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Latest blog and news articles from Russell Meers & Gill LLP

Russell Meers & Gill LLP Team

Russell Meers & Gill LLP Team

Russell Meers & Gill LLP have been trading since 1983. We are based in St Johns Worcester. We are insurance and mortgage brokers and we also provide an agency for Yorkshire Building Society.
November 29, 2018
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Are you covered?

Christmas can be an expensive time of year for all of us but can be very cheap for thieves!

Thieves enjoy Christmas just like they rest of us and they know there are going to be more valuable items around the home during this festive period – easy Christmas shopping for them!

With Christmas only a few weeks away it’s a good idea to check the cover on your home contents insurance policy. With all that Christmas shopping have you got enough cover for those extra expensive gifts under the tree or waiting to be wrapped? After all your contents may have increased significantly and this will not have been taken into account when you took out the policy.

Most contents policies give an uplift in sums insured for the festive season of approximately 25% for those extra items you will have in your home that require protection but will this be sufficient? Check your contents policy to be on the safe side as its important to get it right.

Did you know most policies also give an uplift in sums insured for frozen food allowing for storage of all those Christmas goodies? Does your insurance provide this? How would you know?

We don’t expect you to know, we do it for you! Nobody wants the nightmare before Christmas so give us a call now to check your cover.

Don’t be caught out, enjoy your Christmas and don’t help the thieves enjoy theirs!

See our top 5 tips for keeping you safe from thieves over the festive period.

  • Remember to set your burglar alarm before going out.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked before leaving the house.
  • Make sure your car keys can’t be seen from outside the house and if you have a keyless fob make sure you store it away from windows and doors. Keeping your keyless fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to be near it to amplify its signal.
  • Don’t post on social media that you are going away
  • Dispose of gift packaging carefully, don’t advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!
October 23, 2018
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Stay safe over the coming months

Criminals look forward to the clocks going back.

Most of us don’t relish the thought of the weather growing colder and the nights drawing in. For thieves, it’s a different matter. Shorter days give them more time to work under the cover of darkness.

There is a significant increase in burglary between Halloween and Bonfire Night. Halloween also sees a rise in malicious damage claims to homes and Bonfire Night is often the worst night of the year for both home break-ins and car thefts. Burglars take advantage of people being out of the house at public displays or parties and use the noise of fireworks to cover up suspicious sounds, such as smashing glass.

Of course, all these incidents are covered by standard home and motor policies. But it’s always best to save yourself the worry and stress that comes with being a victim of crime. Many crimes are not pre-planned but are committed by opportunists. So, it's often the simple steps that can have the greatest effect.

  • Remove keys from locked doors and leave them somewhere out of sight.
  • Shut all windows when you go out.
  • If you’re heading out for the evening, try to make your house look occupied. Shut the curtains and think about leaving the radio or TV on – or even the odd light. You can connect these to timers that turn them on and off.
  • Never leave a spare key outside or hanging inside a letterbox – burglars know where to find them.
  • Move any garden ornaments, potted plants or bikes from the front or side of your house, so that they’re out of sight.
  • If you're enjoying a firework party in the garden, make sure your front doors and windows are shut and locked.
  • Lock sheds, garages and other outbuildings with robust locks. This protects your garden and DIY equipment. It also stops thieves accessing tools or ladders which could be used to break into your house.

Over the past 5 years alone, our reliance upon the internet and digital/social platforms has grown beyond belief but has our caution grown as quickly as our curiosity. Last year (2017) nearly 7 in 10 large businesses identified a cyber breach or attack to their system which had us questioning, what more could we be doing to ensure our, and your, cyber security? We also discussed that firms that hold sensitive or financial information are more susceptible to cyber-attack and targeting.

To show that we’re committed to maintaining our cyber security and in turn, your security we’re delighted to announce that we have successfully completed our Cyber Essentials Certification. This certification is part of a government backed scheme to encourage companies, like us, to demonstrate to their customers that they take cyber security seriously. The Cyber Essentials Certification is based upon 5 basic controls, which were chosen because, when properly implemented, they will help to protect against unskilled internet-based attacks using commodity capabilities, which are freely found on the internet.

Cyber security is a growing issue within our society and must be taken seriously by organisations and customers alike. If you’re looking to step up your security, or would just like to find out more about how we can help your to protect your and your customers personal data on digital platforms, give us a call on 01905 428848 and our team will be happy to give you a helping hand.

October 05, 2018
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RMG supports local businesses!

