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June 12 2015

humorousoptimis29

Some Simple Tips On Ways To Make Your House More Eco Friendly

There are several reasons why creating environmentally friendly improvements in your dwelling is logical. You don't just help your surroundings, but eventually there will be savings in what it costs to live and generated power. There are numerous ways to make enhancements that can really modify things when you begin to contemplate ideas for your home to become more energy efficient and green. Your starting point could be an implementation of the eco-friendly tips in this article.

Whilst considering what improvements you might make to your home, please take a few minutes to consider some important safety factors. Make sure that your home has a sensible number of WORKING and REGULARLY TESTED smoke alarms fitted. If you are doing construction work within your home then why not take the opportunity to fit properly constructed fire doors on landings, kitchens etc. nullModern fire doors have many great designs including glazed and semi-glazed models but much more importantly they all give at least 30 minutes protection from fire and smoke, giving anybody inside the house sufficient time to escape to safety.

Usually the large appliances in your home use up the most power, so replacing them is essential if you want to make some big changes. The biggest electricity guzzling appliances are your dryer, washing machine and fridge. If any of these are older models, it's probably a good idea to think about replacing them, as newer ones will tend to be more energy efficient. If you decide to purchase a new fridge make sure you get one with no frills because all the extra features will use up more power. Combo units are a good idea to get if you're planning on buying a new washer and tumble dryer because they tend to use less power and they don't take up as much space. This will look better as well as reduce your energy costs.

Your roof is something to think about when remodeling your home. Energy efficient metal roofs are worth considering if you're planning on repairing your roof or getting a new one. This reflects the heat and prevents it from escaping, which can make a big difference in your heating bills. Another thing you could do is give your roof a lick of white or reflective paint. What this will do is make sure your home stays cool during the summer because the paint will reflect the sunlight. Your roof should be in tip top condition so make sure the insulation is done properly, otherwise you will be losing money.

Alternative energy sources such as wind power and solar heating are becoming more popular as people don't want to pay more money for traditional sources of energy. These natural, renewable energy sources can be more economical ways to make your home more energy efficient. You could draft in a professional to install solar panels, or you could purchase a DIY kit. Wind turbines can also be used to power your home, and there are many options, depending on where you live. If you're committed to helping the environment and going green then it would be wise to invest in solar panels or wind turbines.

Carrying out an eco-friendly makeover for your dwelling can be enjoyable and great for the electric bills. Your homes appraisal will be higher as well should you decide to put it on the market. There are a ton of methods to help your dwelling be more environmentally friendly but we have limited space to mention all of them, don't allow that to discourage you from studying more and concluding what is your best bet.
humorousoptimis29

Eco Friendly Home Improvement Tips

Looking after the environment may seem like it's something new, however it's mostly common sense. Saving energy and reducing the amount of power you use seems like the logical thing to do when you're trying to make your home nicer and more comfortable. Going green is worth it for everyone, especially since the price of electricity keeps going up, so we'll be looking at and sharing ways of making the most of being environmentally friendly.

Whilst considering what improvements you might make to your home, please take a few minutes to consider some important safety factors. Make sure that your home has a sensible number of WORKING and REGULARLY TESTED smoke alarms fitted. If you are doing construction work within your home then why not take the opportunity to fit properly constructed fire doors on landings, kitchens etc. Modern fire doors have many great designs including glazed and semi-glazed models but much more importantly they all give at least 30 minutes protection from fire and smoke, giving anybody inside the house sufficient time to escape to safety.

By putting a coat of paint on the inside or outside of your house, you are using one of the easiest tips to make a new fresh look, and you can do this in a way that is green. With the use of paint that is green, you know that polluting the environment is something you do not need to worry about. There are several types of these paints, including recycled latex, clay based and milk based. Simple to get in a lot of colors, recycled latex paints are found in most hardware or home improvement stores. nullDon't forget that making use of this kind of paint could be shielding your health and that of the planet, as you inhale the oxygen where you live and natural paints don't have the possible harmful poisons that other paints do. Trying to save water will help your home become more eco friendly, and also you can save on your water bill by being more water efficient. Installing a low flush toilet, for example, can save you gallons of water every day. Another way you can preserve water is by installing aerators onto your taps, and you can fit your shower with a low flow head. You should also take a look at your hot water heater. A model that's energy efficient will give you water only when you need it which is good for cutting down your bills. Finally, if you install a rain water collection system outside your home, you can use the water it collects to water your lawn, which is another great way to use less water.

