Author Archives: Rod Jones

About Rod Jones

Rod has spent over 14 years in the financial services industry working for some of the UK’s biggest insurance providers. He is now using his expertise to simplify the market for consumers with clear, honest advice to help them make more informed decisions. With first-hand insight into both the insurance market and the role of price comparison sites to customers, insurers, brokers and shareholders, Rod is in the unique position of having a balanced viewpoint on the industry and the challenges it is facing.

Driverless cars to wipe out road etiquette, say motorists

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  • Three quarters (75%) of motorists say driverless cars will spell the end of courteous driving[1]
  • Flashing your lights (51%), letting cars out of side streets (32%) and being considerate to pedestrians (28%) among gestures that may disappear[2]
  • 7 in 10 drivers worry that humans and autonomous cars driving together could initially cause accidents or delays[4]
  • But drivers hope that some dangerous human habits will also be eradicated, such as tailgating (59%), cutting up other drivers (42%) and not indicating (41%)[3].

Good manners on the road may become a thing of the past when driverless cars are introduced, according to new research from uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service[1].

75% of drivers believe that the informal driving etiquette that forms an unwritten code on our roads could be misinterpreted by autonomous cars. Habits such as flashing your headlights to say thank you (51%), allowing fellow drivers out of side streets (32%), and being considerate to pedestrians (28%)[2] may all be misunderstood.

Furthermore, as driverless technology may initially take road rules more literally than humans do, 70% of Brits are concerned that humans and machines driving together could initially cause accidents and delays[4].

On the other hand, with human error accounting for 90% of road traffic accidents[5], Brits hope that driverless technology will drive some of the more dangerous human habits off the road. Tailgating is the biggest bugbear they hope will disappear (59%), followed by cutting up other drivers (42%) and not indicating before making a turn or changing lane (41%)[3]. Despite the technology eradicating dangerous driving habits, four in ten (41%)[6] people surveyed believe car insurance premiums will rise if the cars become a regular occurrence in the UK.

In light of these concerns, the government is currently completing a consultation which is looking at modernising the Highway Code and bringing it in line with modern technology and driving habits. The rule Brits think most needs updating is the requirement for drivers to always have both hands on the steering wheel (42%), as automatic parking technology becomes increasingly popular. Plus, with sat-nav technology now commonplace in cars, rules around distractions such as reading maps or playing loud music while driving (33%) are also in dire need of an update[7].

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com said: “The unwritten rules of the road are all part of the polite British driving experience but could be a huge blind spot for autonomous vehicles. Flashing your lights to let someone out of a junction may seem obvious, but these courteous gestures can vary from situation to situation and add the human touch to motoring.

“The Highway Code was created to promote safer driving, but over the years we have developed our own human driving code. It is clear that many drivers don’t expect driverless cars to understand our driving habits, which could, certainly to begin with, make it difficult for humans and robots to drive side by side.

“For British drivers to feel safe on the roads, they need to be confident about how a driverless car will react in any given situation. Clarifying the rules in the Highway Code is an important step towards this.”

Top five courteous habits driverless cars could misunderstand

  1. Flashing your headlights – meaning thank you, you’re welcome or go ahead (51%)
  2. Moving aside for emergency services (35%)
  3. Letting other drivers out of side streets in busy traffic (32%)
  4. Being considerate to pedestrians on the pavement (28%)
  5. Using the horn to alert a fellow driver to a situation up ahead (26%)

Top five annoying habits driverless cars could eradicate

  1. Tailgating (59%)
  2. Cutting up other drivers (42%)
  3. Not indicating before making a turn or changing lanes (41%)
  4. Speeding (38%)
  5. Queue jumping (20%)

— ends —

Notes to editors

All research referred to was conducted online by Censuswide between 17th August and 19th August 2016, among 2,074 UK drivers.

