Don’t miss next year’s triumphant return!

June 30, 2017

Feedback from Insurance Endurance 2017 was universally rapturous.

With the words “Again, again”, still ringing annoyingly in their ears, the organisers have already agreed to re-stage the whole extravaganza (only, if anything, even bigger and better) in 2018. Details of the selected date will be circulated via Bankstone News and other reputable organs of incontrovertible truth at the earliest possible opportunity.

If you were there, we would welcome any additional feedback or suggestions you might wish to share on how the best could be made even better. Should we, for example include a children’s petting zoo, offer badger-oil rubs, or maybe get a mariachi band along next year? Please let us know your thoughts (unless doing so could put us in an awkward position when your outrageous and licentious behaviour subsequently results in your arrest and trial).

In the meantime, we thought you would appreciate us leaving you with this cut out and collect image of Bankstone supremo Defcon Tesco taking time off his duties demonstrating the curvature of timespace at Ilkley’s leading science and technology exhibit “That’s Bl***dy Amazing, That” to pull on his helmet and put in a few desultory laps in the Team Bankstone kart.

June 30, 2017

So here it was at last. The long awaited day had come. Tuesday 27 June 2017, the day top insurance-themed karting event Insurance Endurance came to Grantham’s Private Finance Initiative International Kart Track, the single longest and bendiest kart track in the entire UK.

Expectations could not have been higher and the day could not have disappointed less (or do we mean more?) (basically, it was great). The whole event was a credit to everyone involved, not least sponsors Ignite Systems, Razor Blue, NCI and Wonder Media – and also, of course, the event’s media sponsors Bankstone, you may have heard of them, who also provided beer (but only after everyone had finished racing obviously!)

Thirteen teams representing some of the industry’s greatest and best competed in Sodi GT5 karts, whose 390cc engines took them to speeds of, ooh…, maybe 60mph, on the fast bits.

The common objective that both united and bitterly divided them was to put in as many laps as they could inside the six hours allotted race time. In practice, this turned out to be anything between 258 and 226. Which basically means that first place LAMP’s Champs (representing LAMP Insurance) passed the slowest team (who shall herein remain nameless) about once every twelve minutes.

In this picture you can see the top three teams celebrating wildly. They were in descending order: the aforementioned Lamps Champs, followed a mere 11 laps behind by Ignite Systems who just pipped the mysterious Kart 10 one lap behind in third. Popular musical group Take That came in fourth, just one lap behind Kart 10; but who cares about fourth, right?!

In this picture you can see Elliot Smart of Elite Insurance who recorded the fastest lap time 1:11:19 right near the end of the race – even though he has a beard!

If you’d like to see more pictures you can take a look at the Insurance Endurance twitter feed where there’s a whole bunch of them.

In a future edition of Bankstone News we’ll be posting links to loads more pics and exclusive video footage of the teams in action.

June 30, 2017

Kart racing is not all about fun, of course. That’s why doing a lot of it in one go is referred to as endurance, rather than indulgence or bingeing or anything like that. No, you see, Korporate Karting, Insurance Endurance style also has what we like to call a higher purpose. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is raising much needed funds for a highly deserving charity.

This year’s event saw no lesser sum that £400.35 raised for The Insurance Charities. And if that’s not something worth celebrating then whoever invented bunting, balloons, party-poppers and stuff like that was basically wasting their time.

The specific sources of all this charitable donation were essentially trifoliate: a raffle, the Ignite Stimulator Challenge (see separate story) and an extremely generous individual donation from Aquarium software. (Why you’d need software in an aquarium, Bankstone News has frankly not the least idea, but perhaps you can find out by visiting their website).

An almost equally big vote of thanks goes to Paul Ingram from Motorcycles for Hire Limited who donated a Shoei RYD crash helmet worth £350 for the raffle, and to who donated 12 months UK roadside assistance, recovery and home start breakdown membership.

Now, obviously, no-one in their right minds would ever suggest that £300 is anything other than a positively princely charity fundraising total, but if you’d like to inflate that total still further (or perhaps to out-do Aquarium’s cash splash sensation (and thereby get your name in light’s in a forthcoming edition of Bankstone News) you can do so by emailing Emma Bangar at The Insurance Charities or (if you’re shy) simply visiting their website here.

