Personal Insurance Perspectives – May 2021

May 6, 2021

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We look at making your home Eco-friendlier, Safety tips for using public transport, and the impact of COVID for business flights.

 

Making Your Home More Eco-friendly

The state of the environment has become a prevalent subject for many people—not only in the UK, but around the world. Every property owner has the ability to contribute to the protection of the environment by being more eco-friendly.

Even in a single-family home, a number of changes may be able to help make your residence eco-friendlier. As a homeowner, you have the ability to make adjustments and decisions that will help reduce any environmental impact.

When attempting to make your household eco-friendlier, consider these everyday tips:

  • Use eco-friendly products—Cleaning products, shampoo and conditioner can all contain chemicals—such as detergents, preservatives, and foaming agents—that can cause damage to the environment. Consider switching to products that do not contain synthetic ingredients. Toilet paper made from bamboo can also be an eco-friendly alternative for your household.
  • Unplug—Even when electronic devices are turned off or in standby mode, they are still using electricity. When a device is fully charged or will not be needed anytime soon, consider unplugging it in order to save energy.
  • Reconsider appliance use—Using washing machines and dryers may be convenient, but at least when not in a rush, consider hanging clothes out to dry instead. When running a washing machine, utilise a cooler setting to reduce energy usage.
  • Energy and heating choices—If looking to make larger changes, investing in a renewable energy source, like solar panels, can make your home far more eco-friendly. Similarly, switching to an eco-friendly heating source—such as boilers, heat pumps and solar thermal heating—can also reduce both your environmental impact and energy bills.

 

Safety Steps for Travelling While Using Public Transport

While many people have chosen to avoid public transport since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, utilising these services may still be necessary for some people.

With that in mind, those who are still riding public transport should adhere to the following steps:

  • Plan ahead—Research your trip before you embark and be prepared for your plans to be altered both leading up to and during your journey.
  • Wear a face covering—Most people are currently required by law to wear a face covering while using public transport. It is worth noting that there are certain exemptions.
  • Maintain distance—Social distancing has become second nature for many people at this point but adhering to this precaution is of particular importance when in public settings with many strangers and frequently contacted surfaces.
  • Avoid crowds—If possible, avoid travelling during peak hours, and use quieter and less crowded stations. If necessary, consider exiting public transport a stop early and enjoying a short walk to finish your journey.
  • Clean up—Be sure to maintain hygiene after departing public transport. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser as soon as possible.

 

Global Poll Anticipates Reduced Business Flights Post-COVID

While organisations may be looking forward to getting back to business as usual, the coronavirus pandemic may result in some lasting changes for many employers. According to a YouGov poll of over 1,400 business travellers in the UK and six other European countries, 45 per cent responded that they expected to be taking fewer flights than they did prior to COVID-19.

In the UK specifically, 56 per cent of respondents said that they expected to continue to fly for work, but less frequently than before the pandemic. In addition, 4 per cent said that they expect to no longer take flights for work at all.

This potential reduction in business travel can be attributed to several different factors, including:

  • Videoconferencing software—Remote work has made organisations and employees more comfortable with conducting operations using videoconferencing. In the UK, 56 per cent of those surveyed in the YouGov poll attributed a reduction in post-coronavirus flights to an increased use of this type of software.
  • Environmental impact—In September 2020, the UK’s climate assembly called for a tax to be levied on frequent flyers. Research published by Global Environmental Change showed that 1 per cent of the world’s population caused half of the entire aviation industry’s carbon emissions in 2018.
  • Consistent productivity—Of the travelling UK employees surveyed, 60 per cent said that flying less during the pandemic has had no effect on their productivity. Twelve per cent said that they had actually become more productive.
  • Reduced costs—Flying to business meetings is both time-consuming and costly. Employees travelling for work-related purposes may also lead to several additional expenses, such as lodging and meals.

While an organisation may be able to save time and money by finding alternative methods for reaching overseas clients and partners, it is also possible that getting on a plane may still be the best way to handle certain tasks. In addition, certain employees may still function best when conducting business face-to-face. For example, while 72 per cent of UK employees surveyed by YouGov said that flying less had had either no effect or a positive impact on their productivity, 28 per cent said that their productivity had decreased.

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