  1. When asked “To what extent do you agree with the following statement? “Driverless cars will be the death of common courtesy on Britain’s roads.”, 26.7% said ‘Strongly Agree’ and 48.6% said ‘Agree’. 26.7% + 48.6% = 75.3%
  2. When asked “Which of the following courteous driving habits do you believe are most likely to be misunderstood by driverless cars?”, 51% said ‘’Flashing your headlights’ – meaning thank you, you’re welcome or go ahead’, 32% said ‘Letting other drivers out of side streets in busy traffic, despite them not having right of way’ And 28% said ‘being considerate to pedestrians on the pavements’.
  3. When asked “Which of the following bad driving habits would you be happy to see driverless cars eradicate by adhering strictly to the Highway Code?”, 59% said ‘tailgating’, 42% said ‘Cutting up other drivers’ and 41% said ‘Not indicating before making a turn or changing lanes’.
  4. When asked “To what extent do you agree with the following statement? “Driverless cars could cause delays and accidents on our roads by taking the Highway Code too literally.”, 70% said ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’.
  5. http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2013/12/human-error-cause-vehicle-crashes
  6. Out of 5,519 responses to a uSwitch survey question asking “If driverless cars become a regular occurrence on the road, how do you think it will affect your insurance premiums?” 1597 (28.9%) responded ‘it would go up significantly’ and 717 (13%) said ‘it would go up a little bit’. 28.9% + 13% = 41.9%.
  7. When asked “Which of the following rules of the Highway Code do you believe need to be changed / updated to make way for driverless cars on public roads?”, 42% said ‘Rule 149 – You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. Do not rely on driver assistance systems such as cruise control or lane departure warnings. They are available to assist but you should not reduce your concentration levels’ and 33% said ‘Rule 148 – Avoid distractions when driving or riding such as loud music, reading maps, adjusting music, arguing with passengers or other road users, eating and drinking, smoking.’
  8. When asked “Which of the following statements about the Highway Code do you believe are true?”, 13% said ‘It is a list of outdated rules that is largely ignored.’

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on FCA decision to force insurers to publish details of previous year’s premium

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Commenting on the FCA’s new measures to require general insurance providers to publish details of last year’s premium on renewal notices, Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “This is great news for customers, as most are unlikely to remember what they paid last year – making it impossible to know if their renewal is a good deal.

“We applaud the likes of AXA who have lead the way by already providing this renewal information but we are disappointed that this rule change won’t come into effect until April 2017, as many insurers and brokers will wait until the last minute before implementing it.

“Giving people an accurate picture of how their finances are changing year on year will lead to better competition, as unhappy customers will take their business elsewhere if they feel they aren’t getting a good deal.

“Unfortunately, in the world of insurance, loyalty rarely pays. If your insurance policy is due for renewal between now and April 2017, don’t just accept your insurer’s offer. Have a look around and you may be surprised at how much you can save.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on first driverless car fatality

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Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Today’s tragic news will only add to the public’s apprehension over the safety of driverless cars. While trials across the UK are already underway, our recent research found that almost half of UK drivers would currently refuse to be a passenger in a driverless vehicle.

“With human error accounting for around 90% of road accidents, the potential safety benefits of driverless cars are significant. But, before the autonomous car revolution can get out of first gear, the industry will need to allay people’s safety concerns.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here. 

— ends —

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on new driverless car legislation announced at State Opening of Parliament

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Reacting to the announcement in the Queen’s Speech today that under new laws driverless cars can be insured under regular car insurance policies, Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com says: “Today’s announcement paves the way for driverless cars to become a reality across the country. With human error accounting for around 90% of road accidents, the potential safety benefits of driverless cars are significant.

“The task is now to prove that driverless cars will reduce the number of accidents on Britain’s roads. In theory, fewer accidents should drive down the cost of insurance premiums to the benefit of all drivers.

