Most Dangerous Jobs in the UK

Most of us don’t have to worry about risk when we go to work every morning. People who work in offices or shops would never say that they have a risky job, and if asked to list risky occupations you’d probably think of jobs like being a stuntman or a deep sea diver. However, the list of occupations where you are most likely to be injured or killed throws up some surprisingly normal jobs.

Farming and Fishing

By far the most dangerous job in the UK in terms of the chance of being injured is being a farmer or a deep sea fisherman. In 2011, 34 people died working on farms in the UK, in accidents involving being crushed by large animals, machinery like tractors or falls from heights. The Health And Safety Executive are trying to address the high number of agricultural injuries by improving training and safety standards on farms. If you choose to go to sea for a living, you are 50 times more likely to die at work than people in other occupations.


The risks involved with working in the building industry are fairly obvious. The job is a combination of working at heights on ladders, using heavy items and potentially dangerous machinery and tools. Over a quarter of all deaths at work take place on building sites, even though construction only employs 5% of UK workers. In addition, construction workers are far more likely to suffer from problems caused by exposure to substances like asbestos in the past.


Underground mining is not as large an employer as it was in times past, but it is still classed as a risky industry to work in. Accidents such as cave ins or underground explosions are often fatal, and exposure to dust can cause long term health problems too. Open cast mining is less risky, but there are still dangers associated with operating heavy machinery.

Oil Rigs

Working on board an oil rig is a well-paid occupation, partly due to the isolation and partly because of the risks involved. Safety on a rig is paramount, but there is no getting away from the fact that taking oil or gas out of the sea bed has potential for devastating fires and explosions. The weather is another factor which raises the risk, and the remote locations mean that it is not always possible to get workers off the rigs immediately when there is an emergency.

5 More Tips for Healthy Living in the UK

We all know the basics of what we should be doing to have a healthier lifestyle. The messages about stopping smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise are getting through, but there is always more that can be done to improve our lifestyles and keep us healthy.


There is a huge misunderstanding around how much alcohol is healthy to drink and the stark truth is that we are all still drinking too much. Everyone should aim to have two or three alcohol-free days per week, and on the other days drink no more than four units on any one day. Cutting down on alcohol lowers your calorie intake and also reduces your risk of conditions such as liver disease, certain types of cancer and lowers your blood pressure too.


The non-stop pace of modern living means that we are all coping with increasing stress levels and these can have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. The first step in tackling stress is identifying that you are suffering from it, and then making changes in your lifestyle which tackle the factors which are causing you stress and anxiety. A stressful lifestyle can cause recurrent headaches, problems with blood pressure and insomnia.


We have become increasingly aware of the risks of over exposure to the sun in recent years, but skin cancer rates are skill growing in the UK. Reduce your risk by always using a high factor sunscreen on yourself and your children and make an effort to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day. Sun beds should be avoided as the concentration of rays is more dangerous than exposure to the sun.


Although calorie counting is the best way to keep your weight under control, it is important to make sure you are having enough fibre in your diet to keep your digestive system healthy. The best way to do this is by eating high fibre breakfast cereals, wholemeal bread and plenty of fruit and vegetables.


If you receive a letter inviting you for a mammogram, cervical smear or any other testing, make sure you keep your appointment. Many conditions are easily treatable when caught early, so always attend check-ups and do not hesitate to contact your doctor should you be worried about any aspect of your general health and wellbeing.



The Most Insured People in the UK

Nearly everyone is insured in some way or another. Most of us have home insurance, car insurance, travel insurance and perhaps health insurance and employment insurance. For a select group of individuals who depend on their skills to earn huge sums or who can do things other people cannot do, have to insure themselves against injury and loss of earnings. Read on to find out who the most insured people in the UK are.

Wayne Rooney

Rooney is one of Britain’s best footballers, and a major asset to him employer, Manchester United. Wayne will have insurance against some sort of injury which ends his playing career, and the football club will also have a separate policy insuring against the loss of one of their major playing assets. Rooney’s wages are said to be around £13 million annually, and he will be insured for far more. Given that Rooney has a history of foot injuries, this will also boost his insurance premiums.

Ant and Dec

When you are strongly reliant on another person for your television work, it makes sense to insure yourself against the possibility of being left as a solo performer. TV presenters Ant and Dec have reportedly taken out insurance for over £2 million pounds on each other’s lives. Although the death or injury or one half of the duo would not necessarily mean the end of the career of the other, it would certainly curtail the opportunities.

