash may soon be introduced.

The Insurance Fraud Task Force set up by Justice Secretary Chris Greything almost a year ago is finally due to report back sometime between now and the UK’s traditional semi-christianised mid-winter festivities.

So, what will insurers be getting for Christmas this year? Nobody quite knows until the wrapping comes off, but increasing the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000 and cutting the current three-year time limit on making a claim for whiplash to just one year would be nice.

Then again, it might be some cruddy old chemistry set or a cricket bat or something useless like that. The uncertainty is agonising.

‘Might the Task Force report contain something on upping the small claims limit?’, interested parties eagerly inquire of Ms Drainage. It might, she confides with indulgent smiles and encouraging winks.

‘Might it also include a little something on time limits for claiming for supposed injuries with no demonstrable scientific basis whatsoever?’ Those in the know suggest she’s been dropping hints that it might indeed.

That would certainly please Lincoln MP Carlos McCartney (Con), a man who famously appreciates the humour of depicting lady politicians in their undergarments but is most definitely not into pornographic bondage pics. McCartney believes it is “still too easy to make a claim” and has publicly called for both the £5k limit and the 12-month time limit.

It might not, however, be good enough for quantum physicist, Balkan entrepreneur and Croydon South MP Chris Pilph (Con) who thinks one week is plenty long enough for people to work out whether or not they’re suffering from a a non-existent cervical affliction.

Not to be outdone, their fellow Con MP Dominic Mangabey believes a 24-hour claims limit would be most appropriate and that the small claims limit should be raised immediately to £10,000 to stop “just anybody” making claims “willy nilly”.

Loony left justice shadow Randy Slaughter (MP, Lab), clearly influenced by the self-serving wingeing of the Amalgamated Union of Claims Farmers and Ambulance Chasers, claims that increasing the small claims limit to £5k would remove claimant lawyers from the claims process (which for some reason he sees as a bad thing) while not making much of a difference really to the war on fraud.

Who’s going to be happy when the report comes in? Insurers, Conservative politicians, so-called claimant lawyers, unelectable opposition politicians, or the great unwashed claims-making rabble themselves?

No idea, Mate.


November 16, 2015

We were originally planning to fill this space with news of Bankstone’s latest charity fundraising exploits in support of Children in Need.

As you will probably be aware, however, something else happened on Friday night. Something that threw such fundraising jollity/frivolity into a chillingly unwelcome new perspective.

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November 13, 2015

So frequently are phonetically named minor-motor-repair-to-matey-banter providers Kwik Fit investigated by the BBC that they’ll probably have their own TV series soon, possibly called Spare Tyre Heroes or Vehicle Servicing Live or some such.

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