“However, while the Government’s enthusiasm for the emerging technology is clear, there are still questions to answer before the self-driving revolution gets out of first gear. Our research shows that almost half of motorists don’t trust driverless cars to make nuanced decisions, and the same amount would refuse to be a passenger in a driverless car.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

Hazard warning – 1 in 3 motorists think you drive on the left in France

uSwitch DrivingToEuros Infographic - cropped
  • 1 in 3 UK and Irish drivers (35%) are unaware that you drive on the right hand side of the road in France[1]
  • Less than 1 in 5 (17%) are aware they need a breathalyser in their car while driving in France and only 3 in 10 (30%) know they require headlamp beam converters to comply with French law[3]
  • A fifth (20%) of drivers don’t know 70 miles per hour is faster than 70 kilometres per hour [4]
  • Three quarters (78%) are unaware that the drink driving limit is higher in the UK and Ireland than it is in France[5]
  • uSwitch.com is calling for motorists to be on the ball before driving to the 2016 UEFA European Championship by reading up on French motoring laws and checking if they have the appropriate kit[2]

A staggering third (35%) of UK and Irish drivers mistakenly believe motorists drive on the left hand side of the road in France, according to new research from uSwitch.com, the price comparison site and switching service[1].

As thousands of football fans from England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland get ready to set off to France this summer for the 2016 UEFA European Championship, uSwitch is urging fans road-tripping to the finals to brush up on the laws of the road to avoid heavy fines and penalties[2].

Not having the correct kit in the car is a regular own goal. French law requires motorists to have a range of accessories such as headlamp beam converters, a warning triangle, spare bulbs, high-visibility jacket and an approved breathalyser[11] – and failure to carry these items can result in hefty on-the-spot penalties[12]. However, fewer than one in five (17%) realise they’d need a breathalyser and only three in ten (30%) know that they’d require headlamp beam converters[3].

Motorists are in danger of getting caught in the fast lane when converting speed from miles per hour (mph) to kilometres per hour (km/h), with a fifth (20%) of people surveyed not knowing that 70mph is faster than 70km/h[4].

Travelling fans will need to keep a clear head when it comes to the drink driving laws in France. While the limit in the UK and Ireland is 0.8 milligrams per millilitre (mg per ml) – about one pint – in France it is 0.5 mg per ml, the equivalent of a small beer. However, less than a quarter (22%) of motorists know that the drink driving limit is stricter in the rest of the EU than it is in the UK[5].

Of the people surveyed, over half (54%) say that driving overseas is ‘difficult’ or ‘stressful’[8] – but despite this, only a third (36%) make sure they check the different driving regulations before they travel[9]. Meanwhile, a third (34%) of drivers have no idea whether their car insurance covers them when driving abroad[10].

With four of the home nations battling it out at the Euros, competition is expected to be fierce. The Welsh came out as the nation with the most bullish driving habits, with nearly a third (29%) claiming driving abroad is easy, compared to just 17% of Northern Irish drivers[6]. The Northern Irish on the other hand are the least likely to be befuddled by foreign road laws, with only 13% saying that they are commonly confused by foreign signs, compared to over one in five (21%) English drivers[7].

Following today’s findings, uSwitch.com is calling on drivers to check with their insurer before they travel to make sure they are fully covered and to read up on the laws of the road before driving to France.

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, said: “With footie fans looking forward to making the short trip across the Channel this summer, it’s concerning that so many could be caught offside because of foreign road laws. It’s vital that anyone planning on driving to France understands the different rules before setting off to make sure cheers don’t turn to tears when faced with a heavy fine or worse.

“It pays to check that your car insurance policy includes European cover. Many policies default to third-party only protection on the continent unless you’ve stipulated otherwise, so talk to your insurer if necessary. Breakdown cover is also worth checking – the last thing you want is for your trip to stall on the way to the game.”

