Courier Driver Insurance: What You Need to Know

There are many things that you need to set in place when you first start out working as a courier driver. However, one of the most important things on your list should be to ensure you have adequate insurance.

Finding suitable insurance is essential. Not only is insurance a legal requirement, but a policy that covers all your needs will also serve to provide you with peace of mind while you work. Here is what you need to know.

Courier Insurance is not Standard

Insurance is a legal requirement for every driver – in fact, even if you are not using your van a lot, it must still be insured. However, if you use your vehicle to carry out delivery work, you should be aware that you’ll need more than just standard vehicle insurance. As a courier driver, you will be considered a higher risk than other road users, because you will stop frequently, you have deadlines to meet, and you may also transport valuable goods that need to be covered under a policy. It therefore makes sense to spend adequate time researching the most suitable policy, even if that means spending a little more on it.

Different Types

There are different levels of policies that you can choose from. Everybody’s circumstances are unique, so it is important to find the most suitable policy for your personal situation when working as a courier driver. Various factors could influence your insurance, from the type of vehicle you drive to how far you travel and how many drop-offs you make.

One of the most important things to look for is goods in transit cover. This provides coverage for all the cargo you transport, some of which may be very valuable. If you have an accident or the goods are stolen, you are liable for the damage or loss, and this could cost you a lot of money. So to have complete peace of mind you’ll need to invest in decent goods in transit cover. (You should also find out what is not covered under a particular policy, as it may not include high-value goods like jewellery.)

Breakdown cover is another thing you should definitely consider including. This will provide you with protection should you experience problems on the road, as it can be very difficult if something goes wrong when you are working to a deadline.

Other things that may be covered in a policy include vandalism, overseas travel, public liability, employers’ liability, personal belongings and replacement van cover. You may also want to get a fleet policy if you have numerous vehicles. It’s important never to assume that any aspect is covered; always check the details carefully and understand exactly what you’re covered for as well as how much excess you will have to pay when you make a claim.

Look Around for a Suitable Policy

When you start your research for insurance, always search around and get quotes from various providers, as they’ll all provide slightly different policies at different prices. This is an important decision for any courier driver, so do spend some time over the process. And remember, don’t simply buy the cheapest you can find – you need to make sure it really does provide the cover you need.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 3,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading courier jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.

Filling Up With The Wrong Fuel – A Customer Experience

October 17th 2014 – Accidentally putting petrol in my VW Passat instead of Diesel

The following is my tale of woe about my wrong fuel experience. Please don’t make the same mistakes that I made and save yourself the hassle.

On the Friday morning in question, I was driving my 6 month old VW Passat to work in Worcester as usual. The car is a B7 model 2 litre turbo diesel, not as good to drive as my previous VW Passat which was the B5.5 2 litre petrol model but not a bad car either. I had only had the car for 3 days and I picked it up with about a third of a tank of fuel in it on the previous Tuesday. I was sitting in the crawling traffic going into the town centre when the low fuel warning light lit up with a ping. I could easily have made it to work and back home on the remaining fuel but as there was a fuel station on my route into work and I was early anyway, I thought I would stop off and fill up with diesel before the weekend as I had a lot of running around to do on Saturday with the kids.

I pulled up at the pump and I remember running through the day’s tasks in my head so I wasn’t really concentrating on putting in the fuel, I was just doing that on autopilot. I filled the tank right up and then went to the kiosk to pay. I got back into the car and started the engine. It sounded rough which worried me and as I drove to the exit the engine stalled altogether. It then dawned on me what I had just done. I’d filled up with the wrong fuel. I’d had my previous car for 10 years and had got so used to filling up with unleaded petrol that I had just done what I was used to doing. I’m sure I probably turned as pale as a ghost and I just had an almost overwhelming feeling of panic because I was sure that I had just ruined a £14,000 car. To make matters worse I was blocking the station exit and there was a line of motorists behind me waiting to leave the station. I had to sheepishly explain to the chap behind me what I had done and I asked him if he would help me push the car out off to one side. He refused and told me to get it moved. Nice. The young lady in the next car, however, did volunteer to help and together we managed to move the car with her steering and me pushing on my own.

