Beware of Crash for Cash Scammers

Regular readers will know I’ve previously written about the scandalous and spiralling hikes in motor insurance policies; and, as an experienced driver, like many Roscommon natives, I depend heavily upon my car. I have no choice but to cough up the annual premium. However I do shop around and I never back down until I feel I’ve received a fair deal. That said, not one single insurance company I’ve dealt with, all of which appear to be richer than Donald Trump and ten times as greasy, have yet to explain to me how it makes sense to treat me like a cash cow and increase my policy by €50 (they tried to squeeze more but I bargained…okay nagged, them down to just €50 extra) when my circumstances and my blemish-free driving record hasn’t changed and my car is a year older.

  And now, as we near the end of 2016, I find myself distressed by a recent report by S&P Global Ratings – an organisation that studies Ireland’s insurance industry who found it ‘expected to see a further rise of 10-15% before the middle of 2017’. I have to say I for one am sick and tired of being a casualty of those who just want to suck every single last euro out of me. I’m also bored of the industry’s unimaginative excuses (earlier this year it was a court ruling forcing the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) to ‘assume €90m in liabilities from the collapse of Setanta Insurance’). The latest pitiful cop-out is Brexit! I mean, shouldn’t insurance companies be utilising Brexit instead of blaming it… hasn’t anyone looked at the competitive edge we have as the only other essentially English-speaking country in the EU? Anyone? No? Come on people, get some motivation or at least get someone with a bit of marketing and development skills!

  However folks, I have to say that insurance fraud, as in callous rip-off scam merchants who stage ‘accidents’, is also a major factor when it comes to rising costs. In fact earlier this week, whilst travelling alone during the early hours heading towards Roscommon town, a wreck of a car, which was being driven by two men wearing hoodies, appeared out of nowhere and began tailgating me. It was very intimidating. I moved aside to allow them to pass… they didn’t and continued to tailgate; so close I couldn’t even see their registration number. I locked my doors and slowed down a bit; they overtook me and suddenly jammed on their brakes… but as I’d slowed down, leaving plenty of braking space, I was ready for their antics and didn’t plough into the back of them, as they’d possibly expected.  

  However, it was scary and it rattled me… and I’m not easily rattled; so I turned off into a housing estate. Now while I’ve absolutely no proof that these individuals were ruthless get rich quick scammers, my gut tells me otherwise, and if I’d managed to get any of their details I’d have gone straight to the Gardaí with my suspicions. Now this incident occurred on the same week the global head of Aviva, whilst on a visit to Ireland, condemned whiplash fraud in this country as a “national disgrace,” and I have to say that if what I experienced is anything to go by he is right and honest drivers in this county, whose innocent lives are being put at risk, need to lobby for immediate legislation to reduce the amount of payments being made to ‘crash for cash’ thugs.

  At the time of writing, it’s reported Junior Finance Minister Eoghan Murphy is set to outline details of a working group initiative relating to the documentation of false and exaggerated claims, setting up a ‘database of fraudulent personal injury claims,’ in the near future. However there was no information regarding what State body would be across this initiative. And while I feel this is at least a step in the right direction, given the level of computer hacking that occurs (and still with concerns relating to fraud on my mind), I’d worry that if certain information concerning innocent individuals was incorrectly documented, aspects of the register could be classed as defamatory if they were leaked. Ya can’t win!

Nobody likes a whinger, Vogue!

Poor Vogue Williams-McFadden, my heart goes out to her. She’s probably feeling overshadowed by former hubby Brian going public on his relationship with new girlfriend Danielle Parkinson. Why else would she document aspects of her recent holiday with another of her exes – now possibly (although unconfirmed), current boyfriend – artist Maser. Apparently he’s a ‘street artist’ – on social media posting, “Out for the day with @icelandtravel this place is so incredible… next up, SNOWMOBILING.”

  Now is this the very woman who complained in her Sunday World column that the interest in her break-up with McFadden was difficult, saying, “I literally wanted to hide away, but even that was hard with photographers following me trying to get the first photo.” In addition, on the Nicky Byrne Show, she revealed how frustrating it is to be asked about her love life, saying “It’s different, women and men, even in press interviews and stuff like that, it’s always about like, ‘so, who are you seeing?’ and ‘what are you wearing?”

  Oh boo hoo Vogue! But here’s a thought… step away from Twitter and stop posting half-naked selfies of yourself. On the other hand, you could just shake it off hon, I mean, didn’t yer mammy ever tell ya… nobody likes a whinger!

Fair play to ‘photo-ready’ Carol

I have to say I’m lovin’ the current series of ‘I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here’. Although mind you, most of the ahem, ‘celebrities’ are really little-known wannabes, so heavy with the whiff of desperation they’ve somehow managed to cash in on their mild notoriety; flaunting it like a feather boa whilst cruelly chewing down on such sickening fayre as biting the head off a live beetle. What an utter disgrace.

  However, on another note, doesn’t former ‘Countdown’ host Carol Vorderman, (pictured above),  look amazing! Okay, she’s had to have work done. I mean, the woman looks totally frozen, and, er, young, and I for one say good for her…I wish I could afford a prick or two…of a Botox needle that is!