Queen Elizabeth II

When you own as much property and priceless antiques as the Queen, you can expect your annual policies for buildings and contents insurance to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, as the 1992 fire at Windsor Castle showed, most royal palaces are not insured because the annual premiums would be so expensive. Whether the Queen has accidental damage cover on her personal possessions to protect against corgi damage is unknown.

Cheryl Cole

During her last solo tour, singer Cheryl Cole took out an insurance policy worth £2 million to cover her against accidents which may happen on stage during a performance or rehearsal. Dancing and singing isn’t by its nature dangerous, but breaking an ankle can put a swift end to a tour, and cost a lot of money in terms of lost revenue in ticket sales and merchandising opportunities. Now that Cheryl is back with Girls Aloud, the premiums will multiply by 5.

Why UK Small Businesses Should Consider Corporate Medical Insurance

When you are the owner of a small business, one of the many issues which you have to manage is the benefits and salary offered to employees. Although private medical insurance is something that in the past has only been offered by larger employers, there is a growing trend of smaller businesses taking out corporate medical insurance to cover their employees too, and there are a number of good reasons for this.


In a large company with several hundred employees, having someone off sick can be managed by moving other employees around to cover their responsibilities. This is not so easy in a smaller company with just a handful of employees. Being able to offer employees the chance to get their medical problem dealt with quickly and cut the waiting time on the NHS means less disruption to the business and allows both the employer and the employee to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Staff Retention

Losing a member of staff and then trying to recruit a replacement is an expensive business, both in terms of the financial cost of placing and advert or using a recruitment agency, and in terms of time required to sift through applications and conduct interviews. Companies which offer attractive benefits such as private medical cover generally find it easier to retain employees, and a loyal, stable workforce is what every employer aspires to.


A certain level of absence due to sickness is unavoidable, but when absence is due to something more long term or serious than the usual coughs and colds, medical insurance can get your employees on their feet more quickly. If an employee is on a lengthy waiting list to have an operation on the NHS, there could well be several weeks or months of absence while they wait for the procedure to be carried out. Having treatment carried out privately means far less of a wait, minimizing absence and the impact on the business.

Benefits of Insurance Cash Plans for UK Citizens

An increasing number of us are choosing private medical insurance, and there are two main types of policies available. The first type of policy will cover your treatment in a private hospital, meaning you get treated quicker than waiting for the NHS. The second type of policy is known as a cash plan and is a more affordable way of covering the costs of your medical treatment.


When taking out a cash plan the insurer will provide a list of things which are covered. Cash plans generally pay out when the patient needs dental treatment, new glasses or contact lenses, diagnostic tests or scans and even pay a set sum each day when the patient is admitted to hospital. Policies vary from company to company, so check details carefully before signing up. Many insurers also over different levels of cover, so take time to think about what cover you realistically need.


If you work as a contractor or are self-employed, being admitted to hospital or falling ill means you don’t earn. Having a cash plan which pays out for each night you are in hospital can help cover your costs such as rent, mortgage or bills and take away some of the stress of being ill. Appointments can also be worked around other obligations such as work or childcare, and the approach is altogether more flexible than the NHS, where it can be hard to rearrange appointments around holidays and work.


If you are covered by a medical insurance cash plan, you can often skip the NHS waiting lists for x-rays or other tests by using your pay out from the company to have the tests privately. The insurance company can take the stress away by arranging all of this for you, and can also arrange for you to see a consultant more quickly than on the NHS. All it takes is one phone call to your insurer and everything will be arranged at a time to suit you.


The NHS often does not fund complementary therapy such as hypnotherapy and reflexology, but people who have taken out an insurance cash plan have access to funding for these therapies as well as more conventional medical treatment such as chiropody or physiotherapy. This means that the patient can access a wide range of treatments to find the method which most effectively treats whatever condition they are suffering from.

Crazy UK Insurance Claims

Everyone’s aware of the need to be properly insured, and insurance comes into its own when you have a car crash, someone steals your mobile phone or your house goes on fire. Some people though take the whole insurance concept just one step too far and come out with the most outrageously crazy insurance claims.

The Cheating Boyfriend

Mobile phone insurance is designed to protect us against our expensive smartphone handsets getting stolen or broken. Most claims are settled without a problem, but one woman from Liverpool claimed for a new handset after her HTC Desire got broken when she threw it at her boyfriend in a rage after finding out he had cheated on her. She missed, hit the wall and the handset broke. Unsurprisingly, her insurer refused to pay out for a new phone.

