Car insurance loyalty ‘doesn’t pay’ as drivers lose up to £400 a year through price rises

Car insurance customers could be losing up to £400 a year in combined savings for home and motor insurance as prices continue to rise. Anna McEntee warned household finances were under heavier strain due to the coronavirus pandemic with many families not available to support any price rises.

“It is crucial that providers demonstrate transparency and try to educate and encourage their customers to take note of the fact that there may be more competitive deals available to them.

“While the FCA’s remedies should help improve the pricing problem, the simplest and most effective way to get the best deal is to shop around.”

In a radical new update, the FCA has proposed that when a customer comes to renew their car insurance they would pay no more than if they were new to their provider.

They say firms would be free to set their own prices for agreements but would not be able to slowly increase costs each year.

The RAC said six million policyholders were paying high or very high margins in 2018 and could have saved £1.2billion if they paid the average for their level of risk.

Freddy Macnamara, CEO of insurance experts Cuvva said the movie was a “positive step” to treat customers more fairly.

He added: “The onus is on Insurers to act fairly and communicate more clearly with customers at renewal time.

“The FCA’s measures to prevent insurers from taking advantage of consumers based on their level of awareness of insurance are most welcomed and a great win for UK drivers.

“Insurance is complicated by nature, which makes it that much more important for the sector to be transparent with customers.

“It’s only fair that people know exactly what they’re committing to. That way, they’ll be better positioned to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to renewing their premium.”



Why you'll regret buying an Apple Watch at this price

And if you’re looking for a good deal, the newly-launched Apple Watch SE (the second new model announced at the Apple event last week) could be a good option. In a nutshell, this is an Apple Watch Series 5 with the electrocardiogram (ECG) and always-on display technology stripped-out to lower the price.

While it still packs the same design, screen sizes, two-day (ish) battery life, workout and sleep tracking as the Apple Watch Series 6, it starts from a more reasonable £279. Apple still sells the Series 3, which first launched in 2017 and has a smaller display size than the other models in the line-up, starting from £199.



Car insurance victory: Yearly price rises could soon be banned as 'price walking' ends

Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive of the FCA said: “We are consulting on a radical package that would ensure firms cannot charge renewing customers more than new customers in future, and put an end to the very high prices paid by some long-standing customers.

‘The package would also ensure that firms focus on providing fair value to all their customers. We welcome feedback on the proposals.”

But the FCA has warned that firms “may change the way they price” agreements as a direct result of these changes.

There are fears that a ban on small increases could lead to an immediate rise in insurance prices across the board.



Does 24 Carat Gin measure up to its £1,200 price tag?

So when the package arrived, it felt like Christmas had come early as I carefully unwrapped the bottles, eager to try this exquisite limited-edition drink. Distilled in a secret location in the UK, it takes more than 120 hours of work to refine this drink to perfection. It has been skilfully handcrafted and suspended in a pure, neutral grain spirit for 18 hours, made with rich botanicals and blended with real 24 carat liquid gold. French lavender adds to the sweetness and compliments the type of honey used.

It’s best to drink it neat over ice, be careful though as you only need two or three drops, leaving more to go around.

My family and friends are eager to try it.

As a Dirty Martini, rum, wine and champagne type of girl, I like my spirits to remain untouched, no chaser or ice for me.

So I was surprised when it took me two hours, yes two whole hours, to drink my first glass of 24 Carat Gin over ice.

Every sip made me feel warm inside, and it had a pleasant lingering aftertaste.

At 60 percent proof, 24 Carat Gin is not for the faint-hearted.

It creates a complete sensory experience like no other.

Expect to be blown away by the smoothness and silkiness of the gin as it glides down your throat.

I felt like I was floating on a gold mine.

If drinking the gin neat scares you a little, then try it with ginger ale or lemon peel.

Just make sure the gin is ice cold.

But to get the true experience, stick it out.

The luxurious bottle and leather-bound case will certainly sit pretty in your home bar or drinks cabinet.

It’s definitely aimed at a particular group of people who wouldn’t think twice before spending this much money on alcohol.

However, a drink like this should be savoured for special occasions.

Cocktail recipes for 24 Carat Gold Gin

Golden Wonder

Ingredients

1½ oz 24 Carat Gin

½ oz Dry Vermouth

½ oz Sweet Vermouth

1½ oz Orange Juice

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with orange slice.

