Car Insurance Renewal Myths Busted

I think we can all agree that there is nothing exciting or interesting about car insurance, right? Its a legal requirement, and considered by most to be a hassle or a chore, and what’s worse is that a number of people feel like they have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to it, which can really cause problems further down the line.

So while this might not be the most exciting topic to be blogging about, I thought I’d share some advice and information from my experience of working in the car insurance industry. I’m not sharing any industry secrets or naming/shaming any particular companies, I’m just hoping to clear up some of the myths or beliefs, and hopefully help a few people out! Here goes..

I’ve had another claim free year, why has my insurance gone up?

Its a common belief that every year you go without making a claim earns you a drop in your renewal price, and while this may often be the case, there are a number of factors that could mean you see an increase. This year especially, there have been a number of changes in industry factors that have been totally out of the companies control, namely the increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) and changes in legislation on personal injury compensation, both of which have hit car insurance hard.

On top of this, insurance rates are calculated based on a whole tonne of information and statistics, so while you might have another year of driving with no accidents, things like your car being another year older, or if there’s been an increase in the number of accidents or claims in your postal region, are all things that are factored in during the underwriting process.

What about my no claims discount?

No claims discount (NCD) can of course reduce the cost of your insurance substantially, and within your first few years of earning NCD, you should be seeing a general reduction in your insurance quotes, but the further up the years you get, the discount percentage increases by smaller increments, until you eventually hit your insurance companies maximum, which in most cases is 9+ years. At this point, while you may feel like your insurance should be dropping every year – which is may do! – you’re already benefiting from the highest discount you can get, so you may find a bit of a plateau.

My insurance company will give me a discount if I tell them I’m going to cancel

Sure, a lot of insurance companies will be able to offer you a discount if you express unhappiness at your renewal price, but I urge you to think about the amount of discount they give. If they can knock £100 off the price the moment you question the price, why is it they can do that without second thought? You may find you’re only offered £10-15 off, and while this may seem a little stingy, what it actually suggests is that you were sent out a pretty accurate price in the first place, rather than an over-inflated price designed to make you feel like a winner when they half the cost.

I shouldn’t have to shop around to get the best price

One of the biggest reasons that people see their insurance prices go up and up and up is because they allow their insurance company to renew the policy time and time again without comparing the market. Most insurance companies do have a preferred customer, be that based on age or any other factors, and while you may think that you’re being a lovely loyal customer staying year after year, it is possible that you can get a much better deal elsewhere. This has actually become such an epidemic that the insurance regulator has mandated that insurance companies must now put a statement on their renewal quotes encouraging their customers to shop around, so don’t be insulted if you notice this!

On the back of this, insurance companies can vary massively in how they assess your details, so one company can quote you £300 while another quotes you £600 for exactly the same cover!

Do I really need to review my insurance every year?

YES. I urge you to check through all of your documents every year, as well as being sure to update your insurance company to any changes throughout the year. Even small changes, such as a different job, becoming a homeowner, going from living at home to living with a partner or getting married; these are all factored into the calculation of your insurance premium, and its so easy to forget about informing your insurance of these changes, but they can make a difference!

What should I do if I’m uncertain about anything on my policy?

If you ever have any questions about your car insurance, the first thing you should do is speak to YOUR insurance company. While friends and family may be keen to give you advice, if they’re insured with a different company, there could be a big difference in what their insurance covers to what yours does, so bear this in mind when seeking a second opinion.

I’m sorry to bombard you with quite a lot of information, but I really hope that I’ve been able to help a few people out with this post! If you have found this helpful, please let me know as I’d love to know if you’d be interested in seeing more posts like this!

This post is primarily based on facts, but any of opinions stated in this post are my own personal views and do not reflect the views or opinions of any insurance companies.
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Mid-Year Beauty Blog Sale!

Hey gang! I’m in serious need of a declutter, especially when it comes to my makeup collection, so I decided to do my first ever blog sale, yay!

All of these items are either unused, just swatched or hardly touched, they’re just items I find I’m not reaching for anymore (or ever have!), and I’m just looking for them to go to good homes where they will be appreciated.

Postage will be Royal Mail second class, £2 for one item or £3.50 for 2 or more. To buy, please comment with which items you’d like and your email address, or email lottie@lottiemartin.com. Payment is via Paypal only.

Love and Light hand cream – £2 – No Drought dry shampoo – £5

ALL SOLD

Makeup Revolution palettes (Left is Iconic 3, right is Essential Mattes 2) – £2 each – Freedom Makeup Future Brights palette – £1.50

ALL SOLD

Makeup Revolution Matte Effect foundation in Ivory, I Heart Makeup No Shine Please primer, Makeup Revolution Ultra Face Base foundation in FB02 – £1.50 each

ALL SOLD

Left to right and swatches bottom to top – Mac x Ellie Goulding in Without Your Love, Mac Wash and Dry in Steam Heat, Mac Frost in Costa Chic, Mac Toledo in Barbecue

£10 each, or two for £18

Winky Lux lipstick in Corallo – £8

I bought this ‘Mac’ lipstick off eBay. It turned out to be a fake but its still a really nice shade (top swatch) – £6

Left to right/Bottom to top – Barry M lipstick – £2, Rimmel Kate Moss – £1, Barry M lip stain – £3 (this will be a brand new, still in packaging version, I accidentally bought the same shade twice!)