Practicing an eco-friendly life in your landscape and grounds is a wonderful place to start. One thing you can do that is not difficult is to save energy by growing trees around your home to offer shade when it is hot and insulation when it is cold. A bed of cultivated edible plants and vegetables is a wonderful route to have healthy foods and helpful to you your grocery budget. As you are looking over what types of plants to have in your house and outside your house, the main ones that are eco-friendly are the ones that are native to your part of the country and it won't be so hard to keep healthy. Lastly, use natural choices when using bug spray to keep critters at bay from your garden plots.

To conclude, there are a number of ways of making your home greener and more efficient. You'll find it much easier to think up of creative green ideas as you start getting into this mindset. In addition to many of these ideas being good for the environment, they are also good for saving you money.

April 17 2015

humorousoptimis29

Home Alone the Real Expense Of Separation Stress and anxiety To Pet dogs

Toilet training your puppy should be fairly a simple process, as long as you take the time and problem to get into a good regimen. Your canine lives with a household, in a house.

This is where he misbehaves usually so this is where training is most efficient. Canines find out by association. Bark Busters teaches your pet dog to listen in the house environment. If he does not listen in the house, he will certainly not listen outdoors your area. Know exactly what to anticipate at 6-12 months. When a pet reaches 6-12 months, sexual maturation can cause males to raise their legs and pee on furniture, while females can begin heat. The bladder can handle seven to 8 hours prior to having to eliminate. Using a crate is excellent for young pet dogs. At some point in your pet dog's life, he will most likely need to get into a crate. The veterinarian, travel, and grooming gos to all require your pet dog to be confined. It is much better to get him made use of to one while he is young. However, note that if the crate is too big, the canine might still eliminate within. Ensure the crate is appropriately compact. A lot of individuals get industrial cleaners at the grocery store. Numerous of these products contain ammonia. Ammonia smells like pee to your dog. So if your dog urinates on the carpet and you clean with an ammonia item, your pet dog will come back to that area and think that an odd canine has actually marchesed on the carpeting. Your pet dog will certainly get rid of again on that same area to cover it. Let your puppy be complimentary in the house while dragging a brief leash with supervision. When you are sure he will ask to go out when he has to go, allow longer periods only. This approach ought to not take more than 2 weeks for him to obtain the photo. It has been suggested to have a little bell on a string hanging on the doorknob. Every hour approximately, take the young puppy to the door and holding its paw to sound the bell, state "potty" each time, then take the puppy out to the designated area to go potty. Within a short time, it should be sounding the bell to head out.

April 14 2015

humorousoptimis29

AXA Commercial Lines wins accolades from Celent

March 4, 2013

by Brian Turner

Story link: AXA Commercial Lines wins accolades from Celent

Celent, an international financial research and consulting firm, has named AXA as a Model Insurer 2013, one of 18 insurers from across the globe to receive the prestigious award. Celent bestows awards to those organisations that can best demonstrate the use year's best technology initiatives through the use of innovation, best practices and measurable business results.

AXA was also shortlisted for the Innovation through Technology award by the Institute of Risk Management at its annual Global Risk Awards. The international panel of judges recognised AXA for its best practice of risk management through use of technology.

The recognitions were given for the use of the Mapflow risk assessment software as part of the underwriting process. The software enables the underwriting team to use mapping to accurately assess flood, subsidence and terrorism risks for individual buildings, rather than simple postcode underwriting, the current industry standard approach.

David Williams, Director of Underwriting at AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary comments: "We're delighted to have received these accolades in recognition of our innovative approach to underwriting, not just in the UK, but on a global scale. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be an extremely brave (or maybe foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Click the link to get an answer to your questions that you might have on What Is Covered With Direct Line Tradesman Insurance?.The Model Insurer award is testament to the hard work and dedication of all members of the underwriting team, not only for integrating the technology into our processes, but for demonstrating the impact on our overall performance, signifying our position as market leaders in terms of our underwriting capabilities."

 

http://www.insurancedaily.co.uk/2013/03/04/axa-commercial-lines-wins-accolades-from-celent/
humorousoptimis29

Quindell hires new FD as search for CEO continues

Dan Ascher 14 April 2015

Insurance services firm Quindell has hired Mark Williams to take on the role of group finance director following the sale of its professional services division to Slater and Gordon.