Not sure you really want to do that? Too mean or selfish? Then perhaps might want to reflect that countless studies have revealed that donating to charity makes you feel good and can even enhance your sexual potency. That’s surely not something to be sniffed at!

June 29, 2017

One of the highlight’s of top karting event Insurance Endurance 2017 was the F1 Challenge racing stimulator laid on by sponsors Ignite Systems. This gave individual competitors an opportunity to fill in some of the endless hours of waiting around (the ones not filled by wolfing bacon butties, coffee etc and hobnobbing with the great and the good of the insurance world) by attempting to record the fastest lap time on a highly realistic Formula One race stimulator.

As the image above confirms the person to achieve this feat was the oddly named Douche Mackinlay who achieved an impressive stimulation score of 47.576. Congratulations Douche! But what about you, Dear Reader? Could you do better? Or are you just kidding yourself as usual. Oh, I could do that if I wanted to? Is that what you’re doing? Well, come along next year and find out for yourself. It’s the most fun you can have in a stationary bucket seat (see below) and you’ll be helping raise funds for charity while you’re at it.

June 27, 2017

As Bankstone News went to press Insurance Endurance was just moving into the final half hour’s racing, with Lamps Champs in front and one of two karts entered by Ignite Software Systems in second.

Rain had just set in, as Bankstone’s Dickie Tyrespin phoned in this hot of the press update. Full details, pics and video footage will be available for your delectation in a special IE edition of Bankstone News later this week.

For now, please feel free to enjoy the accompanying image which shows one of the Ignite karts attempting to cut inside Team Bankstone’s, a manoeuvre which ended (fair play fans will be heartened to learn) in the offending vehicle spinning off the track.

Lots more of this to follow soon!

June 27, 2017

Have you been living and loving the Status Quo? Come on, Bankstone News is willing to bet you have! If so, you might want to read about some deeply unsettling comments made by AXA technical bloke Davey Williams.

We’re talking, of course, about the good old UK motor insurance market. It’s been fun, hasn’t it? Constantly competing for a share of a mass consumer market that’s sure to make a profit one of these days. Except it isn’t!

According to reports in top industry title Insurance Tights, “a new, robot-powered storm is forming on the horizon.” And if AXA Dave’s right, “the Status Quo we’ve lived and loved is all going to collapse around us.

Can this be right? Or was DW just having a bad day? Well, it kind of could be. For one thing, there’s those robots. Top consulting firms like Deeeeee-Loite, Excenture and even the Bank of England reckon robocars will soon be taking over, and taking with them all the conventional motor premium we’ve been coveting all this time.

AXA reckon the combination of Artificial Insemination (AI) and driverless vehicles could “wipe” a huge chunk of the UK motor insurance market out within a couple of decades. The Bank of England reckons 40% of current premiums could be gone by 2040.

Deeeeee-Loite broadly agree, citing the pernicious influence of factors including: technology doing away with many of the claims that provide the rationale for insurance purchase, fewer people wanting to own and drive their own exclusive vehicles in the way folks have traditionally done, and everything being done by robots as previously noted.

Whatever’s left of the motor insurance market will look very different to how it looks today and will involve: people sharing cars, people in driverless cars, people sharing driverless cars, and cars sharing driverless people. Possibly.

Luckily for AXA, Dave explains, le beemote français, is an aggressive incumbent with an enormous footprint and some specially adapted innovation and incubation arms. AXA has hired some chatbots to handle policy enquiries and created a special machine called Rrrrradar which advises its management liability clients on legal stuff, allowing it to reduce its exposure to puny illogical humans.

One of the big threats to traditional motor insurers is something called “embedded insurance”. This does not literally mean that insurance is in some kind of bed or anything. It means that you buy your car and its insurance as a package. But here again le colosse qui mange de l’ail may have an advantage, seeing as it’s the underwriter behind InsureMyTesla.

So, basically, AXA will probably be fine (reassuring news for its shareholders there!) but the rest of you are probably done for.

So, yes, it has been fun, but like the wise man says, all good things (and bad things for that matter) are of, shall we say, finite durability!


June 26, 2017

Fans of nice old ladies clad in fetching blEU royale reading words off specially-prepared goatskin may have been left feeling a bit short changed last week.

