Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Last updated: 2nd April 2020

Following the Government’s announcement asking everyone to stay at home, we’re making some changes to the way we work to make sure we’re looking after our people and our customers. We’re setting up as many of our colleagues as possible to work from home, but this will take a few days.

In the short-term, we’re only accepting new business online. That means new customers can’t buy insurance over the phone.

Existing customers: Please don’t phone unless it’s absolutely necessary.

We need to prioritise:

  • Customers who have an urgent claim, for example your car is undrivable following an accident, you are injured, or your home is uninhabitable.
  • Customers who can’t pay now as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, call us - we want to help you.

If you have questions about your renewal or want to make a change to your policy, you can use our virtual assistant. If your policy is due to renew in the next week and you haven’t opted for auto-renewal, please call us. If you have opted for auto-renewal, please make sure your insurance still meets your needs.

For more information and frequently asked questions about COVID-19, go to our Coronavirus help and support page.

Names for pets

Some people find it such an effort to choose the right name for their pet that they end up calling it simply ‘cat’ or ‘dog’! Others face major falling-outs over what to call the family pet. To make the process less stressful, here are some pointers on finding a name to suit everyone.

Big personality

It is usually a good idea when looking at lists of dog or cat names to choose one that best suits your animal’s personality or appearance. Maybe wait a few days if you have a new pet, to see their personality shine through.

If you have a puppy or kitten, don’t forget that they will grow up, so while a cutesy name might suit a youngster, they may grow up to be a big brute!

Does your pet have an unusual feature – is it a black dog with a white tail, or a cat with ‘stockings’. Perhaps your dog looks like he’s always grinning? Have fun choosing!

A breed apart

You could bear in mind your pet’s breed to inspire you to find the right name.

Examples that might help are Asian or oriental names for Siamese or Burmese breeds; German names for Shepherds, Dachshunds and Schnauzers, French names for poodles, Scottish names for terriers, or Irish names for Wolfhounds and setters. Your dog’s name should be fairly different from other pets and people in your home, to avoid confusion when you are calling them and wanting a response!

At your command

Your dog’s name should not sound like a command, because when it comes to training them, it will confuse them and also complicate matters for you.

The eight basic dog training commands are: sit, stay, fetch, down, stand, leave, heel and find. So avoid names that sound similar to these command words.

You might want to give your pet a name that doesn’t have too many syllables in it. As animals respond best to one or two syllables, it’s the fewer the better when it comes to calling for, training your pet or attracting their attention in emergencies.

Shorter names are punchier, and you can put more emphasis on one or two syllables. Another thing to bear in mind is that if you pick a shorter name, the pet can easily recognise it.

Keep it sensible

It might seem like a good idea at the time to call your pet Stinker or, perhaps, Honey because of its honey-coloured coat. But have you considered that you will have to be calling it out in public all the time? It’s worth thinking ahead about the practicalities of your pet’s name, even though unusual ones can be fun!