Wrong Fuel Removal – The Wrong Approach

The forecourt staff were sympathetic but I could tell this was a hassle for them too, one of them handed me a card that someone had left on the desk from a firm of wrong fuel removal engineers. I didn’t realise that the industry even existed until I saw the card, I did think that I should call my breakdown assistance firm and ask their advice first and they explained that they could have someone out to me in an hour and a half and that if they could remove the fuel from the car then it would cost me £250. I didn’t fancy sitting around for that long and I thought the cost was a bit steep so I called the firm on the card I had been given and spoke to a bored sounding lady who said they could have someone with me in about 30 minutes as there was a van in the area and that the cost would be £150. Whilst I waited I used my smartphone to search for “wrong fuel Worcester” to see what came up on Google. I found quite a few other companies offering the wrong fuel removal service but I couldn’t find the company named on the card who I had just called. I decided to sit tight and see what happened anyway.

About 45 minutes later a scruffy, dented Ford Transit pulled up next to me and door opened and clattered into the driver’s door on my car, my mood wasn’t good as it was and I got out of the car to confront this individual who had gone around to the back of the van. Thankfully, there was no damage to my car as the van had a plastic protector on its door. The van driver then appeared and announced that he was here to do the fuel drain. He was dressed in a paint covered overall and had paint all over his face and head. Quite obviously, he had just been painting. I followed him to the back of the van where he had an array of large 5 gallon plastic containers, a length of rubber hose and some sort of electric pump contraption. The equipment looked like it had just been thrown in to the back of the van along with various bits of rubbish and paper towels and the smell of petrol coming from the back of the van made my eyes water. I began to feel the panic rising again and had visions of a huge explosion occurring with me in the middle of it. When the “engineer” started to attempt to feed rubber hose down into my new car’s fuel tank (with no care being taken of the car bodywork which was now filthy all around the fuel tank aperture) something told me that this just wasn’t right and was probably downright dangerous. My sense of duty towards my fellow motorists on the forecourt kicked in and I asked him to stop what he was doing. I explained that I thought what he was doing was putting everyone at risk and he became somewhat aggressive and began to demand payment for wasted time. I had no intention of giving this chap my credit card and so I locked the car and told him I was going to speak to the police which, unsurprisingly, changed his attitude. As I walked off towards the kiosk I looked behind me to see him hurriedly packing the hose and container back into his van which then sped off in a cloud of smoke.

The Wrong Fuel – The Right Approach

It was more than an hour since I had put the wrong fuel in my car by this time, so I called work to keep them updated and then looked at my smartphone search page again for another wrong fuel removal company. The company that came top for the search “wrong fuel Worcester” had a great website, tailored for mobile display and had images showing uniformed engineers with well-maintained vans and also, many positive customer comments. I called the number and explained my predicament to a kind and sympathetic operator who assured me that an engineer was close and would be with me very quickly. My previous experience had left me a little suspicious and so I questioned her about the company, their engineers and their vehicles and she explained clearly to me about the procedure and the professionalism with which their representatives conducted themselves. This was good enough for me and 20 minutes later a smart looking van with company livery pulled up next to me on the forecourt and a uniformed engineer with a big smile on his face, got out.

He was a real breath of fresh air after the last chap. He was kind and courteous and spent a couple of minutes talking me through the process of removing the wrong fuel from my vehicle, explaining what the sparklingly clean equipment in his van did and roughly how long this would take. He explained about the cost involved and made sure that I was comfortable with this before going ahead. As he put protective padding onto my car around the fuel tank aperture, which he cleaned up beforehand, the engineer explained about the SPA passport that he held and he also gave me his Environmental Agency paperwork which allowed him to handle and transport dangerous chemicals, legally. This information and the engineer’s general attitude and consideration put my mind at ease and filled me with confidence that, this time, I had done the right thing.