Not only was the famous Queen’s Peach address so brief it was over almost as soon as it had begun, but also everything remotely controversial from the Tory manifesto had been stripped out of it. Everything, that is, unless you count the abolition of personal injury claims.

The Poisons & Counts Bill (of which the crackdown on PI claims originally formed part) has gone, but a new thing called the Civil Liability Bill will now “ensure there is a fair, transparent and proportionate system of compensation in place for damages paid to genuinely injured personal injury claimants”. Note ‘genuine’, an important qualification given that most injured people are basically just scroungers trying it on.

Countless academic studies have repeatedly and definitively revealed that the UK has what is known technically as a compensation culture. A compensation culture can be said to exist in any country where the majority of people know longer know the meaning of the word ‘work’ and rely instead on ill-deserved handouts that allow them to purchase £200 trainers and flat screen (or even slightly bendy screen) TVs and generally laze around at the expense of the shrinking minority of people who actually contribute something to society and would never dream of making a motor insurance claim unless they were basically dead or something.

A government mouthpiece spake unto the media and did confirm that the measures contained within the Civ Liabs Bill will “tackle the rampant compensation culture and reduce the number and cost of whiplash claims by banning offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence and introducing a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with a duration of up to two years.”

Then, lo, the mouthpiece did again bring forth utterance, announcing that the bill’s provisions on personal injury will cut “the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims to put money back in the pockets of motorists”. Which might feel a bit weird if you’re not expecting it, but would obviously be a welcome kind of weird, if only from a financial point of view.

There will be mild disappointment for long-term fans of the war on whiplash, however, with the news that the £40 a year which decent honest claim-free motorists have long been promised has been rounded down to £35. Still, it’s better than nothing. Even if the figure is eventually further reduced to £30, or £20, or “that was only ever an aspiration”.

June 24, 2017

Never ever tell your insurance company anything. That’s the obvious takeaway from a shocking new report in proper newspaper the London Times, which claims that the simple act of phoning your insurer could cost you thousands of pounds.

You might imagine your insurance company’s a friendly bunch, whose chatty call-centrists will be only too happy to have a bit of a natter. You’d be wrong. While you wonder aloud about whether this or that might be covered by your insurance, they’ll be clicking the ‘double premium’ button on their screen and silently alerting all other insurers to watch out for you.

It’s all because of something, the Times explains, called the Clams and Under-wiring Exchange (CUE). According to the Association of Brush Insurers (ABI) this is “a computerised register of information from insurance proposal, claims and renewal forms, shared by insurers as part of their efforts to combat fraud.”

The rationale for CUE is that sharing records of all contacts with all motor, household and (coming soon) travel insurance policyholders helps insurers spot things like nondisclosure, multiple/duplicate claimage, and fraud generally. It’s also a handy underwriting tool, enabling insurers to spot customers who look like hard work and/or troublemakers.

Thus far CUE holds records of around 12 million household, 14 million motor, and 12 million personal injury claims. Plus a whole bunch of contacts that didn’t result in a claim. Once notified, these details remain available for CUE users to consult for six years. Some insurers now routinely reach for CUE to take a view on whether it might be a good idea to increase your premium (and, let’s face it, when is it NOT a good idea to increase someone’s premium).

Policyholders, notes Gio Compario man John Martyn, are “stuck in a no-win situation when it comes to reporting incidents.” This is because, he says, “On the one hand, insurers expect customers to report any incidents they have, but by doing so it’s possible their insurer may see them as a higher risk and hike their premium at renewal regardless of whether they’ve actually made a claim or not.”

If you don’t tell your insurer something they subsequently decide you should have told them, you could be in trouble. But if you do tell them (or anyone else on the subscriber base for CUE) they’re likely to conclude you’re the kind of person who needs to pay more for their insurance.

The Times reports one lady, initially quoted £430 for a home insurance policy, who was then told it would cost her £1,100. Wherefore? CUE had revealed that she’d told a previous insurer she’d had some damage to her roof patched up a few years before, but decided not to claim. Another lady saw her premium soar because she’d made a call to ask whether a faulty sink was covered by her insurance, been told it wasn’t, and paid £40 herself to get it fixed.

