Archive for June, 2006
Police in Harrow have raided the homes of a seven-strong gang of insurance con merchants. It is believed that the gang were responsible for at least 60 “accidents” and claimed over £500,000 from the insurers and had spent the money on a luxury lifestyle, including BMW X5s and a Ferrari (more).
But this is no victimless crime, some solicitors have estimated that false claims add as much as £120 to the average annual premium.
One of the most common, and most distressing of the fraudster’s tactics is to buy an old banger and then brake suddenly on a roundabout or slip road, causing a target vehicle, usually a nice-looking family car, to go into the back of them. Their car will be crammed full of fraudsters who will “sustain” hard to disprove “injuries” such as whiplash. More of their mates will be nearby in order to “witness” the incident, and back up their dodgy version of events.
This is obviously extremely distressing for the innocent parties involved, not to mention costly. And as a number of criminal gangs are carrying out these scams up and down the country, you’ll need to keep your wits about you to avoid being caught by the crooks. Here are our top tips:
- When on slip roads or roundabouts, pay close attention to the car in front and cut your speed to maintain a safe stopping distance.
- Take extra care at ‘hotspots’ – the M62, M61 and junction 21 of the M6 are particular favourites of the bandits.
- Keep half an eye on the occupants of heavily loaded cars around you. Are they behaving oddly?
- If there is a crash and you are suspicious, discreetly take written notes of pertinent details. Record the incident while it is fresh in your mind. Take particular note of the occupants in the other car and keep descriptions of their appearance.
- Keep as calm as possible at all times – your insurer will deal with the matter. Make sure you take all the details of the other parties.
Meanwhile, time is running out for the racketeers, as a new computer system comes on stream next month. The Insurance Fraud Bureau will share intelligence on suspect claims and use the new technology to sift through millions of cases looking for suspicious patterns or links between claims.
Insurance is all about risk. The price you pay for your car insurance premium is determined, to a large degree, by a statistical calculation of the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident.
But the statistics are valid for a category of drivers as a whole – within that category will be a wide variation in the individual risk of a particular driver having a prang.
Now Cranfield University has developed a range of Psychometric tests (you might have done one of these at school with your careers adviser – mine said I should be an actuary!) based on 20 years of research into driver behaviour. These tests will provide drivers with an individual “risk profile” that tells you how likely you are to have an accident.
But more importantly they will give you advice on how to control any risky behaviours you have and reduce your chances of being involved in an RTA.
Some of the biggest risk factors that the team have identified, and test for include:
- Dislike of Driving – reluctant drivers make unconfident drivers.
- Poor hazard monitoring skills.
- Thrill Seeking.
- Proneness to fatiugue.
They have also analysed 5 strategies used for coping with the demands of driving and found out which ones work best.
You can take the test yourself (it costs £20) and find out how to reduce your risk of a collision by visiting www.drivermetrics.co.uk.
And who knows, in a few years time, perhaps your insurance company will ask you to take one before deciding your premium.
It was the 6th day of the 6th month in the 6th year of the new millennium, all the omens you needed to indicate how dire the standard of golf would be unless you were the son of Satan!
The day started with Kevin Playford arriving on horseback and firing his pistols in the air, this being the traditional entrance for all bandits. Mr Bucke was a last minute cancellation due to a mysterious back complaint that occurred whilst away with the “Flux Babes” at a motor show for the weekend. Word has it the injury was caused by bending down and peeking through too many keyholes! Dirty old bugger!
We all met up in the clubhouse to scoff some bacon sarnies and be introduced to our teammates. Moans, groans and the threat of cancelled agencies could be heard from the three victims who were in Carl’s group. They weren’t encouraged when they found out that Norris McQuirter, from the Guinness Book of Records, would be following Carl around the course with his calculator.
By 12 o’clock the teams had begun to tee off and the reassuring sound of ball on tree trunk could be heard reverberating around the course. There were divots flying through the air that could have re-turfed a small lawn and the language coming from Phil Harpham after his shots provoked two guests to ask me if he had touretts!
One by one the groups made their way around the course, Playford holding things up for a while after his horse had lost a shoe on the 4th fairway.
Refreshments were made available half way round courtesy of Helen and Heidi who looked like they were behind their very own W.I. stall serving cake and squash. All the talk at this point was about Heidi’s two greatest assets, which appear to be growing by the day, namely her personality and good heart. (Why were you thinking something else?!) The refreshment stop was a chance to check out some other teams’ scores so far, Paul Twite’s team had fewer points than Sunderland in December and Rob Balls had more points on his licence than his score card.