I also discussed my fears about the damage done to the vehicle engine when the wrong fuel is introduced to the system and he supplied me with the following information which put my mind at ease on that front. Firstly, it is very rare that damage occurs to the engine of fuel system of a diesel vehicle when petrol is added. Only in circumstances where common sense is not applied, is there a risk of long term damage. Petrol is a solvent and doesn’t have the lubricating qualities of diesel fuel, therefore, if any amount of petrol is introduced to the system and is allowed to remain in the system then there is potentially a risk that, where there is metal to metal contact of components within the fuel system and the normal lubrication is compromised, excessive wear of those components can occur leading to failure in extreme circumstances. Also, the seals within the system can be affected by the solvent properties of the petrol which may lead to damage. There is a myth that it is OK to top up with diesel fuel if you’ve only added a little petrol to the tank, and to continue driving. This will lead to fuel system damage as described previously resulting in potentially expensive repairs being required. The most sensible and cost effective action is to get the fuel system completely drained and flushed through with fresh diesel to remove all traces of unleaded petrol.

This is just what the engineer did to my VW Passat and within 25 minutes I was ready to go. I was very impressed with the second wrong fuel removal company that I called out, they were prompt, efficient and the customer service and general attitude were brilliant, unlike the first company. The engineer explained to me about the problem existing within the industry whereby various “cowboy” companies had been set up and were being run by inexperienced and unlicensed individuals who were taking advantage of motorist’s vulnerable positions when they had put in the wrong fuel. Many people were being intimidated into paying up front for a fuel drain that was then performed by dangerously ill equipped individuals with no regard to the customer’s safety or the safety of others in the locality. He told me of many cases where he had been called out to jobs that he had to rectify after the “cowboy” wrong fuel company had done an incomplete job and had still made off with the money. It seems that I had had a lucky escape.

Once the fuel drain and fuel system flush was completed, the engineer started my car and it ticked over as if nothing had happened. I paid him with a credit card and thanked him for his assistance, in just 45 minutes he had come out to me and carried out a professional service with which I was very happy.

The Conclusion To The Wrong Fuel Situation

It’s fair to say that I learned a few things on that day when I put in the wrong fuel. Hopefully, someone else in the same predicament may come across this article before taking action and avoid some of the potential pitfalls. In summary, this would be my advice:

Pay attention to which fuel nozzle you pick up on the forecourt (this one goes without saying!)
If you have put in the wrong fuel, let the forecourt staff know, so that they can help you move your vehicle, if necessary.
Once you have told the staff or if you have left the forecourt, do some quick smartphone internet research and choose a wrong fuel recovery company with good customer feedback and a good informative website that shows a well organised and professional outfit.
If you don’t trust the engineer that arrives or you feel there is anything amiss with his/her conduct, don’t be afraid to speak up and, if necessary, turn them away from the job. Your safety is paramount and your vehicle was probably expensive. Don’t take a risk either way.
Don’t pay up front. Make sure you’re happy with the cost and the work involved. A good engineer will be courteous and will check with you beforehand anyway.

Thinking Of Going On A Diet? How About A Papaya Diet?

Dieting can be very hard on the body when not done in the right manner. Not giving the body sufficient time to adjust through crash dieting does more harm than good. More often than not, people diet and lose all the excess weight only to find that the minute they return to their previous eating habits, all the weight is gained back. But all is not lost, thanks to the papaya diet. Who knew that something as simple as a papaya salad could help you out?

The papaya diet is considered to be a great option to option for all those people who are looking to shed a few pounds-especially those who are suffering from an inflamed abdomen. Though the fruit is sweet, the number of calories in papaya are minimal. When it comes to papaya, there is nothing to lose.

Steps

Step 1

Find a nice, fresh fruit. Make sure that the skin has no unwanted indentations. Drink a couple of litres of water in order to remove all the toxins from your body.

Step 2

You will need to begin your diet by going on a mono-fast for a couple of days. You will need to eat the fruit throughout the day, perhaps in the form of a papaya salad.