Nothing is more important to the modern high street than supporting local, independent businesses and that’s exactly what Karen and the team love to do! This time they ventured down to The Swan on New Street, Worcester for the unveiling of their new menu! The team, joined by a whole host of other local businesses, experienced a sampling of The Swan’s fine craft beers and items from the new small bites menu and toasted Cubanos sandwiches menu.

Russell Meers & Gill are proud partners with The Swan, organising and supplying their Retailers Insurance, meaning they can stay in action, even when things might not go their way! If you’re a new business opening, or are just in need of a new quote, RMG always supports local businesses and we’ll do everything we can to support you and your business, tailoring your Insurance to your exact business requirements.

If you’d like a quote, or even just a chat about Retailers Insurance, give our team a call on 01905 428848. Our positive and supportive team will be happy to talk you through what Insurance will best suit your business, ensuring you’re not wasting any unnecessary resources and can be used where they need to be.

September 19, 2018
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Winter is coming!

The kids have gone back to school and the dark nights are beginning to set in, which means it’s time to start thinking about preparing your house for the approaching Autumn and Winter. (Que groan!) We know you don’t want to leave the summer behind, and what a summer it was! We had great weather, football nearly came home and life was easy, but unfortunately this couldn’t last forever. Now, it’s time for you to get the gloves on and start getting ready for the cold. So, were going to give you our top tips for preparing your house for the Autumn/Winter.

Fertilize your lawn.

According to experts, fertilizing your lawn will protect it over the colder months and also encourage quicker, greener growths when springtime comes around. This is especially important when we have hot summers in store, and if next summer is anything like this one, it’ll be a scorcher!

Clean your gutters.

No one likes clearing out their gutters but it’s a job that has to be done. Also, doing this before the wetter months set in is certainly a better option than doing this in the pouring rain. Clearing your gutter will ensure water can drain correctly and not get clogged up, forcing it to overspill and run down the outside of your house. If that water is allowed to do this for long enough it will eventually begin to damage your foundations and that’s a big job to fix.

Ensure garden fixtures are secured correctly.

When winter comes, it’s bound to bring along some strong winds which can disrupt your garden. It’s important to check now, that all garden fence panels are fixed correctly to their posts and any other garden fixtures are safely secured. This also goes for any loose branches or bushes that could possibly come free and break surrounding fixtures/fences or even your windows! It’s also worth checking if your roof tiles are correctly secured. We understand if you don’t want to climb up 20ft, so we do recommend getting a professional to do this for you. Finally, make sure all your garden equipment, like your lawn mower, is cleaned out and safely stored in a dry place so that it can be in good working order for next year.

Prepare from the inside too!

Outside preparations are key to surviving the colder months, but don’t forget to protect yourselves from the inside too. The first job is to get your boiler serviced. We know this isn’t a fun job and it might cost you a little, but having this done is much more enjoyable than suffering from a broken boiler in the colder months of winter. Having this service is also likely to save you some money, as a well serviced boiler is less likely to burn more fuel. Alongside this, it’s also a good time to ensure your loft space is well insulated and rooms are better draft proofed. This protection will ensure rooms stay warmer for longer and you don’t need to spend extra to keep your home warm.

And that’s it! You’re now fully prepared for the colder months which are well on their way. But despite regular checks and all the preparation in the world, if things do go wrong, remember we’re here to help. If you need to place a claim, we can handle the process efficiently from start to finish. So if you need to process an insurance claim, need to know more about home insurance or would like more information on how to ready your home for the Autumn/Winter, give our team a call on 01905 428848 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

August 06, 2018
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Travel Insurance | The big question?

Deciding whether travel insurance is really worth it is an age old discussion that many households have year after year, but do you actually need it or not? On average, those who don’t have travel insurance spend around £1,300 on healthcare when something goes wrong abroad. So, in short, unless you have that kind of money laying around, yes you need insurance! As the saying goes, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to go travelling.

Why do I need it?

Often people passively joke, “what could possibly go wrong?” but is that really worth finding out? Travel Insurance can cover you for a whole host of things such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Baggage loss
  • Passport/wallet loss
  • Delayed/cancelled departure
  • Trip cancellation

All of these events are completely unpredictable, but if they were to happen you’d want to know that you’re at least covered, rather than being stuck in a foreign country with no money and no way home.

But I have an EHIC card?