 

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

Research carried out by Censuswide between 26.04.16 and 29.04.16 amongst a sample of 2,250 UK and Irish drivers with valid insurance

  1. When asked ‘From the list below please tick the statements you believe to be true’ 65.4% selected ‘When driving your own car in France you must drive on the right hand side of the road’
  2. Rules and guidelines can be found here – uswitch.com/drivingtoeuros
  3. When asked ‘From the following items, which do you believe are compulsory to have in or on your own car when driving in France?’, 64% selected ‘Warning triangle’, 38.5% selected ‘Reflective/high-visibility jacket’, 30.2% selected Headlamp beam converters, 40.3% selected ‘Country sticker’, 17.2% selected ‘Breathalyser’.
  4. When asked ‘Which of the following is true:’ 79.7% selected ‘70 miles per hour is faster than 70 kilometres per hour’. The remaining 20.3% selected other options including ‘70 kilometres per hour is faster than 70 miles per hour’, ‘none of the above are true’ and ‘70 kilometres per hour is the same speed as 70 miles per hour’
  5. When asked ‘From the list below please tick the statements you believe to be true’, 77.7% selected ‘The drink driving limit is higher in the UK than the rest of the EU’
  6. When asked ‘How do you predominantly feel about driving abroad?’, 29.1% of Welsh respondents answered ‘It is easy’ and 17% of Northern Irish respondents answered ‘it is easy’
  7. When asked ‘What do you find to be the most difficult thing about driving abroad?’, 21.4% of English respondents selected ‘Understanding foreign road signs’ and 13.2% of northern Irish respondents selected ‘Understanding foreign road signs’
  8. When asked ‘How do you predominantly feel about driving abroad?’, 27.7% selected ‘It is difficult’ and 25.9% selected ‘Stressed’. 27.7%+25.9%=53.6%
  9. When asked ‘When driving abroad do you look up the local driving laws before taking to the road?’ 25% said they ‘Yes, I always read up on the specific laws and rules in detail’. 80% also said ‘I have never driven anywhere abroad’, which was taken out of the sample size.
  10. When asked ‘Does your insurance policy cover you when taking your car abroad?’ 33.6% said ‘I have no idea, I have never checked’
  11. Definition of NF approved breathalyser can be found here
  12. Guides including information on fines can be found at Drive-France, About France and the AA

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

Motorists u-turn on black box insurance due to rising premiums

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  • Rising car insurance premiums and hikes to Insurance Premium Tax drive over half of Brits (56%) to consider a black box policy[1]
  • Six in ten (60%) motorists who would consider a telematics policy would do so in a bid to lower their premiums[2]
  • uSwitch.com reports a 66% increase in sales of telematics policies[3]
  • Young people aged 18-21 save the most with a black box policy – over £1,300[4].

The rising cost of car insurance premiums is driving motorists to consider black box policies – where premiums are calculated based on actual driving behaviour rather than historic data, according to uSwitch.com, the price comparison site and switching service.

In 2015, car insurance premiums rose on average by an inflation-busting 20%, in part fuelled by the Government’s Insurance Premium Tax increase[5]. As a result of this hike, over half (56%) of drivers say they are now more likely to consider adopting a black box policy[1]. This appetite has translated into more people buying a policy – in the last year uSwitch.com has seen telematics policy sales increase by two thirds (66%)[3].

Young drivers stand to save the most from black box policies. Those aged 18-21 can save on average £1,347 with the technology[4], as figures show this age group is typically made up of new drivers at high risk of having an accident[6]. Yet Brits say they would only need to save £89 a year on their insurance premium to take the black box plunge[7].

Despite these savings, a fifth are yet to be convinced by the technology and would never consider taking out a black box policy[8]. Of these, nearly half (46%) say they wouldn’t consider a black box policy because it’s too much like “big brother”, and 13% don’t want to be monitored by their insurance company[9].

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “More motorists are getting up to speed with black box insurance in a drive to manage rising costs.

“Younger drivers in particular can now prove their worth on the roads, having been penalised by their boy racer peers for years. The little black box can make all the difference. As the technology bases premiums on actual driving habits, not generalised data, careful motorists can enjoy a substantial saving.

“For black boxes to appeal to all, the industry needs to convince motorists about how their personal data is used. Once drivers feel fully assured they aren’t trading their privacy for cost savings, black boxes will be well and truly here to stay.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

Research carried out online with the uSwitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel between 17.02.16 and 22.02.16 amongst a sample of 4,832 GB adults.

