Friday, 29 January 2016


My dog, whose name is Jasper was involved in a bizarre chain of events before Christmas that saw him getting a little scratch on his eye. He subsequently had his eyeball pop (very nasty and I imagine not much fun for him). Following an emergency trip to the vets and (ouch) £ 900 of surgery he had his eye removed and then immediately before Christmas he developed Pancreatitis and nearly died (again).

Post surgery Nov 2015
Well the good news is that he survived and despite being over ten years old (quite aged for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) and having a heart condition (on four tabs a day for that) he is back to his normal self.

I have never shared any images or comment of Jasper on the blog and given this is a Friday and I like to do a bit more of a non business/light hearted post as we approach the weekend i though I would share Jaspers story and of course a one eyed dog is also very appealing.

It's interesting but we get stopped in the street when walking him far more now than before his eye injury with people cooing over him and of course wanting to know what happened.

Enjoy the pictures.

Sporting a Jazzy new jacket

Mans Best Friend

One Eyed Dog is pensive
he can see, but only half as well

My Instagram account was hacked

Someone decided it would be a good idea to hack my Instagram account and I discovered this gross invasion of my privacy this lunchtime.

Strangely whoever it was (thanks by the way - putting it right took me almost 90 seconds that I won't ever get back) managed to log into my account, had me follow 282 new accounts and didn't bother to change the password, post any images or do anything other than annoy.

Deleting the people the hacker followed there was an interesting pattern. Firstly they were all real accounts of real people. Many were Middle Eastern and in Arabic (around 20%) the rest were US and UK account by and large. They all had one thing in common a decent chunk of existing followers - no one had less than 30,000 followers to their own account and most were between 50 and 100K. The largest I found had just over 300,000 followers.

I'm guessing here but I wonder if some less than scrupulous organisation is selling Instagrammers the possibility of increasing their following and is using multiple hacked accounts to provide this 'service'.

Have strengthen my password and authentication on Instagram and shouldn't happen again but worth watching out for.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Are you looking for help with PMI for your clients ?

Well we are now into the New Year and looking to build upon what came before.

2015 was a busy year for my medical insurance practice and one of the key areas that grew for me was my work with professional introducers like IFA's, general brokers and accountancy firms.

Over the last 12 months I have been able to consolidate relationships with existing introducers (thanks guys!) and build some great new contacts (looking forward to working together more as we go forward0.

This is something I would clearly like to expand on in the future. My only problem is that leads/referrals have slowed down. I know why of course, coming out of Christmas is always a time of planning and reflection for business and in particular the insurance sector has a quiet period in the early part of the year before ramping up for tax year end work in March and April. so many of my contacts are looking at areas other than medical insurance for obvious reasons.

However in the spirit of getting things moving and you thinking here are some key areas or issues I can help with.

1) My service is free to you and your clients.
2) What's more, generally for my introducers I add an income stream to your business. You won't be earning much or anything from medical insurance at the moment so every case you raise and pass to me is potential extra income.
3) I do all the work !
4) Commission income split is generous.
5) I am an independent whole of market adviser - like most of you !
6) I can look at all aspects of individual and group cover.
7) I write both new business and also do frequent switch plans for both individuals and groups
8) Switching existing PMI clients between insurers (without negatively affecting their underwriting) to save money and enhance benefits is eminently do-able and I can always speak to a client to see what is and isn't possible.
9) I have six years experience as an independent broker and 22 years PMI industry experience.
10) I am 'the' person to speak to in the UK if you are a professional adviser looking to out-source your PMI business - google me !
11) I also look after dental, optical, cash plans, EAP's and health screening as well.
12) I never compete or cross sell to my introducers clients. They remain your client and all discussions and information is confidential - there is no conflict of interest ever.

I would love to speak to any current or prospective introducer who would like help with medical insurance - even if it's just a word of advice - always happy to chat.

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant
Part of Premier Choice Group
07792 075748

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Why I hate Sky

(Putting aside the fifty odd pounds a month they charge me).

I've talked here on more than one occasion about how I watch TV whilst I'm working on repetitive or mundane tasks, using my iMac whilst working on my Laptop. At the moment I'm watching the box sets of the Soprano's.

Now sky only allows one device to have access to their app on a phone or iPad so that's not an option on my Mac so I'm forced to use their web interface. It takes literally 'dial up' speeds to do anything, you have to log in (obvisouly) but then when connection is lost - as it seems to be every 20 or 30 minutes - you need to log in again, sometimes you can access a TV series menu, sometimes you can't. Watching The Sopranos season 2 was virtually impossible unless you knew the magic search terms to find it.

I went back to a season 4 episode on Monday after a five day break and it 'resumed' from my previously watched place but if I come back to an episode the same day I have to start again from scratch. Sometimes you get no adverts at the start of the program and other times (usually after the connection has been lost) you have to sit through two full minutes of them. Don't understand why there are adverts on the on-line box sets but not on the Sky box version ?

This really is a useless interface - badly conceived and appallingly implemented. Do Sky ever wonder why everyone is talking about Netflix ?

Update on this post 28th January 2016.

Following this post Sky have now removed all of the Sopranos Box sets from the system and I can no longer watch them. This is despite paying over £ 58 per month for my subscription. It seems that I would have to upgrade again (despite having everything other than sports already). You can debate the rights and wrongs of this but when I started watching The Soprano's in December one of the (never-ending) promos that player was playing before the program began was the ability to watch the Soprano's box set - so they lure you in to watch something, remove it way before you've had time to actually watch all the available series and then take it away unless you pay another £ 15 or £ 20 a month - sounds like the same business model that drug dealers promote to me.

Off in a huff to watch the free stuff on All four, ITV Hub and iPlay or even Netflix at £ 6 per month !

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

I know it isn't Christmas anymore

It's now well into the new year and everybody is back at work but bear with me.

I'm re-watching The West wing from the beginning and have just watched episode ten - 'In Excelsis Deo'

As well as being a perfect piece of TV drama, this is also the perfect Christmas episode of any TV show I have ever watched - it is intelligent, takes the story forward, has excellent dramatic acting from all concerned and above all has an emotional coherence that is un-matched. I challenge anyone not to hold back tears during the carol singing/funeral montage.