Having a EHIC card (formerly E111 card) is a good start but it doesn’t fully cover you… This isn’t to say it’s not worth getting one. The benefit of having a EHIC card is that it gives you a reduced or discounted price on medical expenses. For example, if you are travelling to a country which does not have free healthcare, the EHIC card ensures you can pay the same rates as residents, which may still be expensive! This also becomes a benefit if your accident is alcohol related, as many travel insurance policies become void or will only pay out a reduced price if alcohol is deemed to have had a direct effect.

It’s also worth noting that it has been agreed that these cards will continue to work throughout Brexit negotiations and is planned to continue to be effective after these negotiations, so they’re definitely worth looking at.

We’re not going abroad, so we don’t need it...

Wrong. Whether you’re travelling abroad or domestically travel insurance is always a positive thing to have in the back pocket. Although health care is free here in the UK, you can still get cover for things such as plane, train or hotel cancellation ensuring your holiday isn’t ruined from the off.

How do I get it?

The best thing is it’s incredibly simple to get cover and it’s never too late! All you need do, is give us a call on 01905 428848 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can tailor your policy to your needs and your holiday all over the phone. It’s also worth noting that we can supply individual, family, business and sport/adventure holiday insurance.

So, if you’re planning you’re next adventure, give us a call and we’ll arrange your insurance because remember, peace of mind is priceless.

July 02, 2018
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Summer Safety | BBQ Top Tips

We know the sun has us Brits dying to get out into the sun and to light up the grill! But with doing so, we never really seem to take into account the dangers of cooking on the BBQ. So, here’s a little list of things to ‘grill’ before you grill!

Keep control of the fire!

It sounds crazy we know, but you would be surprised by the amount of people who can’t seem to control their fire! This comes, generally, as a result of our inability to start the barbecue in the correct way. We’ll let you in on a little secret… Petrol or lighter fluid is NOT the answer! The safest way we know how to start a charcoal BBQ is to invest in a ‘charcoal chimney,’ which uses newspaper instead of lighter fluids, increasing safety. This also enhances the flavours of your foods as no residue from petroleum based products are left to cook away on your grill.

Clean your grill!

Once your BBQ is blazing to a point where the charcoals are white and glowing (this makes it safe to cook on) you’re ready to get your grub sizzling!! Although, BEWARE! Flare-ups from grease are more than a nuisance and can be potentially lethal! Grease gathers up on your grill over time and it is easy to get a large collection of grease at the bottom of your BBQ after only a few times using it. It is this grease that can easily set on fire and flare up causing all sorts of problems. So, before you even begin to think about lighting up that grill, get the marigolds on and get scrubbing!

Grill position

People say location is everything, and when it comes to placing your grill it genuinely is! Every year, hundreds of people cause damage to their houses, garages, patios or fences because they have it set up in the wrong place. You’ll find the manual will tell you the minimum distances around your unit that must be kept clear. If you don’t have a manual, take a step back, and picture your BBQ with the worst fire possible… This is now the space you should keep clear around your grill! Don’t forget, this extra space is not just to protect your belongings, but also adults, kids and pets!

Alcohol safety!

Of course, you want to enjoy a couple beers (or whatever your tipple is) whilst your outside in the sun but it’s important to remember, alcohol and fire definitely don’t mix well! We needn’t remind you that barbecuing should be done with a clear state of mind, especially when it’s time to get it all together so we recommend laying off the booze until after the barbecue is out and someone else is dealing with the dishes!

I’m sure we could go on for days with the do’s and don’ts of how to run a BBQ, but we don’t see this weather sticking around for too long so we should let you get out there and get grilling. That said, we do recommend you having a quick read over this short barbecue safety advice article from FireService.co.uk | https://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/barbecue/

Happy grilling!

P.S. – Make sure you wear sun lotion! The only thing that should be sizzling is on the grill!

May 02, 2018
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Life in the Fast Lane for Karen Gill

A Worcester independent insurance broker is extending her passion for motorsport by sponsoring an award-winning local driver and his striking Lotus Exige racing car.

Karen Gill took over the firm of Russell, Meers & Gill three years ago in Malvern Road, Worcester and has steadily expanded the firm since then with new staff and extended offices.

Business director Paul Jones, of Ockeridge, is a regular competitor at speed hill climb events across the country and has dusted off his class winning car for the new season’s first event at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, near Worcester this coming weekend.

Karen, commented: “Besides the usual wide range of insurance services we offer we have noticed an increase in demand for classic, vintage and racing car insurance, as the value of such vehicles is escalating and therefore cover is needed not only for transit and storage, but for actual motoring events too.