Golden Rogue

Ingredients

1½ oz 24 Carat Gin

½ oz Dubonnet Rouge

1 dash Bitters

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Sweet Gold Martini

Ingredients

2 oz 24 Carat Gin

½ oz Sweet Vermouth

1 cherry

Directions

Fill a mixing glass at least two-thirds full of ice. Add the Gin and vermouth and stir gently. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry or an olive.

Gold Lady

Ingredients

1½ oz 24 Carat Gin

Sixth of an oz oz Grenadine

1⁄3 oz fresh lime

½ egg white

Cocktail cherry

Directions

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint spring and cocktail cherry.



McDonalds Triple Cheeseburger price: How much is new item on the Saver Menu?

Announcing the new menu additions earlier this month, McDonald’s said: “To add a lighter bite to breakfast, the Jam Muffin will be available for 99p.

“The toasted muffin with jam has been on sale in Ireland for a number of years and will now be coming to the UK.

“Also returning to the menu tomorrow are promotional McFlurry flavours – in both regular and mini sizes, the Cadbury Dairy Milk and Cadbury Caramel – both firm favourites among McFlurry fans.

“Following a successful trial period earlier this year, the Triple Cheeseburger will now officially join the Saver Menu as a permanent addition from Wednesday 2 September.”



Xperia 5 II release: Sony's new phone brings Xperia 1 features at a cheaper price

Sony is back with a big new update to its Xperia 5 flagship and there’s plenty of new features that make it a worthy successor. As with all of Sony’s latest phones, the new Xperia 5 now gets the “mark 2” branding but there’s more to this device than just a change to its name.

The Xperia 5 II is packed with bonus features including a stunning 6.1-inch OLED screen which not only includes that unique cinema-style 21:9 design but also gets a silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

That should make everything you do on this screen feel more fluid and there’s another bonus from Sony.

To improve things even further the Japanese tech firm is taking mobile gaming up a notch with a clever 240Hz effect that reduces motion blur making action-packed titles look more impressive.

In fact, Sony is boasting that the Xperia 5 II is now 35% more responsive compared to the previous model which should help gamers feel more immersed in what they are playing on the screen.

As you’d probably expect from Sony, they have used some of their TV knowhow to make sure this OLED panel delivers impressive colour accuracy with a Creator mode, powered by CineAlta, making the image appear exactly how Hollywood wants it to look.

READ MORE: Xperia 1 II review: Easily the best Sony Xperia phone in years …if you ignore the price

This allows the Xperia 5 II to capture and playback up to 5x slow-motion when recorded at 24fps.

Under the hood is the latest and greatest Snapdragon 865 processor and this phone also gets access to 5G data speeds. As long as you have 5G in your area, this phone will be able to download files at over 300Mbps.

A 4,000mAh battery should last a day and, once it runs dry, you can quick charge it to 50 percent in 30 minutes.

If audio is what’s most important to you then there’s a standard 3.5mm headphone port to plug in your cans and the device is compatible with Dolby Atmos.

There’s also a fingerprint scanner on the side of the device and a new button just above the camera shutter will now summon the Google Assistant.

“Sony’s heritage has been rooted in technology and engineering, and our portfolio has expanded to include the field of entertainment from music, movies, games and much more,” said Mitsuya Kishida, President of Sony Mobile Communications. “With this unique background, Xperia smartphones are feature-packed with Sony’s advanced technologies in a compact body, with a profound passion to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

Sadly all of this new tech doesn’t come cheap with the Xperia 5 II costing £799.

If that price hasn’t put you off then it will be available in Black and Blue in the UK and Ireland from this Autumn.



Apple Watch SE brings some of the latest health and fitness features – at a reduced price

Apple revealed two new Apple Watch models during its latest product showcase last night, the Apple Watch Series 6 (a successor to the Apple Watch Series 5 with the ability to track blood oxygen levels for the first time) and the Apple Watch SE, which is an entirely-new smartwatch model designed to bring some of the best features from the top-tier model, which starts from £379, to a more affordable package. Starting from £269 in the UK, the Apple Watch SE has (almost) everything you’d want from its costlier cousin.

Apple Watch SE is powered by the same S5 processor which fuelled the Apple Watch Series 5 last year. Given that the S5 was designed to be efficient enough to power the always-on display on the Apple Watch Series 5 – something that you won’t find on the Apple Watch SE – there should be some serious battery life gains to be found here. Obviously, we’ll need to spend some time with the Watch SE to be sure, but this new affordable option is sure to be no slouch.

