Tag Archives: Tesco

Bizarro Insurance Renewal Time

Due to surgery and general life taking over, getting another car has been put on hold sadly, I’m still shopping but taking my time, if the right deal comes, I’m ready. However as I mentioned on my blog previously, I was added on to my mums insurance policy when I was learning to drive. I documented this process here for extra practice on the week or two before my test, but now her insurance is up for renewal, I said I’d find a deal. What I have found is nothing short of bizarro.
MR57 EVE Number Plate

When my mother said she would add me after my car turned into a lemon, as a provisional driver it added around £40 to my mums insurance policy for 8-ish months of cover. When I passed my test I notified the insurance to reflect I had passed and it cost nothing extra for 7-ish months cover as a new driver. Seemed like a good deal from Aviva.

Aviva Renewal

Aviva have increased the policy renewal quote with me as a named driver by £120 over last years policy. This is technically in-line with the average reported 18% raise for this year. However unlike most insurance companies Aviva maintain their quotes for 60 days. I did quotes at various times on the run up to renewal, these are approx £80, £59, £30 cheaper. The price appears to slowly increase the closer you get to your renewal date, the quotes at 80 days are a good £170 cheaper than renewal, at circa-60 days around £100 cheaper, now with a few days all the quotes are significantly over the renewal quote which was generated at 28 days before renewal.

An interesting quirk is, in the 80 and 59 days quotes, it was cheaper for my mothers insurance if I was a named driver than if she was on the policy alone. This quirk was all but gone by 30 days before renewal and the complete opposite by 20 days before. The quote from 59 days before, with me added is approx £90 cheaper than her current renewal, and the quote is still valid.

Aviva Drive App 

When I started to do lessons, I found out about the Aviva Drive App, its essentially blackbox / telematics via your mobile phone. I completed the first time as a learner driver and actually past the 200 mile marker on my driving test with a score of 9.6/10.  My mum completed the 200 miles score and achieved 9.4/10, I also completed the 200 miles after I passed with a score of 9.3/10 which all 3 scores would offer a significant discount from Aviva, in this case its 28% for policies over £400.

Quirks of Insurance

There are now some strange quirks which have presented themselves while getting quotes off everyone. The most unusual is when it comes to Black Box insurance, which my mum shouldn’t be eligible for. Least most companies who offer box policies exclude her due to age and time driving. This is slowly changing and blackbox policies will be available for everyone.

I called Aviva about this and got them to add the scores to the database for the renewal. I had to email them the proof of the scores. This resulted in the premium dropping like a rock, but more on that later. 

o2 Drive Insurance

o2 Drive Insurance Madness

o2 Drive Insurance Madness

This is a stand out example, as an o2 customer I thought I’d try o2 Drive Insurance given the Tesco Clubcard Insurance Discount is quite good and o2 says they offer excellent deals to o2 Customers, which does indeed offer her a black box policy so the discount should be outstanding.

The o2 Drive Black Box policy is almost a MASSIVE £500 more expensive than a standard policy, as you can see in the image to the right. I tweeted to o2 to point out their inflated pricing and the madness that their Black Box offering is of the top of my head about 40% more expensive than their standard policy. 

Initially I was told different insurers offer different quotes, I queried if o2 Drive was a comparison service and not an actual provider, which I was told to contact Customer Service they are an insurer and both policies are with o2 Drive.

I’m always cautious when companies don’t want to discus things in public as it usually means the rug is about have something swept under it. As it happened their quotes both monthly and annually was no where near the other quotes I had received. I also have no interest in a blackbox policy, so I have not bothered to follow this up with o2. However one would hope they fix this anomaly. 

Aviva It Is

Aviva’s taking the Aviva Drive App score into account reduced the cost of the insurance renewal quote so half of their 7 day before renewal quote an a full 28% less than their 28 days renewal quote (on the letter).

The final price is actually less than the insurance for my mother alone in back in 2010, so its well worth doing the Aviva Drive App. Asda could learn a thing or two about roll backs.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Tesco Model Village via Air Rights Sale

Tesco Store in UK

Tesco Store in UK

What do you know, twice is quick succession I post about Tesco, first they complete their Sugar Tax Fix and now they are tackling the housing crisis by way of selling their “Air Rights”. The whole concept of air rights is a complex one, but basically you own the air above your property to build up. Pre-21st Century geo-dependant anyone who owned land had unlimited air rights to build straight up. There were some limitations about blocking adjacent property and other issues. In principle though, you own the rights to the air above your property. It does seem complicated in non-freehold leases but this post isn’t about air rights, so I’ve skimmed it. 

Tesco own around 5,000,000 sq meters of land in the UK, it maybe even more than this as the data I could find is years out of date so I have rounded it up. At one point (2014), the empty undeveloped land Tesco owned could hold 15,000 new build homes in 310 locations. Which is all well and good but much of this land is outside town centres in semi-industrial areas, who wants a house at ground level next to a motorway or industrial estate of highly commercial areas.