Williams worked as part of the consultancy team that advised on the sale of the services arm, which generated a significant portion of the company's profits.

He replaces Laurence Moorse, who will step down after the deal completes, although Quindell said that the executive would remain on hand to ensure an...

If you are a non-subscriber but would like to be able to view this article, then please email Annie Lightholder on annie@insuranceinsider.com

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/quindell-hires-new-fd-as-search-for-ceo-continues
humorousoptimis29

Gender imbalance in tech sector must change for startups to thrive

Martha Lane Fox wants to put women at the heart of the technology sector. Photograph: David Levene

"It's not OK not to understand the internet anymore," said Martha Lane Fox during her recent Richard Dimbleby Lecture broadcast live on the BBC. During the speech, the tech champion attacked the UK's digital divide, the lack of understanding of the internet among UK politicians and the under-representation of women in technology companies. In her opinion, what is needed is a new institution - she suggests the name doteveryone.org - which could tackle these problems head on.

"Let's create a new institution and make Britain brilliant at the internet. We need a new national institution to lead an ambitious charge - to make us the most digital nation on the planet," she said.

Inappropriate remarks based on your gender are par for the course

Jess Stephens

Across the country, entrepreneurs took note of Lane Fox's words. She was one of the leading lights of the first wave of dotcoms, creating Lastminute.com, along with Brent Hoberman. She remains an inspirational figure for many business people, particularly women working in the tech space. Among these is Jess Butcher, co-founder of "augmented reality" app maker Blippar, who says: "Martha's comments around the lack of women in technology particularly resonate as, like her, I feel that technology suffers from a monumental diversity problem which negatively effects both the culture and the output of the sector."

Lane Fox says she wants to put women "at the heart of the technology sector". She says sexism is rife in the technology and investment industries - she experienced it firsthand when she was fundraising for Lastminute.com. One investor, apparently more interested in her personal life than the revolution she was spearheading, bluntly asked: "What happens if you get pregnant?"

For Jess Stephens, chief marketing officer at cloud messaging service SmartFocus, such attitudes are all too common. "I would go out on a limb and say that every woman who works in the tech industry has an anecdote similar to the story that Martha Lane Fox used at the start of her lecture. Our TV screens seem to be overwhelmed by solicitors imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. With this in mind, it would be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Click the link to get an answer to your questions that you might have on Does Direct Line Tradesman Insurance Cover My Staff?.Inappropriate remarks based on your gender are par for the course and represent obstacles that you must overcome as woman in the tech world," she says.

But if the gender imbalance in the tech industry is to be addressed by the creation of a new institution, what methods should it employ? Entrepreneur and investor Mark Pearson, who founded and sold MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, says he welcomed much of Lane Fox's speech, but he is concerned that doteveryone.org would employ positive discrimination, which he feels is counterproductive. "No single group should be at the 'heart' of it," he said. "I have twins - a boy and a girl - and I want each to grow up as ambitious and unafraid to succeed as the other. The UK won't be brilliant at the internet until we stop trying to implement quotas and genuinely celebrate and insist upon the best from the next generations."

The importance of addressing skills shortages was stressed throughout Lane Fox's speech and there is little doubt that the UK has a problem. A recent report suggested the UK needs an extra 150,000 workers with digital skills every year and demand only looks set to increase.

Business owners struggling to find staff could hardly agree more with Lane Fox on this point. Jack Bedell-Pearce, managing director of data centre company 4D-DC, says he regular faces the challenge of hiring good staff: "As an employer, we're still not seeing the relevant skills filtering through from schools and universities. We need kids with a basic knowledge of coding, networking and server infrastructure development.

"It sounds daunting but the earlier you get them thinking about IT not as a social media experience, but in terms of code, networks and connected servers, the sooner they will understand the potential of the internet."

But the creation of a body, which is presumably publicly funded, raises many questions. Lane Fox avoided laying out a clear blueprint for doteveryone.org, although she did suggest an organisation that was entrepreneurial at heart and far removed from the culture of a government quango.