Step 3

Whenever you feel hungry, simply eat some more papaya. You may drink the papaya juice once in a while, but do not add sugar to it. This is to cleanse the toxins from your body, including the parasites. It helps in building stronger tissues, and also reduces inflammation. You may experience diarrhoea, but that is normal.

Step 4

After fasting, you can drink warm water with a little lemon in it. Follow this up with a papaya breakfast, maybe a papaya salad. Wait for approximately half an hour, after which you can slowly begin to consume soft food.

Step 5

Avoid processed sugar and flour during the time you keep dieting. You may drink papaya juice if you are looking for some variety. This is extremely important as papaya ensures that anything that has been accumulating in your intestines are removed. The fact that the calories in papaya are minimal helps a great deal along with the fact that the fruit is delicious.

Step 6

Steamed vegetables, fish, legumes, beans etc can be consumed for lunch. You can supplement it with a little papaya juice as well.

Step 7

There is a need to perform abdominal exercises while you are on a diet. Muscles need to be stimulated during this time. The fact that there are very few calories in papaya fruit helps. However, that alone will not do.

You can make a simple salad and juice yourself. If you haven’t consumed papaya prior to this and are wondering how to cut a papaya, then visit our site in order to learn about the same.

Don’t Invalidate Fire Insurance

Don’t invalidate your fire insurance policy.

I find this a very strange case but it just shows how important it is to read the small print as if you ignore the conditions of the policy your policy could be invalidated.

In this case it was a condition of the FIRE insurance that the SECURITY Alarm was maintained and monitored. Times had been tough for the insured and he let the maintenance of the security alarm lapse and as the ARC had not been paid for 6 months they stopped monitoring the site.

Vandals broke in and set fire to the factory. It was a furniture company and they incurred losses of over £750,000.

The case went to the High Court, the judge had nothing but sympathy for the Directors of the Company and he took ‘no pleasure’ in ruling that as it was a condition of the combined insurance policy that alarm was to be monitored by an external firm, the Insurers did not have to meet the claim.

There are often conditions attached to the insurance policies we take out which relate directly to the risk. We need to make sure our cars have valid MOTs in order not to invalidate the policy. We are required to notify the insurance company if we get a speeding fine but, to my mind oddly, you do not have to tell them if you decide to do the Speed Awareness Course rather than pay the fine.

I have just come across a case, now in front of the insurance Ombudsman, where an insurance company voided the policy and returned all the premiums because the policy holder had unwittingly exceed the value of the ‘valuables’ within their contents insurance. They had insured the contents of their house for £60,000 but there was a clause stating that the value of the valuables should not exceed 66% of this.

They had to rush their daughter to hospital, and while they were out the thieves struck taking goods and damaging the property to the value of £70,000. When assessing the claim the loss adjusters calculated that the value if the valuables in the house exceeded £40,000. Normally claims would be ‘averaged’ to reflect the under insurance, but the insurance company in this case argued that the under insurance voided the policy. As I said this case is in front of the ombudsman as I write.

Back to case in hand where a fire insurance claim was dismissed as a security alarm and monitoring were allowed to lapse. Clients of ours run a hotel and there is someone on reception all the time so if the fire alarm is activated there was always someone on duty to respond. We came round to the time when the annual contract with the ARC [monitoring station] needed to be renewed. The Hotel Manger wanted to cancel it as it was considered an unnecessary expense. I said I agreed but asked him to check with his insurers to make sure they had no objections. The Insurers confirmed; monitoring was a condition of the policy.

Often with in the insurance policy there is a clause that the fire alarm is maintained in accordance with British Standards. It would be interesting to know whether a similar claim has been dismissed as the Fire Alarm has not been adequately maintained.

10 Tips to a Better Forex Trading Strategy

Over the past decade,Forex trading has grown rapidly thanks to its expansion on the internet. What was once considered a side trading strategy by those who delved in stocks is now open to millions of people who can trade on a daily basis.