Eventually the carnage was over and everyone was back in the clubhouse (except Carl who was examining the medieval grave he had uncovered whilst taking one of his larger divots on the 10th!) exchanging tales of missed putts, wayward drives and the fact that Jason’s handicap is more to do with what’s in his boxers than his golf score.
On to the evening function and the awards presentation. The prize giving came and went, as I won “F.all!” for the 4th consecutive year I wasn’t taking a lot of notice of names but the guy who did the presentation was hilarious. There are some photo’s kicking about of the cheating bastards who left with all the glory and the trophies but in my opinion the less publicity they get the better.
At last it was over, empty wine bottles lay strewn around the restaurant like confetti at a wedding. It was time to go home, and as Kev Playford rode off into the sunset whistling the Mexican national anthem, it was unanimously decided that overall it had been a “Bloody good day!”
Last night we had the first official Flux quiz night since 1993, in the marquee
Managers v Staff teams. Staff won by a mile – thanks to one member of management!
As usual for any quiz, one question came up that caused a lot of debate – what was the first car to have a turbo fitted, make and model?
The quizmaster Paul had Porsche 911. Our resident guru Dan Clark was sure it was BMW 2002. Turns out that both were wrong. We checked later, and correct answer was the Oldsmobile Cutlass Jetfire, 1962.
I should have known that, as I’ve been quoting for yanks for 15 years now! I could have kicked myself.
The winning team was “Darwin’s Unnatural Selection”. Team members: Craig “spread betting” Darwin, David “tour de Norfolk” Wilson, Jemma “I’m in Max Power” Stanton, Jenny “I’ve had an accident” Bray and Nicola “France did not win the woman’s world cup” Bray.
There’s a really good history of the turbo here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo. It settled our argument straight away.
Most of our customers with turbos are enthusiasts who know how they work, but if you’ve got one and you always wondered what’s happening under the bonnet, try this link: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/turbo.htm
This iconic car is bristling with top-spec exterior mods, including custom body-kit, House of Kolor paint, full-on chroming, alloys, hydraulic suspension and much more. Inside you’ll find a home cinema kit, X-box, massive LCD screen, unique Alpine ICE and even shagpile carpets. (full spec)
And, of course, it comes with a year’s free insurance.*
To be in with a chance of winning this unique car, all you have to do is answer the following simple question:
A gang of thieves used Mini Coopers as their getaway cars in which famous film?
a. The Lord of the Rings
b. The Italian Job
c. Independence Day
Text the word MINI followed by a, b or c to:
* Free insurance included up to the value of £500. + All texts charged at £1.50 each, plus standard operator’s rate. Please read the competition rules for full terms and conditions.
Imagine if Ford had made an Escort RS Turbo that you could park sideways like a Smart. Well of course they didn’t, because the idea is totally mad.
See more pictures at the RS-Mania forum.
And if you’ve got an RS Turbo or Cosworth of any age, you can get a great value insurance quote at www.adrianflux.co.uk.
It will cost around £170,000 a pop when it goes on sale next year and looks as sexy as any Bond girl. And they’re only going to make 300 of them.
So you wouldn’t want to scratch it if you could help it, let alone flip it onto its roof.
But the stuntmen on the Casino Royale set have done exactly that – to three different cars. Full story and pictures from The Sun.
More about the car here.
If you are lucky enough to own something as exclusive as an Aston, chances are your insurance bill seems bigger than than the US trade deficit. Why not give our cherished vehicle department a call on 08000 83 88 33 or visit www.adrianflux.co.uk for a pleasant surprise – they can cover everything from a Porsche to a Bentley for a lot less than you might think.
A 10 year old boy and his 6 year old brother have been pulled over by traffic cops in Australia after twoccing their gran’s car and driving over 60 miles on their way to their granddad’s place.
But these kids were no boy racers:
“They appeared to be driving normally … certainly better than probably some other people on that road,” said Moree Police Sergeant Matt Clifford.
Full story from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Stealing vehicles whilst underage, and then driving them in an entirely sensible way seems to be an Australian thing, though…
The Adrian Flux Modified Nationals went off well, by all accounts and the web has been buzzing ever since, some of the sites talking about the weekend are listed here.
Photo albums are below.
We’ll be following this up next week with some entries from some of the Flux team who went to the show.
Some of our favourites:
And loads of folks have had their cameras out. Here’s some of our favourite online photo albums, in no particular order. Several include the Flux babes :
G-Nemie’s FTO (girls)
G-Nemie’s FTO (cars and show)
Essex Cruise Union
Dave @ maxxd’s Gallery
As always, content of external sites is beyond our control. Some of the content may be intended for mature audiences.