We need to create a commercial environment which encourages entrepreneurs

Joe Mathewson

Laurie Wang, founder of women's tech entrepreneur group W Kollective, believes this is the right way to do it. "To maximise the institution's potential, I believe it should be innovative, adaptable and have an open architecture. Very similar to how a startup would be run, in fact, fostering the flow of creative ideas with the flexibility to adapt to the constantly evolving digital landscape," she says.

Lane Fox expressed considerable concern about the ability of politicians, whose "lack of knowledge breeds fear", and who are regularly haunted by the words "Government. IT. Failure". The failure of government to get things right with IT projects leads many in the business world to wonder if a public body is the right approach.

Joe Mathewson, founder of education tech firm Firefly, says the UK internet industry doesn't need more quangos or government institutions. "For Britain to be better on digital and for British companies to challenge the American heavyweights, we need a fundamentally non-governmental solution," he says. "We need to create a commercial environment which encourages entrepreneurs, from school age and above, that supports digital businesses and helps them grow."

The UK has a strong startup scene, but in global terms it lacks big hitters. Lane Fox said among the top 100 visited websites in the world, there's only one from the UK - the BBC - which comes in at number 74. So what, then, are the chances the UK can, in Lane Fox's words, "leapfrog every nation in the world and become the most digital, most connected, most skilled, most informed on the planet"? There are many big challenges to overcome, but most entrepreneurs believe a combination of education, greater inclusion and entrepreneurial spirit are the way forward.

However, some argue that it's not just a matter of inspiring schoolchildren and hoping things will trickle through. Richard Rolfe, co-founder of National Coding Week, worked as a teacher until his early 50s but subsequently taught himself to code and now works with adults to help them do the same.

Rolfe says: "It is a myth that the internet, digital skills and the world of tech belong to the youngsters. There are plenty of entrepreneurs and digital professionals who have adapted to the digital revolution, but there are many who think that digital skills are hard to learn.

"If her plan is to succeed, it needs to genuinely reach out to and embrace people of all ages, all members of society."

Sign up to become a member of the Guardian Small Business Network here for more advice, insight and best practice direct to your inbox.

http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/apr/13/gender-imbalance-tech-sector-martha-lane-fox
humorousoptimis29

FCA fines Clydesdale Bank a record £21m over PPI complaints

If Clydesdale Bank had not settled the case early it would have been fined £29.5m. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Clydesdale Bank almost £21m for poor treatment of what could be more than 100,000 customers seeking compensation over payment protection insurance (PPI).

The £20.7m fine is the biggest by the regulator for a company's mishandling of PPI complaints. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers pleading with us to claim for any little mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on What Is Covered With Direct Line Tradesman Insurance?.As well as using sloppy procedures, Clydesdale misled the Financial Ombudsman Service, which adjudicates on claims.

The FCA said between May 2012 and June 2013 a team at Clydesdale's PPI complaints operation altered computer printouts in a small number of cases to conceal relevant documents from the ombudsman.

The employees also deleted all PPI information from another printout listing products sold to a customer. Clydesdale's PPI leadership team and senior management did not know this had happened. Clydesdale is owned by National Australia Bank and operates under the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands.

The bank unfairly rejected up to 42,200 complaints decided between May 2011 and July 2013. Up to 50,900 upheld complaints may have received too little compensation. The cases make up the large majority of the 126,600 it handled in that time.

Georgina Philippou, the FCA's acting enforcement director, said: "The fact that Clydesdale misled the Financial Ombudsman Service by providing false information about the information it held is particularly serious and this is reflected in the size of the fine.

"We have been very clear about how firms should treat customers who may have been missold PPI. In ignoring documents it held which were relevant to its customers' complaints, Clydesdale failed to treat its customers fairly."

If Clydesdale had not agreed to settle the case early, qualifying for a 30% discount, the FCA would have fined it £29.5m.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/14/fca-fines-clydesdale-bank-record-ppi-complaints
humorousoptimis29

Open GI appoints Insurer Relations Manager

March 11, 2013

by Brian Turner

Story link: Open GI appoints Insurer Relations Manager

Open GI, has enhanced its Insurer Relations team with the promotion of Tavis Childs to Insurer Relations Manager.

In his new role, Tavis will be responsible for maintaining relationships with insurer customers, working closely to secure products and making them available on the Open GI system for use by brokers.

With over a decade of experience in the insurance industry, Tavis has extensive broking experience. Before joining Open GI, he worked with Bennetts, before moving to Academy Insurance Brokers.