Mac x Ellie Goulding bronzer/blush duo – £9, Sephora Collection blush – £6

HD Pro banana finishing powder – £3, NYX baked blush – £4, Freedom Makeup blush – £1

I Heart Makeup Bronze and Glow/Light and Glow palettes – £3 each

Sleek Makeup colour correcting palette – £4, NYX concealer in fair – £3, Makeup Revolution The One concealer stick – £1

Sale will be based on a first come, first served basis. Payment is required within 48 hours to secure item or it will be offered to the next person.

Happy shopping!

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What Wonder Woman Wears

First up, I just want to prefix this post with a little disclaimer: I am a strictly Marvel > DC kinda gal, so I apologise up front if I say anything that isn’t accurate to the greater DC world, but Wonder Woman is the first DC movie I’ve watched in probably about 5 years or so! Also, there’s no spoilers here!

So I went to see Wonder Woman at the weekend; despite being a Marvel fan through and through, I actually thought the trailer looked pretty good, and while I’d rather chew off my leg than watch anything Batman or Superman related, I was pretty open to some kick ass girl power.

Seeing it over a week after its release date, of course I saw an initial response throughout social media, and to be honest, a lot of these tweets and posts were of very little interest to me as they discussed the plot and rated (or slated!) the film overall. What did keep catching my eye, however, were the people discussing the outfit that teenage boys reading comic books have dreamt about since 1942.

‘How anti-feminist’, ‘Why is she fighting in such a skimpy outfit’, ‘This is a step back for strong female characters’. SHUT. UP.

I’m gonna spell something out for all the people missing the point on feminism: women can wear whatever the hell they like. Does it matter what she’s wearing, if she’s inspiring a whole new generation of girls to become superheros?

I, in fact, loved that the Amazons wore what they wore. It displayed their fierceness, it showed how their bodies were strong and toned, not just skinny, and these are ideals that are so much more important for both children and women.

Would it make any difference if she was in a turtleneck and mom jeans? You’d probably find people complaining that she was too covered up and wasn’t allowed to express herself.

She saved lives. She stood up for herself. She made a difference. She had a heart and a conscience and a brain. Her outfit makes absolutely no difference in her achieving any of these results.

On another level, let’s talk about how this is the first major superhero movie to be directed by a woman. Patty Jenkins smashed it. Also, can we talk about how Gal Gadot was PREGNANT during part of the filming for this movie? I mean, if that isn’t totally incredible then what is?

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A Week In Work Outfits

After over 4 years of working in a uniform, when I started my current job back in November I was faced for the first time by the prospect of daily outfit decisions, which was pretty exciting for me.

Well 6 months down the line, I’ve definitely got into the swing of office apparel, and because we keep it fairly casual at work, I’ve really loved putting together outfits that are smart-casual and cute, and really reflect my personal style, so this week I thought I’d share my looks from every day this week!

Monday

This skirt is an all-time favourite of mine. Its a few years old now, originally from Missguided, but I just adore the little cloud print. I teamed it with this multi-layer Daisy Street bodysuit and my favourite light cardigan, along with some lace up heels.

Tuesday 

Your girl took the plunge and wore her Mickey shirt to work!! This blouse from H&M got me so excited but I was a little nervous to wear it in the office, but I’m so happy that I did because I love it! With the shirt being the main event, I just paired it with dark blue jeans and the comfiest plain black flats (psst! £4 from Primark!)

Wednesday


I really love these trousers – would you believe their from F&F at Tesco? They’re so comfy and the print isn’t too in your face, plus you NEVER have to iron them and they always look perfect! I’m also loving this blouse which I bought recently from the H&M sale, its really light which makes it perfect for the upcoming summer weather and the colour means it goes with everything.

Thursday



This outfit made me so happy! I love that my office dress code allows smart shorts – not that most people even realise that my Black Milk galaxy shorties are actually shorts! I also wear my ‘unicorns are real’ t-shirt to work more often than I care to admit, but when you’re also wearing a blazer it still counts as smart, right? The blazer is AX Paris!

Friday


 Can you tell I was posing in the rain on Friday? I got fed up of grey skies so figured my car would make a brighter backdrop! I’m not usually one for frilly or fancy sleeves, but I really love this blouse from Blue Vanilla, even if I do look a little bit like an Abba reject.. I also love any excuse to wear my chelsea boots to gain a bit of extra height!

So that’s a week in the life of my wardrobe! Depending on my mood I can go a lot more casual than I have done this week, and if I do work weekends then that’s always super casual!

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Tale As Old As Time Afternoon Tea at The Kensington Hotel

I might be a little late to the party, but on Sunday I finally had my opportunity to go to the Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea at The Kensington Hotel in London, having had it booked for months.