  1. When asked “In November, the government raised Insurance Premium Tax from 6% to 9% of the total premium. In addition to this, insurance premiums have risen 8% since last year. As a result of this, do you feel more or less likely to consider a black box insurance policy?”, 22.9% said ‘A lot more likely’ and 33% said ‘A little more likely’. 22.9 + 33 = 55.9%
  2. When those who had indicated they would consider a black box car insurance policy were asked why, 59.5% said I’d do anything to lower my premium
  3. Based on a comparison of the proportion of sales figures in January 2015 and January 2016
  4. Telematics was the cheapest choice for 18-21 year olds looking to buy car insurance through uSwitch, as even with zero No Claims Discount they could have saved on average £1347 in January 2016. Figures based on quotes for motorists applying on their own.
  5. AA British Insurance Premium Index – 2015 quarter 4. http://www.theaa.com/newsroom/bipi/car-home-insurance-news-2015-q4-bipi.pdf
  6. AA ‘Young Drivers at Risk’ report http://www.theaa.com/newsroom/news-2012/nigel-mansell-young-drivers-at-risk.html
  7. When asked ‘What is the minimum that you would need to save on your annual insurance premiumto consider having telematics?’, the mean was calculated at £89.10.
  8. When asked “Would you ever consider getting a black box car insurance policy in the future, either for the first time or renewing a current black box policy?”, 21% said ‘No’.
  9. When asked “You indicated you would not consider a black box car insurance policy. Which of the following reasons explain your choice?”, 46.2% said “I wouldn’t like being spied on, it’s too much like ‘big brother’” and 12.7% said “I don’t want my driving monitored by my insurance company”.

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

Collisions and crashes put the brakes on Brits’ appetite for driverless cars

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  • One year since the Government announced driverless car trials on UK roads, reports of collisions have made two thirds (66%) of Brits more concerned about the technology[1]
  • Almost half (49%) of Brits refuse to be a passenger in a driverless car[2]
  • 49% of Brits don’t trust autonomous cars to make nuanced decisions, a fifth (20%) are worried that cars will stop suddenly or drive too slowly and 45% are concerned the software could be hacked[3]
  • Two fifths of Brits (41%) expect their insurance premium to skyrocket, even if they do not own an autonomous vehicle themselves[4].

The Government wants the UK to become a world leader in driverless car technology. Yet reports of collisions involving self-driving cars have made two thirds (66%) of Brits more concerned about autonomous car technology[1] than before the trials began, according to new research by uSwitch.com, the price comparison site and switching service.

With almost half (49%) refusing to be a passenger in a driverless car[2], consumers have deep concerns over road safety if there is no one behind the wheel.  Almost half (49%) don’t trust driverless cars to make nuanced decisions in the event of a difficult driving scenario[3] and a fifth (20%) are worried they will stop suddenly or drive too slowly[3].

But consumers’ appetites for driverless cars haven’t just been curbed by safety worries. Despite assurances from manufacturers that the computer systems powering driverless cars are secure, 45% are worried the software could be vulnerable to data breaches and their personal data compromised – especially in light of high-profile hacks[3].

Fears of adding to the ever-increasing cost of car insurance also threaten to put the brakes on plans. Two fifths (41%) believe their insurance premiums could skyrocket if the technology is introduced on public roads, even if they do not own an autonomous vehicle themselves. Just 15% believe their premiums could drop, despite claims the technology could eliminate driving incidents caused by human error[4].

These concerns could all be a significant blow to the Government, which has been in talks with Google about making Britain one of the first countries in the world to launch driverless cars on its roads.

But not all Brits are worried about the impact of this new technology. In fact, almost half (44%) believe driverless cars will make the roads safer by removing the element of human error, 30% think they will make their lives easier, and a quarter 24% of consumers see autonomous vehicles as the solution to tedious traffic jams[5].

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “While the Government is motoring ahead with its driverless car plans, these could be put into reverse gear if consumers’ concerns aren’t addressed. Whether it’s confronting Google car collisions or clarifying confusion around liability in the event of a crash, cautious consumers have a number of worries.