Elsewhere, the Watch SE has the same design introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 and found on the Series 5 and Series 6. That means you’ll get the slightly larger screen sizes compared with the Apple Watch Series 3 and earlier. This is achieved by curving the display into the corners of the design – the physical footprint of the smartwatch remains the same.

Compared with the more expensive Apple Watch Series 6, which was also announced during the same Apple Event last night, the only features you’ll be missing by picking the Apple Watch SE are the always-on display, continuous altimeter measurements, and blood oxygen monitor. With the Apple Watch SE, you’ll still benefit from automatic fall detection – which can call the emergency service if you don’t respond after a tumble, compass and always-on altimeter, built-in GPS to track hikes and runs without the need to keep your iPhone in your pocket, a waterproof chassis to track swims in the pool or the sea, sleep tracking, and other signature features.

Similarly to its namesake iPhone SE, the Apple Watch SE is designed to fend off aggressively priced competition from the likes of Fitbit, Samsung and Withings. Starting at £269, it’s not the most affordable option on the market right now. However, given that this is essentially an Apple Watch Series 5 (which started from £399 when it launched last year) with the always-on display stripped out, it’s a pretty phenomenal deal.

Apple Watch SE: UK price and release date

Apple Watch SE with built-in GPS starts from £269, while those hoping to make and receive calls on their Apple Watch SE away from their smartphone will need to cough-up a little extra for the Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular, which starts from £319. Both of these models are available to pre-order today, with the first smartwatches starting to drop through letterboxes and arrive on store shelves in the UK, United States, and 27 other countries and regions from Friday September 18, 2020.

If you want an Apple Watch for even less cash, Apple is still keeping around its Apple Watch Series 3 in the line-up. This older model (with a smaller screen size) was the only affordable option available on Apple Store shelves until now. Apple Watch Series 3 keeps the same £199 starting price.

“Apple Watch SE combines elements of the Series 6 design with the most essential features of Apple Watch, all at a more affordable price,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We’re excited to offer another great option to help customers stay connected, be more active, and keep an eye on their health.”

Like the Apple Watch Series 4 before it, it looks like Watch Series 5 won’t be hanging around following the launch of the Watch Series 6.



Stunning new Apple iPad Air has iPad Pro features without the premium price

Apple’s September launch event has just taken place via an online live stream and one of the biggest announcements of the night is an all-new iPad Air. This fully refreshed tablet had been rumoured for a while and it seems many of the leaked features have turned out to be true.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade to this hugely popular device is a totally refreshed design which makes it look far more like the premium iPad Pro.

That means users will get a tablet with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display that pushes closer to the edge of the device plus there’s no sign of the chunky chin or forehead which has graced the older model since it first launched.

Without those bezels, Apple has now placed the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on the top of the Air, as part of the power button, which should make unlocking the screen just as easy as before.

If it’s power you are after then that’s very well covered with the US firm tucking its all new and blisteringly quick A14 processor under the glass and aluminium shell.

That makes it 40 percent faster than before and there’s also a 30 percent boost to graphics performance.

Along with that added power there’s also an improved camera system and stereo speakers will make content sound as good as it looks.

Another added bonus is that you can now use the latest Apple Pencil to scribble on the screen.

That’s good for two reasons as this stylus is more precise and it can also be charged wirelessly by placing on the side of the tablet.

The new Magic Keyboard is also compatible which will transform this tablet into a mini laptop.

Apple is launching this device in a number of fruity colours including a gold, green and blue with prices starting form $599.

“Today we’re excited to introduce a completely redesigned and far more powerful iPad Air, debuting Apple’s most powerful chip ever made, the A14 Bionic,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With its gorgeous new all-screen design, larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, next-generation Touch ID, and a massive boost in performance with A14 Bionic, the new iPad Air brings customers powerful pro features at an even more affordable price. Along with major upgrades to the iPad Pro and eighth-generation iPad this year, and the powerful new features of iPadOS 14, this is our strongest iPad lineup ever, giving our customers even more ways to enrich their daily lives.”

Along with all-new iPad Air, there’s also an update to the entry-level iPad.

This device might look the same but it gets the A12 Bionic processor which makes it around 40 percent faster than the previous model.