Having worked at Open GI for nearly six years, Tavis has gained extensive product and market knowledge before moving into the Insurer Relations team as an Insurer Relations Executive.

Commenting on his appointment, Tavis Childs, Insurer Relations Manager said: "This role offers a very exciting challenge that will also provide me with increased responsibilities. I am now looking to further strengthen current relationships, as well as cultivate new ones between Open GI and insurers."

David Kelly, Distribution Director, Open GI, said: "We are delighted to have Tavis on board in his new role. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for any little mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions that you might have on Is Not Having Public Liability Insurance Illegal?.He has a wealth of experience in the insurance market that can help to drive Open GI forward, to further develop our relationships with insurers and progress product developments that underpin our strategy."

 

http://www.insurancedaily.co.uk/2013/03/11/open-gi-appoints-insurer-relations-manager/
humorousoptimis29

Lloyds pledges extra support for start-ups and exporters

Lloyds Banking Group has announced several new "pledges" to support UK prosperity, including creating 20,000 new digital champions, driving growth in the UK's start-ups, and helping companies to export their wares abroad.

On Friday, the bank announced that it would help 1,000 UK start-ups to become £1m-turnover businesses by 2018 as part of its SME Charter.

These young firms will be offered mentoring, networking and investment opportunities, Lloyds said, and the aim is to spread the support across a wide cross-section of industries.

Lloyds will also grow its net lending to small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) by least £1bn per year, according to the SME Charter, which also promises to increase trade finance for small exporters by 25pc.

It is not clear how well Lloyds fared on its historic pledges. Last year, it said that £50m would be funnelled into the UK small housebuilders to build 60,000 new homes. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for any little mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody is to blame and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be an extremely brave (or maybe foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Click the link to get an answer to any questions that you might have on public liability insurance price comparison.That target has now been reduced to £35m.

Its previous digital skills target has also been adjusted, as has the number of businesses it previously pledged to help trade internationally.

However, it has met targets to help one in five start-ups get off the ground, and supports bank accounts for one in four social enterprises.

Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osario said: "We believe no other bank is better placed to help Britain prosper. We are proud of what we have achieved so far but know there is a lot more hard work ahead."

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568875/s/45205cfe/sc/24/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cfinance0Cnewsbysector0Cepic0Clloy0C115171150CLloyds0Epledges0Eextra0Esupport0Efor0Estart0Eups0Eand0Eexporters0Bhtml/story01.htm
humorousoptimis29

Briefing: Lifting the lid on the battle to buy Chaucer's £200m motor book

1 April 2015 | By Ima Jackson-Obot

Briefing: Sources suggest that an announcement could be made very soon on the new owners of Chaucer's UK motor book

  Subscribers only  

This story is exclusive to paying subscribers, or you have reached your limit of 5 free articles per month.

If you are a subscriber



http://www.insurancetimes.co.uk/briefing-lifting-the-lid-on-the-battle-to-buy-chaucers-200m-motor-book/1413313.article

March 15 2015

humorousoptimis29


humorousoptimis29

Vamco aims to ringfence repair monies

March 5, 2013

by Brian Turner

Story link: Vamco aims to ringfence repair monies

Outsourced motor insurance claims specialist Vamco has pledged to keep every pound destined for its body-shop partners safe behind a legal ring-fence.

The Surrey-based organisation, which has never sought or taken 'referral fees' from its networks of repairers, guarantees that monies it receives from insurers for accident damage will go to the hard-pressed body-shops and parts suppliers.

Vamco's managing director, Tony Rand, says all incoming payments will go straight into a special account operated by his company's legal arm, Kingsley Law Ltd.

He revealed last month that Vamco was to be the first in the UK's outsourced claims management sector to operate an in-house law firm, after winning an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Now Rand admits that the furore surrounding the collapse of Drive Assist persuaded him that the time for even more radical reform was now.

"Everyone in the motor insurance industry knows that changes are needed, and that higher levels of transparency are essential, but I think most people are waiting for the Competition Commission to conclude its investigation," he said.

"To me though, any company wishing to distance itself from the cowboys and the sharp practices needs to do so now. We simply can't afford to wait until the autumn of 2014 to see what conclusions are drawn, and what recommendations are made.

"Drive Assist's collapse, especially the revelation that around 100 body-shops stand to lose £7 million they are owed, makes it clear that we must act now, to drive best practice into our industry, and equally, to drive bad practices out."