We arrived at the hotel about half an hour early, but due to a few cancellations they managed to get a table ready for us well before our set time – although a little miscommunication meant we were sat at our table for quite a while before someone actually came to take our drink orders. I’m not really a tea drinker, so despite a big selection of teas to choose from, I chose one that I knew would be a safe bet: Wild Rooibos.

The tea came out pretty quickly, and was followed with a plate of little appetisers – a mini cheese souffle, a little pie and little breaded ball of beef ragu – all three of which were delicious and I was a little sad to only get one of each because I could have eaten them 10 times over. Once our plates were cleared, the main event was brought out..

The tea stand was accompanied by Lumiere and Mrs Potts (who was filled with cream), and consisted of finger sandwiches, sweet baguettes and the gorgeous themed desserts on top. The sweet baguettes weren’t really my thing, but the sandwiches were good and I was primarily there for the desserts!

Inside the adorable little Chip teacups was the famous Grey Stuff, which was indeed delicious and my favourite of all the desserts. The Cogsworth tart was also incredibly cute but very very rich and had marzipan in it which I’m not a fan of, and having eaten both of the portions of Grey Stuff, I couldn’t quite finish him! There was also a little coconut macaron ‘snowball’, which was a nice light option, and finally a clear jelly containing the last rose petal.

After finishing the tea, we were brought a wrapped biscuit – which was iced to look like Belle’s ballgown – to take home, but with the tea room being fairly quiet, we ended up staying at least an hour after we’d finished eating. We were there for at least 3 hours, so definitely made an effort to get our money’s worth out of it!

My Blogging Time Saving Hacks

I take a lot of pride in maintaining my blogging routine of at least 5 new blog posts a week, alongside working full-time and running a few small businesses.

Time is always of the essence for me, and over 6 months I’ve discovered a whole bunch of ways to ensure that I’m not wasting those precious minutes, and here are a few of my favourites:

Pre-writing scheduled tweets

Scheduling tweets is blog promo 101, but I used to find it such a chore sitting and choosing which posts to schedule, then writing them out and auto-pilot-typing those same set of hashtags and RT accounts over and over. No more! Every time I publish a new post, I write a promo tweet for it, and then I copy and paste this into one huge document of all of my posts, complete with tags and all. I have these categorised into different topics, so I just have to rotate between lifestyle, beauty, food, travel, Disney etc, and copy and paste a post from each category for each day.

The Buffer extension on iOS

I also used to think I could only schedule tweets from my laptop so that I could link posts, but I’ve since discovered that if you add the Buffer extension to Safari, I can schedule post tweets straight from my phone!

Instagram drafts

Although I’m finding them super glitchy at the moment, the drafts feature on Instagram is my favourite update since stories. I spend my work breaks editing all my photos and writing captions, then whenever I need to post I just have to pull it back up and hit publish!

Bulk writing series posts

When I have a new series planned, like my Glass Slipper Camp workout posts or pre-Disney trip outfit posts, I’ll try and sit and write them all in one go and get them scheduled and out of the way. I can only really do this when I know exactly what I’ll be writing/posting, but it works for some series!

Giving yourself a break

Ultimately, the best time saving hack is remembering that if life gets in the way and I don’t have enough time to get a couple of posts out, its okay. Rather than stressing out about stats or a dip in views, you just have to let it go and accept that life comes first, and that its alright to miss a day or even a week if you need to. Letting go is a blessing.

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London After Terror


Yesterday, I went on a little day trip to London. It was something that I’d had planned for a good few months, and I was really looking forward to it. Then the attacks happened.Even after seeing the news of the attacks all over social media before going to bed, it never once occurred to me that I shouldn’t still continue with my trip, but when I woke up in the morning and read more and more tweets about the situation, I started to feel a little nervous about my day, but I still did my makeup, put on a nice dress and walked in the sunshine to the coach station.

I must admit, I’m always a little cautious when I’m in London. I know the underground system well, and I have no issue getting around, but after having my purse stolen about 18 months ago, I tend to stay a little bit more alert than I used to, and yesterday was no different. I walked from Victoria coach station to the main train station, went to Costa to grab some breakfast and sat people watching while I waited to meet Sarah. And what did I see?

I saw Londoners and non-Londoners, all going about their Sundays as if it was any other day. I didn’t hear anyone panicking or worrying about their day, and I didn’t feel like the station felt any different to how it has on every other trip I’ve made to this place. I saw families with small children enjoying the last day of their half terms; running, laughing, smiling. I needed to see this. I instantly felt calmed by the calm of a Sunday in London.

The recent attacks in Manchester, London, and all over the world are horrifying. It breaks my heart that innocent lives are being lost, and it breaks my heart seeing innocent people blamed for the actions of a few sick people, but we must remain strong. While we still continue living our lives, and loving those around us, they will never win.

I saw someone on Twitter refer to the scene in Harry Potter when Dumbledore dies, and everyone raises their wands to outshine the Dark Mark in the sky, but there’s another quote that for me seems more appropriate:

‘You have a power that Voldemort has never had. You can love.’

Don’t let terror defeat love.

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