The Vomiting Passenger

A cruise is a great way to have a relaxing holiday on the high seas, and is especially popular with the older generation. One elderly traveller didn’t have such a great experience though and on his return had to put in an insurance claim for a set of new dentures which he had accidentally spat overboard while being violently ill with sea sickness. Despite the unusual circumstances of the loss of his teeth, the insurance company paid out, enabling him to get a new set.

The Violent Peacock

If your car is your pride and joy, there is nothing worse than the thought of it being scratched or damaged by another road user. However, one slightly more unusual claim landed on the desk of loss adjusters at one insurer, when a policy holder claimed for a scratched bonnet after a peacock had landed on his car and was freaked out by the sight of its reflection. The insurer paid out for the deep gouges in the paintwork caused by the angry bird.

The Attractive Girls

One of the major benefits of travel insurance is that it will pay your costs if you fall ill or have an accident while on holiday. One UK holidaymaker put in a claim for hospital expenses after he had injured himself walking into a heavy glass bus shelter on the Greek islands. After investigation, it transpired that the holidaymaker had failed to see the bus shelter as he had been distracted by the sight of two attractive girls in bikinis. The insurer paid the claim, and the holidaymaker learned to take better care of where he was going.

Expensive Dental Procedures in the UK

The state of British teeth is a bit of a standing joke with our American cousins, but it’s an unfair accusation that Brits don’t look after their mouths. Basic dental treatment is covered on the NHS, but more complex or cosmetic treatment is charged for. Costs can soon mount up if you don’t know what to expect.


A crown is used when a tooth has decayed to the extent that it can no longer be filled effectively. The dentist makes a false tooth which sits on top of your existing tooth on a permanent basis. It is not removed every evening, and is indistinguishable from your own teeth. Many people opt for crowns for cosmetic and practical reasons, but they are not a budget choice. A basic crown can start at around £650 for one tooth.


Implants are the big new thing in the world of dentistry, and new technology never comes cheap. An implant involves the dentist fixing small metal posts into your jaw bone and then attaching new teeth on top. The advantages are that the procedure is suitable for almost everyone, and the results are permanent and natural in appearance. The cost though is what puts most people off implants, as even a basic set can cost upwards of £3000. As the technology becomes more commonplace, the cost may start to come down.


If you’ve ever wondered how the Hollywood stars get such a dazzlingly white smile, the chances are they’ve had a set of veneers fitted. The process involves a thin layer of porcelain being “glued” to the surface of the tooth or teeth. This makes them look smooth, uniform, shiny and very white. The result lasts between 5 and 10 years depending on the material being used, and the cost can be around £5000 and involves several trips to the dentist over the course of many weeks.


If your teeth are squint or twisted, have a brace fitted is the simplest way to straighten them out. Often the braces will be covered by the NHS, but if the dentist deems that your teeth are not sufficiently squint to be covered, you face having to pay around £2,500. Adult teeth cost more to straighten out than children’s teeth and the process will involve initial consultation along with fittings and regular appointments to check that the braces are working in the correct way.

Top 5 Travel Destinations for Brits in 2013

If you’re yet to plan your summer holidays, it can be hard to know where to start when looking for inspiration. As with anything, holiday destinations come and go out of fashion, so as a starting point it’s  a good idea to take a glance through the most popular destinations when planning your trip.

Northern Spain

The mountains and lush green countryside of Northern Spain are often overlooked in the rush to the Mediterranean, but this coast has stunning beaches, pretty fishing villages and some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe. There are direct flights to Bilbao and Santander from UK airports, or you can take your car over on the ferry. Don’t miss the medieval village of Santillana del Mar or the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.


One of the less developed Mediterranean islands, Corsica is sophisticated, historic and very French. The beaches are great for families and there is an abundance of holiday accommodation for all budgets. Try to avoid August unless you like the crowds as this is the time the French take their holidays.

New England

A little further afield, the New England area of the USA between Boston and New York has plenty to offer for holidaymakers looking for a relaxed fly-drive type of experience. There is no language barrier, and the area has everything from long sandy beaches to historic sites and some of the most vibrant cities in the world.


Tuscany is the area of Italy which has traditionally been most popular with British holidaymakers, but neighbouring Umbria has just as much to offer and is practically untouched by tourists. Opt for a villa with its own pool which will provide a comfortable base for exploring the historic towns of the region such as Assisi or Perugia. Italy is a great place for a family-friendly holiday and nearly everywhere is very welcoming to children.