Rand, who has worked in the motor industry for almost 25 years, believes that reform should be led by people and companies who understand the sector, rather than external bodies.

"I am as eager as anyone to see the analysis and recommendations of the Competition Commission, but that is probably 18 months away. If we are to rebuild the motor insurance sector's image and reputation, we need action now," he said.

"I think it's vital that reform is not seen to be imposed from above. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) small business owner who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on Is Direct Line Tradesmen Insurance Right For My Business?.We've seen what's happened in the banking sector, when the pressure for change comes from outside, and as a result, the public trust - which has been lost - is not restored.

"We also need to restore trust inside the industry; between insurers, claims management companies, body-shops and even suppliers of parts, because it has been eroded by a relentless focus on margins, and not on customer service.

"We embraced the ABS concept, because we didn't think the traditional structure of using solicitors' panels worked well. Now we hope that our guarantee of ring-fenced monies will give body-shops and fleet managers the certainty they need to operate.

"It's a very challenging environment for us all, which makes it critical that the good people work together, and work harder, to drive up service standards, and to focus on making the industry's systems and processes both simpler and fairer for everyone."

 

http://www.insurancedaily.co.uk/2013/03/05/vamco-aims-to-ringfence-repair-monies/

March 14 2015

humorousoptimis29

Torus managing agency head Kirby leaves



Adam McNestrie 12 March 2015

Dominic Kirby, the managing director of Torus's Lloyd's managing agency, has left his role, The Insurance Insider can reveal.

Sources said that Demian Smith, CEO of Torus International, is likely to double up as managing director of Torus Underwriting Management.

It is further understood that Torus has begun a consultation exercise on a number of redundancies at its London-based operations, with around 10 staff told that their jobs were at risk in the last week.

Neil Attwood, active underwriter at...

You are currently viewing an incomplete version of this article. If you are a subscriber then please login now. Our TV screens are full of adverts from lawyers pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) small business owner who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on Public Liability Insurance - Who Needs It?.If you are a non-subscriber but would like to be able to view this article, then please select from the purchasing options below.

Purchase

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/torus-managing-agency-head-kirby-leaves
humorousoptimis29

Can Aqua-Spark fund the future of aquaculture?



New aquaculture technologies hope to limit the environmental impacts of fish farming Photograph: Stringer/Spain/Reuters

For better or worse - often for worse - aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal-based food industry. Half the seafood eaten in the US is farmed, and most of that is imported. Yet it's not unusual for fish farms to pollute local waters, damage coastal habitatand deplete the oceans of feeder fish. Or, as the Guardian reported last year, exploit slave labour.

Aqua-Spark, a global investment fund based in the Netherlands, aims to do better. The fund, which focuses exclusively on aquaculture, recently made its first two investments, putting $2m into a biotech company called Calysta, whose technology makes fish feed out of methane gas, and another $2m into Chicoa Fish Farm, a tilapia-farming startup in Mozambique that intends to build up aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa.


These small steps won't have much impact on the global aquaculture industry, which was valued at US $135bn in 2012 by IBIS World. But Aqua-Spark isn't alone. Brands and retailers, including Unilever and Walmart, as well as NGOs such as the World Wildlife Fund, are all working to limit the environmental impacts of fish farming.

"There aren't a lot of perfect models out there," says Amy Novogratz, who founded Aqua-Spark with her husband, Mike Velings. "If we make investment available to the 'best in class' companies, they will help set a bar for sustainability. And if we can help them succeed, others will follow."

Novogratz and Velings met in 2010 aboard a National Geographic ship in the Galapagos Island, part of a five-day mini TED conference called Mission Blue. She had been director of the TED prize for nearly a decade (and is also the younger sister of Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen, an nonprofit impact investing fund). He was already a lifelong entrepreneur. They were surrounded by scientists who argued that protecting the oceans meant changing the way we catch and grow fish.

In fact, Dr Sylvia Earle, the celebrated oceanographer who helped organize the cruise, asked that no fish be served on board. "Aquaculture was still a dirty word," Novogratz recalled. "But that was changing."

Afterwards, Novogratz and Velings began to investigate aquaculture and saw quickly that the industry was "lacking investment", he said. "You need a lot of knowledge and it's quite capital intensive. It gets really difficult really quickly."

