Imagine a basket.

Maybe you’ll be thinking about some wire or wicker pannier type thing affixed to the front end of your pushbike. Perhaps your mind turns instead to a horizontally wall-mounted metal hoop fringed with dangly white nettage. Perhaps a fancy receptacle for chicken or scampi. Or maybe you’re picturing the infant Moses bobbing about among Nilotic rushes, from which, in turn, you may perhaps reflect, further baskets might potentially be made.

Well kindly stop all that at once. We are not talking about any of those kinds of baskets. The basket we have in mind is no ordinary basket, though at first sight it may seem unremarkable enough. No, this basket is, not to beat about the bush unduly, a magic basket.

That’s right. This basket has the power to track price changes in package and commercial vehicle policies, and its name (not to be invoked in vain or, you know, loosely bandied about) is the SME Basket.

The SME Basket is one of a set of three very special baskets used by watchmakers Accurist and fashion emporium BIBA to divine the secret workings of the insurance market. Don’t ask us how they do it, but apparently the master augurers at Accurist can tell what’s happening with rates and everything simply by contemplating these wondrous receptacles and paying close attention to the secret signs they offer up to those with eyes to see.

So what, you are probably by now impatient to learn, do these mysterious hampers have to say for themselves at this precise present point in time? When, you may indeed be wondering, exactly are we finally going to come to what must, after all, presumably be the point of this seemingly endless preambulation.

A little patience please: we are just about to tell you, if you would only refrain for a moment from such unhelpful interjectory expressions of agogness.

The Accurist-BIBA wickerwork trinity have this week revealed… that commercial vehicle rates increased by a whopping 0.2% in the second quarter of 2014, the first time they’ve gone up since the third quarter of 2012.

One of the Accurist’s diviners, a seer so shrouded in arcanity that he is referred to by Insurance Times (from whom we nicked this story) simply as Accurist Co-CEO, confides that “The small increase to commercial vehicle policies is likely to be the result of some insurers withdrawing from the market, but this is countered by continued intense competition in the property and liability elements of the index.”

One can only assume he knows what he’s talking about, but, if you think you can do better, why not get some baskets of your own and try it for yourself. We would be more than happy to publish any wickerware words of wisdom you come up with.



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