Beetham Tower Apartments – Hilton Hotel

Beetham Tower at Christmas

Beetham Tower at Christmas

I can only use Manchester as an example. We have the Beetham Tower, regardless of your opinion eyesore or marvel, its 47 floors, well 48 as the top floor is Duplex. The first 24 floors are a Hilton Hotel including the Cloud bar the 23rd Floor. Floors 24 up are various sizes of apartments and flats with residents such as footballer Mario Balotelli, all the way up to Floor 47 which were Ian Simpsoms immense Duplex Penthouse. Up the road in Piccadilly Gardens there are rows of shops at street level, and over the top Offices, Hotels and Different Shops. 

Its not a new idea to put accommodation over the top of retail locations, what is interesting, once you rise up, the geographic issues fade in to the background. I have stayed on floors 9, 15, 21 as a  hotel guest and spent a day in an apartment on floor 37 for a photoshoot. The higher up you go, the less you notice the city, and there is literally no external noise.

Pre-Fabricated Apartments

In recent times the whole process of putting flats or apartments on top of existing developments involves the actual flats being built off site and transported and crane lifted in to place. Almost like flat pack homes, which is why they generally go up like a missile in no time.

One of the advantages is that this type of building is dirt cheap, quick to build and its essentially free money for the actual ground owner selling their air rights. 

Tesco seems to want to earn both a position of saviour of the UK people and save its own skin. Assuming it keeps the prices of these properties low, Tesco may just have found its golden goose. 

I just hope Tesco maintains some control and actually produces cheap housing. 

Tesco image Courtesy of Tesco. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Tesco Reacts to Sugar Tax

Sugar Cubes by Maria Kaloudi

Sugar Cubes

A while ago I posted about the Sugar Tax and my belief its missing the spot. Its like aiming for the double bull eye and hitting the single. In a nutshell, the whole objective officially is to cut the amount of sugar and reduce the impact on childhood obesity. This only appears to apply to fizzy drinks and the likes not to milk based products, and milk based is subjective. Unofficially I think its all about raising more government funds but what do I know. 

Tesco is currently making a song and dance completing the initiative it started on 5 years ago in 2011. This initiative were to cut sugar in its extensive range of soft drinks to below 5g of sugar per 100ml. They announced last week that now their complete range of over 250 drinks have been reformulated to be, below the tax threshold. It should really be commended as it were the first to commit and has one of the biggest range, but that doesn’t make me like the sugar tax end of. 

I haven’t tried many of Tescos offerings, but I have tried Aldi’s Vive range, their Pepsi Max (Cola XC) equivalent is quite nice but seems to lose fizz quickly, their British Blackcurrant is amazing, I wouldn’t have known I were drinking a low sugar version. I have tried many of Morissons products including Iron Bru, Shandy, Cherryade and they are all quite nice and with ice are passable as normal full sugar versions. 

I will make an effort to sample some of Tescos’ goodies and report back.

Chemical S#!tstorm

The more I think about this, the more it bothers me about what is going to replace the sugar. Last time we made a huge change, Low Fat vs High Sugar its come back to kick us in the groin… HARD!. Using Aspartame already has a number of health claims, as do various other “sweeteners”. So what are they using to try and maintain the taste and what far into future reaching side effects will they create ? 

My money says none of them have simply lowered the sugar content without adding a heap of chemicals to keep it just as sweet.

I call this a “Chemical Shitstorm”. 

Study’s in Quality

There were a study, I don’t remember exactly what or when I read it. In this study they reduced the quality of a product very slowly over a number of months. So say it started 100%, after 6 months it were down to 50%. It were determined almost without exception none of the test subjects really noticed. The interesting thing were after the study concluded and the people were told about it, a large amount preferred the new lower quality item over the original high quality item. 

There were talk at the time about this is how the body adjusts to various diets and why some people can eat stuff which makes some sick but not others. Milk were bandied around too, since its estimated that nearly every person on the planet is lactose intolerant given a high enough dose. However the more you drink, the more tolerance you grow. Salt were another named, when various peoples salt levels were slowly increased and anothers decreased, over time people didn’t notice.

Surely this would have been a better strategy rather than the current method?

Suspect Numbers from WHO

The numbers from the World Health Organisation seem suspect to me. They say sugar reduction of 20% would reduce childhood obesity by a fifth. A fifth also happens to be 20%, so a 20% reduction produces a 20% reduction, so why not say 50% reduction would produce 50%.

The fact they chose to mix the words, 20% in one point and a fifth elsewhere irks me. The fact the numbers are the same is also questionable, I haven’t looked too deeply into this as its not a major point of my blog, but it does strike questions for me. 

 

Sugar Cube photo by Maria Kaloudi.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.