The Croatian city of Dubrovnik has left its turbulent past behind, and is now welcoming tourists back to see one of the most unspoiled medieval cities in the whole of Europe. Set on a stunning coastline, Dubrovnik has the perfect mix of culture and sightseeing, along with great food and the chance to take trips to neighbouring islands. There are direct flights from the UK, and hire a car to make the most of your chance to explore this beautiful corner of Europe.


6 Tips For a Healthy Lifestyle

More and more of us are taking out private health insurance policies which cover us either overseas, or for private medical treatment at home. The premium for these sorts of policies can vary hugely depending on the lifestyle choices we make. UK health insurance companies look at a wide range of factors, so what are the best things that we can do to lower our premiums and adopt a more healthy lifestyle?

  1. Stop smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest health risk factors out there, and in recognition that smokers will be more likely to need medical attention or fall seriously ill, it costs far more to insure the health of a regular smoker. It’s never too late to stop smoking, and there are lots of schemes available through your GP to give you all the help you need.
  2. Cut down on drinking. The old saying of “a little of what you fancy does you good” is often applied to alcohol, and there is evidence that drinking in moderation have positive benefits. Drinking to excess leads to all sorts of medical and health issues though, and as a nation the UK drinks too much. Cut down the number of units consumed through the week, and do not be tempted to binge at weekends.
  3. Exercise. Many of us don’t take enough exercise, and getting fitter will also keep us healthier too. Exercise doesn’t have to mean aerobics classes or pumping iron at the gym, little things like walking to work instead of taking the bus or using the stairs instead of always taking the lift can be enough.
  4. Eat better. We all know what constitutes a healthy diet, but many of us are still eating too many fatty foods and not having enough fruit and vegetables. The 5 a day rule for fruit and vegetables is an important guide, and we could all benefit from eating more fish and cutting down on red meat, dairy products and processed foods such as biscuits or ready meals.
  5. Reduce stress levels. Stress has been known to greatly affect how healthy we are, and people who have stressful jobs or do not handle pressure well are more likely to get ill. Identifying what is causing stress is the starting point, and help from other members of the family as well as colleagues and friends will be needed to reduce stress factors.
  6. Drink water. Few of us are keeping our bodies as hydrated as they need to be for optimum health, and experts recommend we should all be drinking around 3 litres of water per day. Staying hydrated will boost general health and keep you feeling in tip top condition.

10 Reasons Why Life Insurance Is An Absolute Must

The old saying goes that there are no certainties in life apart from death and taxes, but despite the undeniable reality that we will all die one day, a large percentage of the population have not made good provision to pay out a lump sum to their families after they have gone. There are many important reasons why taking out life insurance is a good idea, and the top 10 are discussed below:

  1. As mortgage cover. Mortgage lenders will insist that all parties named on the mortgage documents have adequate life cover which will pay off the outstanding mortgage in the event of a death.
  2. Income protection. Although the mortgage may be paid off in the event of a sudden death, if the family’s breadwinner dies suddenly, the surviving family members can still be left with a serious financial headache. A good life insurance policy will give them breathing room to sort out finances without worrying about paying the bills.
  3. To top-up employer cover. Many employees mistakenly think that their employer’s cover will be sufficient. Not all employers offer life insurance to their employees, and with those who do the levels of cover varies. Taking out a private life insurance policy in addition to any employer’s scheme will greatly increase protection.
  4. It’s easy to set up. In the past, taking out a life insurance policy could involve lengthy forms, medical checks and paperwork. Nowadays life insurance can mostly be organised online, with the minimum of fuss and time required.
  5. Education expenses. Parents who have children in fee-paying schools or who are expected to go to University may take out life insurance as a way of guaranteeing that the fees will continue to be paid in the event of their death.
  6. Funeral costs. The average funeral in the UK costs around £1,500 and many people take out life insurance policies as a way of ensuring that bereaved family members do not have to worry about paying for a funeral.
  7. Childcare costs. The death of a parent whose children are still young could leave the surviving parent with no other option but to give up work to care for their family. Life insurance policies for families can provide enough cash to allow the surviving parent to keep their work and pay for a good level of childcare.
  8. Mutiple Beneficiaries. Many life insurance policies will give the policyholder the flexibility to name several people on the policy, and stipulate how the money should be split between them.
  9. State Top-Up. The current austerity package means that there is an ever-increasing squeeze on welfare payments. Good life insurance means dependents won’t have to turn to the government for support.
  10. Price. The life insurance market is becoming increasingly more competitive, and good policies are not as expensive as people think.