Sensing an opportunity, Novogratz and Velings launched Aqua-Spark. They raised about 8.3m euro, with about 2.5m euro coming from the Doen Foundation, the investing arm the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers imploring us to claim for any little mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. With this in mind, it would be an extremely brave (or maybe foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Click the link to get an answer to any questions that you might have on What Is Public Liability Insurance.Most of the money has come from high-net-worth individuals. Their ambitious goal is to raise 250m to 300m euro over the next 10 years.

Aqua-Spark hopes to create an ecosystem of aquaculture firms that can work together as the industry grows. "These are long-term investments," Velings says. "That doesn't mean we don't do any exits, but we will do them only when it makes sense." The theory is that investors will get incomes from dividends as portfolio companies become profitable.

That will take patience. Neither of Aqua-Spark's first two companies is generating revenues yet, let alone profits.

Calysta, a Silicon Valley startup, has developed a technology that uses a naturally occurring microbe to convert methane gas into a substitute for fishmeal. That could solve perhaps the biggest challenge for industrial aquaculture: its reliance on fishmeal and fish oil to feed the farmed fish, a practice that depletes the ocean of forage fish like menhaden and sardines.

"We're taking living animals our of the ecosystem to feed other animals," says Alan Shaw, the chief executive of Calysta. "That's not a sustainable source of protein."

At first, Calysta expects to make its fishmeal substitute out of natural gas. That's not sustainable either, as Shaw readily acknowledges. But Calysta could just as easily use renewable energy from anaerobic digesters, which turn agricultural waste into biogas.

In any event, before going to market, Calysta will need to raise another $100m to $200m to finance a commercial-scale plant. It hopes to begin operating in 2017.

Chicoa Fish Farm is also a long-term play. Its founders, Damien LeGros and Gerry McCollum, operated an aquaculture business in Zimbabwe until several years ago. They're now building a vertically integrated aquaculture company in Mozambique, including a hatchery, a fish farm, distribution and retail.

"Africa's well suited for fish farming," McCollum says. Tilapia, which are native to Africa, can be grown year-round without antibiotics or pharmaceuticals, providing a steady supply. Local demand for fish is expected to grow robustly as more people enter the middle class.

Says Novogratz: "We will invest all over the globe, but we have a specific interest in Africa. There's a huge shortage of sustainable, accessible, healthy fish protein in sub-Saharan Africa."

When done right, aquaculture can deliver healthy protein with less environmental impact than raising beef or chicken. Aaron McNevin, director of aquaculture at the World Wildlife Fund, says fish farming has "the potential to feed billions, and protect dwindling ocean species, while using smarter and fewer resources".

The food hub is funded by The Irish Food Board. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled "brought to you by". Find out more here.

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/11/aqua-spark-sustainable-aquaculture-fish-farming
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March 04 2015

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UK court rules on credit hire rates



Jenny Messenger 3 March 2015

The UK Court of Appeal has dealt what could be a fatal blow to credit hire companies after ruling that insurers should only be required to pay the lowest rate for a credit-funded courtesy car.

The 26 February judgment could bring an end to a series of controversies over credit hire, an arrangement used by insurers to provide a credit-funded courtesy car to a policyholder after an accident.

The controversial practice is typically far more costly than hiring a car...

You are currently viewing an incomplete version of this article. If you are a subscriber then please login now. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or maybe foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer any questions on Is Direct Line Tradesmen Insurance Right For My Business?.If you are a non-subscriber but would like to be able to view this article, then please select from the purchasing options below.

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This article was published as part of issue March 2015/1

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/uk-court-rules-on-credit-hire-rates

March 01 2015

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Is therapy worth it? Seven personal stories about the price of mental health



Far from offering patients pennies for their thoughts, mental health therapists often end up billing them hundreds of dollars per month.

The cost is a growing burden as depression among US adolescents and adults rises. Our TV screens are full of adverts from lawyers pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) small business owner who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer any questions that you might have on What Is Public Liability Insurance.The US is suffering a mental health crisis, with a San Diego State University study in October finding that one in 10 Americans is depressed - and more report symptoms of depression.

More Americans are seeking help, and that help can come at a financial sacrifice of thousands of dollars a year. Aside from the cost of often-weekly visits to psychologists - which may or may not be defrayed by insurance - there can be additional costs for psychiatrists and any medicine they prescribe.