“Being a lifelong fan of all things motoring we are delighted to be involved with long-term client Paul and his stunning orange Lotus, which we believe will help introduce our services to a whole new range of potential clients as our company name is emblazoned across it.

“We have also supplied complete corporate outfits for Paul and his support team and I will be attending Shelsley Walsh myself this weekend to see the car in action, but also understand that there is some serious competition taking part too, so he will have to be on top of his game!”

Pictured: Karen Gill, with racing driver, Paul Jones, and his Lotus Exige.

May 01, 2018
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Wedding Insurance | Is it worth it?

If you’ve planned for your perfect wedding, slight malfunctions can be especially stressful. Disasters can be heart-stopping.

Although this blog may seem a little doom and gloom, Wedding insurance may help you breathe a little easier in case of emergency. A policy can pay for any injuries or damage that occur during the big event, or reimburse you if it’s postponed or cancelled. Here’s what to know about wedding insurance.

The policy primarily provides cover for cancellation and rearrangement of your wedding and/or reception and financial failure of the suppliers.

So, to get more into the nitty gritty, these are some of the things that are in insured:

  • Cancellation or rearrangement of the wedding or reception
  • Irrecoverable deposits following the financial failure of your supplier
  • Loss, theft or accidental damage of your weddings rings, flowers, cake, gifts or any wedding attire
  • Retaking your wedding photos or video following non-appearance of the photographer.

Now you may be wondering, what’s not insured? Our specialist advisors are here to clearly run-through the ins and outs of what is and isn’t included in your wedding policy, but to list a few:

  • Loss, theft or accidental damage to wedding items after the reception begins
  • Change of Heart: Any decision by either the bride or groom to not go forward with the wedding
  • Lack of Funds: The inability to pay for the venue, vendors or other expenses associated with the wedding. Unless this lack of funds is the result of involuntary unemployment
  • Weather Conditions: Bad weather alone is not enough of a reason to cancel your wedding. The only way weather related issues could qualify for reimbursement is if is bad enough to prevent the key parties or over half of the confirmed guests from reaching the event.

Is Wedding Insurance Worth It?

Deciding on whether wedding insurance is worth it will depend on your personal finances as well as the circumstances of your wedding. Some wedding venues provide catering and other services, reducing the number of vendors and payments. If something were to prevent the venue from being used in these cases, you're more likely to be refunded a larger portion of your expenses.

Purchasing a policy can be quick so if you would like to discuss a wedding insurance policy, or require any other guidance please contact the team on 01905 428848 where you will find someone happy to assist your situation.

April 11, 2018
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Travel Insurance | Is it really worth it?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year... No, not Christmas, but planning when and where you’ll next be going on holiday to.

So, do you need travel insurance?

This is the ‘million-dollar’ question — and ultimately a personal decision. Plenty of people do travel without insurance and sure, the duration and nature of your trip can determine whether you find it necessary to cover yourself.

We’ve all heard horror stories from fellow travelers that make us realise the value of travel insurance; for peace of mind, and cover if the unknown does unfortunately strike whilst you’re enjoying the pleasantries of overseas tranquility.

No one likes to think about injury or theft when they’re on holiday, but the threat is always there. Without appropriate travel insurance, an unexpected incident could ruin the rest of your year. So, the answer is therefore, YES. Everyone should carry some type of insurance when traveling.

The next question is - why should you sort insurance through Russell Meers & Gill, rather than an online, price comparison website?

At Russell Meers & Gill, we offer you friendly, professional and independent advice based on your travel needs. Depending on the nature of your holiday, specialist advice will ensure you get the most suitable cover to meet your needs from a range of products from various insurance companies. Unlike some insurance agencies referenced on comparison websites, we can help you find the right policy, at the right price and make the claim process as seamless as possible should the time come.

If you have a holiday booked and find yourself searching for the right policy to suit you or your family’s exact needs, our specialist advisors can help you find the right policy at a great price. So, important things like travel insurance is just that thing that “got taken care of”.

For a quote or more information please get in touch and speak to one of our advisors on 01905 428848.

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Russel Meers & Gill LLP

Russell Meers & Gill LLP have been trading since 1983. We are based in St. Johns, Worcester. We are insurance and mortgage brokers and we also provide an agency for Yorkshire Building Society. We provide customer services for the society where advice can be given on products, mortgages; and new saving accounts can be opened... [read more]

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5 Malvern Road
St. Johns
Worcester
WR2 4LE.

Phone: 01905 428848
Fax: 01905 420311
Email: info@russellmeers.co.uk
Website: www.russellmeers.co.uk

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