“What insurers do with [details held on the database], and how they underwrite a given risk depends on their individual underwriting rules and rating engines,” shrugged Aztec West, chief executive Men in Black (MIB) who manages CUE, when queried by the Times.

So is it safe to talk to your insurance company? Not really, no. Because, as far as insurers are concerned, thinking about making a claim is the next worst thing to making one. Remember, what insurers are looking for is people who will pay their premiums but never make a claim. If you don’t look like one of them, expect to pay a price.

June 19, 2017

Thefts of mopeds, scooters and divers other forms of motorised two-wheeled transportation are running at epidemic levels in London these days. The best efforts of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fence have as yet largely failed to stem the tide, prompting at least one angry civilian to take matters into his own hands.

Diners at popular biker hang-out North London’s Ace Cafe (nothing to do with the V&A, and clearly named before the word Ace connoted anything other than the name of a particular denomination of playing card) were shocked to see a flyer posted on their noticeboard by someone called Jack th’ Lad inviting fellow bikers to help him ‘sort out’ bike thieves.

The mysterious Jack, the owner or former owner, one suspects, of a Japanese maxi-scooter, perhaps an incongruous choice for a vigilante, is inviting bikers right across London – by means of posters such as that spotted at the Ace Cafe and via leaflets flyposted around the capital to ‘come Tmax hunting’ and, according to MCN, ‘catch these f*****s’.

What could that mysterious missing word be? Let’s see, begins with f, ends with s, seven letters… ferrets? fancies? fleeces? It’s quite beyond Bankstone news (perhaps readers could write in with suggestions). In any case it sounds like Jack is mad, at least in the American sense, and quite possibly in the traditional English mental-health related sense.

And speaking of English traditions, there is of course a long lineage folk heroes named Jack who’ve cut a lawless dash through this nation’s proud history: the trickster Jack o’ Kent who once outwitted the Devil himself, Jack in the Green, a kind of renegade Titchmarsh of yore, Jack the Giant Killer, at the nature of whose exploits you can probably hazard a guess, Spingheel Jack, the celebrated violent misogynist, and, of course, Jack Straw who championed the War on Referral Fees back in the day.

But if you’re thinking of sharpening the prongs of your pitchfork and firing up your pitch-soaked-rag-on-a stick torch, maybe don’t, because according to Superenforcer Mark Pain of the Met, you’d be better off leaving it to the boys in very dark blue and the might of Operation Fence because if you go after these Tmax filching ferrets yourself you could be putting yourself in danger and/or queering the pitch for the rozzers.

So, yeah, basically.

June 19, 2017

If you live in the West Yorkshire area and you were driving a car this morning you may have witnessed an alarming phenomenon.

Some locals claim to have glimpsed the speed-distored outline of a roughly spherical leather object on wheels moving at apparently supernatural speeds up hill and down dale (or possibly the other way round) on the roads between Ilkley and Brighouse.

If you were one of the worried motorists who called in to report sightings of this unusual spectacle earlier today, do not be alarmed: there is a perfectly rational explanation. The blurred outline of a ‘leather sphere on wheels’ travelling at ‘incredible speed’ was in fact nothing more worrisome than Bankstone managing director Dylan Tailsore riding to work (at speeds of up to 25mph) in support of Ride to Work Week, which began this morning.

Ride to What Whosit?‘, you may ask blankly (despite us telling you all about it in a previous edition of Bankstone News). Ride to Work Week (it was right there at the end of the previous paragraph, for goodness sake) is this thing where everybody is supposed to get on their bike and use it to commute – to show everyone else what a good idea it is.

According to R2W’s disinterested organisers the Motorcycle Industry Association, if just 10% of motorists swapped their car for a motorcycle or scooter there would be huge benefits for all road users including 20% more parking space and 40% less congestion (although the people doing the swapping might not be getting a particularly great deal financially, and their new bike would probably just get nicked – especially if they lived in London).

Still it’s a nice thought, and anything that gives Dylan an excuse to swathe himself in leather and dust off his trusty old helmet must be a good thing, if you ask Bankstone News. And why wouldn’t you!

If you’d like to know more about Ride to Work Week simply click here.

If not, simply don’t.

Do we really need to spell everything out for you every time?!

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