The cost of therapy is especially acute for young Americans, many of whom are underemployed and burdened with college debt. This year, a record number of college freshmen reported being depressed. And while many campuses provide free mental health care, affordable help is often harder to find after students leave school.

The Guardian interviewed seven young professionals about their experiences to find out how young Americans manage to pay for therapy - and if they think it's worth it. To protect their identities, we have kept their surnames anonymous.

Click on the titles below to read their stories:

- AK, 27

- Matt, 23

- JE, 29

- Eve, 33

- John, 27

-Jenn, 26

- Alex, 27

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/feb/17/price-mental-health-money-counseling-therapy-psychology

February 27 2015

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RSA shares down 6% over capital outlook



David Bull 26 February 2015

Shares in RSA closed down almost 6 percent today (26 February) at 424.24p as investors reacted negatively despite the UK insurer reporting a return to profitability.

The multi-line carrier unveiled pre-tax earnings of £275mn for 2014 that reversed its 2013 loss of £244mn.

But commentary from management on RSA's earnings call pointing to higher required capital levels appears to have fuelled the negative reaction from investors.

In a note, KBW analyst Greig Paterson said the insurer's management flagged greater-than-expected negative...

You are currently viewing an incomplete version of this article. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would be an extremely brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Click the link to get an answer to any questions on Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?.If you are a subscriber then please login now. If you are a non-subscriber but would like to be able to view this article, then please select from the purchasing options below.

Purchase

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/rsa-shares-down-6-over-capital-outlook

February 25 2015

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Small business in the spotlight ... creative design studio Askew Brook



Richard Askew (left) and Lee Brook (right), two of Askew Brook's co-founders. Photograph: Tony Bartholomew

You're based in Scarborough - is it a good place to run a business?

We quite like it. I don't think it has necessarily hindered us but we do have a London office that we get down to quite a lot. I moved to Scarborough to go to university about 10 years ago, and my co-founders [Lee Brook and Andy Gambles] both live here too. Because we're in Scarborough people assume it's cheaper to start a business, but that's not necessarily the case.

What made you want to start your own business?

We thought there might be a gap in the market for a web and graphic design company with experience of working on projects for larger companies and one that could do the complicated development, graphic and web design equally well. Being our own boss was part of it too - I didn't want to work on jobs I didn't like or work in an environment that I wasn't comfortable in, and the only real way of controlling that is having your own company.

I partnered with two other people who liked doing the stuff I didn't, which means that we all keep doing what we like to do.

It's more nerve-racking now because we have built something and we have something to lose. Before we had nothing to lose.

How did you get your first clients on board?

We started the business about 18 months ago and the first job we got was through a recommendation - we don't get anyone coming through the site really and going on to be a client.

The first client was a local wedding dress retailer, then we won work with the local theatre that's quite respected around here, so that put us on the map. From there we got a bigger local contract, and a few months later did a job with the National Theatre.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I can get an awful lot done in eight-hour days. We don't tend to work really long hours or weekends.

What was your breakthrough moment?

Winning a client like the National Theatre, which is used to dealing with high-end design agencies, was brilliant. From that project we have been nominated for a few business awards; it just shows you are going in the right direction.

What's the hardest thing about running your own business?

You might have cashflow for one month, three months, six months, but there's always that niggle in the back of your head - what if it stops?

In Scarborough there's an awful lot of web companies. But we set out not to compete locally - we compete more on a Yorkshire level. We won't get into a price war, and we don't take jobs on just for the money. A lot of companies will take on jobs they aren't comfortable with financially or skill wise to see them through the short-term, but we try not to take them - if you do it's very hard to ask for more money from clients and get the value you really want.

What's next for the business?

We have found ourselves on the edge of two kinds of markets - theatre and tourism. This year we have to decide if to concentrate on a certain sector or remain as an agency that deals with all industries.

What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

Don't go it alone. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be an extremely brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions that you might have on public liability insurance.A lot of businesses fail because they do it on their own, and it's quite a hard thing to do. Go into it with other people who like doing other stuff. With co-founders, you all get to keep doing what you love doing.

Richard Askew is the co-founder of Askew Brook

Sign up to become a member of the Guardian Small Business Network here for more advice, insight and best practice direct to your inbox.

http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/feb/21/small-business-spotlight-design-askew-brook
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