“With human error accounting for around 90% of road accidents, the potential safety benefits of driverless cars are significant. But, if Britain is to become the world leader in driverless car technology, the Government, manufacturers and the insurance industry must address consumers’ concerns head on.”

— ends —

Notes to editors

Research carried out online with the uSwitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel over 09.12.15-10.12.15 amongst a sample of 3,497 GB adults.

  1. Since the trials have begun, there have been several collisions between other vehicles and driverless cars. How does make you feel about the technology? 40% answered ‘Much more concerned than before’ and 26% answered ‘Slightly more concerned than before’. 40 + 26 = 66%.
  2. When asked ‘Would you be happy to be a passenger in a driverless car?’, 49% said ‘No’.
  3. When asked ‘Do you trust driverless cars on public roads?’, 49% said ‘No’. Those who answered ’no’ were asked ‘Why don’t you trust driverless cars?’ 1579 said ‘The cars aren’t programmed to make nuanced human decisions when faced with difficult situations’, 1579 = 48% of the total sample (3264). 1465 said ‘There is a danger that the car’s software could be hacked’ 1465 = 45% of the total sample (3264), 644 said ‘At the moment they aren’t driving in the same way as humans’. 644 = 20% of the total sample (3264).
  4. When asked ‘Do you think that having driverless cars on the road could affect your insurance premium – even if you didn’t have one?’ 25% said ‘it would go up significantly’ and 16% said ‘It would go up a little bit’. 25 + 16 = 41%. 7% said ‘it would go down significantly’ and 8% said ‘it would go down a little bit’. 7 + 8 = 15%.
  5. When asked ‘How do you feel about autonomous vehicles?’, 44% said ‘Autonomous vehicles could make the roads safer by removing human error’, 30% ‘Autonomous vehicles could make my life much easier’ and 25% said ‘Autonomous vehicles are the solution to tedious congestion and traffic jams’.

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

Over £1.5 billion worth of presents hidden in cars this Christmas

shopping-money-credit-card-debt
  • Eight million Brits (16%) will hide presents for loved ones in their car this Christmas[1]
  • Almost six in ten of those doing so (58%) won’t take any extra precautions to protect the festive contents[2]
  • This leaves over £1.5 billion of presents potentially uninsured and at risk in vehicles[3]
  • Toys (49%), clothing (43%) and alcohol (29%) will be the most popular gifts concealed[4]
  • uSwitch calls on motorists to check the level of cover on their policies so their Christmases don’t turn sour.

Over £1.5 billion worth of presents will be left hidden but possibly unprotected in cars ahead of Christmas Day, according to new research from uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service[3].

Determined not to be outsmarted by loved ones, over eight million Brits (16%) plan to hide gifts in their car over the festive season[1]. However, this has potentially dire consequences as the majority of those doing so (58%) won’t take any extra precautions to protect the contents from theft[2] – including contacting their insurer to increase their level of cover.

For those using their vehicle as Santa’s grotto, checking with their insurer should be on their Christmas to-do list. Not all policies cover contents from theft, especially when it comes to high value items such as Christmas gifts. In fact, when gift buyers did check with their insurer, four in ten (39%) found their policy didn’t cover them for presents left in the car[5].

The research reveals that toys (49%), clothing (43%) and alcohol (29%) will be the most popular gifts to hide in cars[4]. And it’s not just inquisitive children that presents are being hidden from – two thirds of Brits (66%) conceal gifts from curious partners[6].

Nooks and crannies in the home are the other top hiding places, with the wardrobe (65%), under the bed (32%) and the loft (30%) the favourite places to secretly stash gifts[7]. Yet 64% of Brits have never checked their home insurance policy either to see if it provides extra cover for gifts over the Christmas period[5].

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Keeping presents hidden from the prying eyes of loved ones can be like a game of cat and mouse. But while hiding gifts in the car boot or the glove box might seem like the perfect plan, you could be leaving yourself open to a nasty surprise on Christmas morning in the event of a theft.