The low initial cost and promise of quick results have certainly lured people of many different backgrounds and experiences into this form of trading. However, as many find out it is not as simple as they may have heard or have been promised. This is because proper Forex trading strategy is not based in short term gain, but in long term results which may run counter to the expectations of those who believe they will make quick cash.

The following are ten solid tips into creating the proper Forex trading strategy that will help deliver the results:-

Forex Trading is a Long Term Wealth Building Tool:

For those who are new to this form of trading, this is not a “get rich quick” scheme. In fact, effective Forex trading strategy is based on risking a little bit of money each day and not trying to “win big” off of a few trades. The weighing of the risk and reward is very important to employing the best strategy that will result in getting good trades. In other words, do not risk more than you can afford to lose.

Trade from Logic, Not Emotion:

A “good feeling” or “gut instinct” is exactly that, an emotion-based response that actually has no bearing on whether a trade will turn out good or not. Those that excel at Forex trading strategy base it on research, current events and trends while leaving their emotions out of the equation. The good feeling is simply not enough to risk any money on a trade without the proper research and backing.

Use Limited Leverage:

The ability to trade on margins is one of the most attractive features in Forex trading strategy. In fact, many Forex trades are accomplished with a high degree of leverage which means that only a small amount of money is actually put up front. However, if the trade goes badly then you will owe more than what was initially placed up to your entire investment depending on the margins. This means that careful management of the margins is in order, so limit the amount of leverage used on your trades.

Carefully Consider All Decisions:

Despite all the planning, there are a lot of random events that may occur which will create results that you may not expect. However, this does not mean that you should make decisions too quickly or not consider all the possibilities. Too many traders will simply go by their gut feeling and not do the proper research in order to get the best results. For example, it is always a good strategy to have a “stop losses” order in place just in case the trade goes against expectations.

Understand the Market:

It pays to know how the market in general reacts on a day to day basis. While some might say that “history never repeats”, it is helpful to understand the conditions which created favorable trades on your behalf. Good Forex trading strategy includes a good understanding of the market itself and how it reacts to daily events.

Always Use Stop Losses:

Stop losses exist because one of the worst traits that many Forex traders develop is the belief system that things will turn around for a trade no matter how bad the losses. By putting in a stop losses order, a trade that goes horribly wrong will only cost a small amount of the investment because it was stopped at a pre-set amount.

Keep a Checklist:

It always seems to be the little things that matter when it comes to successful Forex trading. When creating a winning strategy, develop a checklist that you can mark off once each step is accomplished. In that manner, you can better follow your strategies for creating the best trade possible.

A proper checklist should include the following:

Time of Day
Technical Indicators Used in the Trade
Buy or Sell Signals that have been Noticed
Risk/Reward Value
Daily Stop Limit

Be Methodical and Disciplined:

Once you have developed a disciplined Forex trading strategy that works, stick to it. A well tested plan will pay off more often than not which means that you can increase your overall success rate. The secret behind creating a healthy income stream with Forex trading is consistency in the approach. This means that each trade needs to be well thought out through good analysis and research.

Keep a Diary:

In other words, learn from your mistakes. Successful Forex traders keep a diary of when, where and why they took each trade while writing down all the pertinent details. From that information, a trader can then discover their winning strategy and then pursue it on a daily basis. Keeping a detailed diary, especially in the first few weeks of trading is a very valuable strategy.

Forex Trading is Money Management:

The difference between long term success and failure is how the money is managed. By risking a set percentage each and every time, a trader will limit their losses when they occur and thus keep more of their money in the long run. By effectively managing your money from day to day, the trading will limit the losses and the winning results will start to add up over time.

The most successful Forex traders are those who base their strategy on winning more trades than losing and building up their investment over time. Keeping up your motivation and following a daily plan will help anyone execute the best Forex trading strategy possible. This means additional research and looking for signals which indicate the best circumstances to make a trade. Once a proper trading strategy has been developed, you can use it over and over again with success to build up your investment.