“It might not be top of your festive to-do list, but it’s important to contact your insurer and make sure your car insurance policy covers any additional contents. This means if the worst should happen and the Grinch comes to steal Christmas, you’ll have the right cover in place to make amends.”

Top 10 Christmas present hiding places:

  1. In the wardrobe (65%)
  2. Under the bed (32%)
  3. In the loft (30%)
  4. In the spare room (25%)
  5. Under the stairs (17%)
  6. In the car (16%)
  7. At a friends house (13%)
  8. In the garage (13%)
  9. At the office (12%)
  10. In the kitchen cupboards (8%)

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

Research carried out online with the uSwitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel in November 2015 amongst a sample of 3,079 GB adults.

  1. When asked ‘Thinking ahead to THIS Christmas, which of the following locations will you use to hide presents?’, 16% answered ‘Car’. 16% of 50,371,000 (ONS UK adult population) is 8,059,360.
  2. When asked ‘Will you take any extra precautions, including contacting your insurer, to protect presents in your car from theft?’, 58% said ‘No’.
  3. 8,059,360 (16%) plan to hide Christmas presents in the car this year. 58% of those will be taking no extra precautions to protect their gifts from theft. 58% of 8,059,360 = 4,674,429. When asked ‘Approximately how much do you think you’ll spend on Christmas this year?’, the average amount  to be spent on gifts was £358.71. £358.71 x 4,674,429 = £1,676,764,426.
  4. When asked ‘What types of presents will you hide in your car?’, 49% said ‘toys’, 43% said ‘clothing’ and 29% said ‘alcohol’.
  5. When asked ‘Have you ever checked your car or home insurance policy to check if it provides extra cover for gifts over the Christmas period?’, 7.7% answered ‘Yes, and it does’ and 5% answered ‘Yes, but it doesn’t’ with regards to car insurance – therefore of those who said yes, 39.3% said it didn’t cover them. 64% said ‘No I have not checked my home insurance policy’.
  6. When asked ‘Who will you be hiding the presents from?’, 66% said ‘Your partner’.
  7. When asked ‘Thinking ahead to THIS Christmas, which of the following locations will you use to hide presents?’, 65% said ‘wardrobe, 32% said ‘under the bed’ and 30% said ‘in the loft’.

 

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch welcomes FCA proposal to require insurance firms to publish details of last year’s premium

tech-tablet-mobile

Commenting on the FCA’s proposed measures to require general insurance providers to publish details of last year’s premium on renewal notices, Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “People are unlikely to remember what they paid for their insurance a year ago, so it’s very hard for them to know if they are getting a good deal or not. Not having all the information to hand is often a major factor holding back switching to better deals and therefore reducing competition.

“Everyone should be protected against unknown premium increases and could benefit from more transparency. Seeing the costs in black and white could help people assess their options and see whether they could be better off by shopping around.

“The reality is that there are rarely any prizes for loyalty. Customers who take the time to switch insurance provider at the end of their policy are usually quids in, but it’s a very different story for those who end up penalised for their inertia.

“In car insurance, we’ve seen companies including AXA lead the way on transparency by already providing this renewal information, but we want to see all providers follow suit. We welcome the FCA’s proposals which could ensure all drivers get more transparency around their renewal price.”

— ends —

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on Government’s move to crack down on fraudulent car insurance claims

car-money-finance-insurance-230x230

“For too long, innocent motorists have been paying the price for fraudulent whiplash claims. Yet the government’s proposed saving only covers half the cost that consumers bear for false whiplash claims – on average £90 per driver. To add insult to injury, motorists will have to wait until 2017 to see any savings at all.

“One way drivers can protect themselves is by taking out a black box car insurance policy. By installing a black box in the car, insurers can monitor driving data such as speed during an accident, exposing fraudulent whiplash claims by dishonest drivers.  With car insurance premiums set to rise  8% in 2016, drivers should look to explore all options to reduce their premiums.”

— ends —

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.