A 2011 report from the UK’s Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of the UK population are sleep deprived. And while it may be an insurmountable task for a hotel to cure a guest’s prevailing insomnia, and many of those booking are looking for a place simply to crash out rather than sleep – it’s still important for hotels not to forget their reason for being.

Some hotels are taking the promise of a good night’s sleep to the next level. Such is the case for Hilton, whose canopy beds regulate heat and moisture.

Aside from putting an order in for the brightest and best bed innovations, what else can you do to make sure your guests at least have the option for some serious shut-eye?


Address the five senses
Research has shown that all five senses have a role in the treatment of sleep disorders and insomnia.

The Quietroom Foundation developed a five senses sleep programme in collaboration with the Dutch Knowledge Centre Sound Insulation (KGI) and Somnio, a scientific institute specialising in sleep therapy and insomnia treatment. Here is how the programs findings works can be applied to hotels for practical solutions towards a better night sleep:

  • Sound – A quiet room is an obvious plus for a hotel room, and can be achieved through added sound insulation in wall, floors and windows. For those who struggle with complete silence, offer a selection of ambient noises through a sound system.
  • Sight – Your hotel could be in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, but with blackout blinds, your guest may as well be in the middle of nowhere. Give plenty of options for lights – overheads and soft side lighting so your guests have flexibility whether they’re gearing up or winding down. Muted colour schemes also add to a calming, restful environment and should apply to walls as well as soft furnishings.
  • Smell – Air purifying solutions will help steer allergy issues, while relaxing aromas in the form of bed sprays or air fresheners will create an air of calm. Literally.
  • Touch – Beyond a comfortable bed, temperature is probably the second biggest sleep factor after noise and bright lights. Give guests the option to adjust the heating so they can enjoy their sleep without throwing off the bed covers or shivering throughout the night. If you’re able to, different mattress topper options will give your guests even greater say on how they enjoy their rest.
  • Taste – If you provide room service, make sure the food options include healthy, light snacks and meals in addition to gut-busting dishes which will only hinder sleep as the body preoccupies itself with digestion.


A good night’s sleep forms the cornerstone of a hotel experience upon which you can build all others, such as food, service, location and price.

If you have any plans to make upgrades to your hotel, let your insurance provider know to make sure your policy accommodates new additions and alterations.

If you would like speak to a broker today please contact us on 01737 377250 or visit




Drought is a certified killer in developing nations, bringing hunger and disease to crops, cattle and people. Six years ago, a drought-induced famine killed 260,000 Somalis. The UN recently launched a $854m appeal to help 5 million Somalis who are experiencing another such drought.

But there is hope on the horizon. Senegal experienced a significant drought in 2014, but it was hardly reported in the international news – this is because Senegal, along with Mauritania, Niger, and Kenya, had created and joined African Risk Capacity (ARC).

They pooled resources into this mutual insurance company, meaning Senegalese people did not starve to death the way they had in Somalia.

Catastrophe risk pools such as the ARC have emerged over the last 10 years to protect vulnerable populations and national budgets from extreme weather events. To date, 26 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America have created risk pools.

When Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016, the Caribbean version paid out $30m to affected countries. In 2015, the ARC paid out over $26m after lack of rains in the Sahel, south of the Sahara Desert.

Of course, the funds from risk pools do not replace international assistance – but they do provide early cash assistance for families, reducing the overall need from aid. The government in Senegal responded rapidly to the 2014 drought, focusing their aid on the most vulnerable populations including children under five and lactating mothers. Witnessing its effectiveness, Malawi, Gambia, Mali, and Burkina Faso have since joined the ARC.

According to research from Oxford University, each dollar invested in ARC before the catastrophe saves $4.40 in the aftermath of an event.

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The promise of a sunny day brings with it a high state of excitement and relaxation in a country where the summer months don’t come with a guarantee of hot weather. Dusty BBQs are dragged out of sheds, picnics are back, and windows and doors are thrown open to welcome the summer breeze. Therein lies the security problem, and the perfect opportunity for thieves. Even if you don’t forget to close a window at night, bolder criminals might even take advantage of easy access to your valuables in broad daylight.

North Yorkshire Police offer the following advice to avoid a theft in warmer weather:

  • Keep the front and back doors locked and windows closed as much as
    possible, also on cars.
  • If windows are open, keep them on the latch so that they cannot be
    opened further from outside.
  • Keep valuables and keys out of sight and well away from front or back
    doors where they may be easily reached.
  • Keep side gates locked.
  • Put away garden tools, ladders etc. after use so they cannot be used
    to gain access.
  • Use a strong lock on sheds, garages and other outbuildings and bolt
    hinges on for additional security.
  • Consider fitting outdoor security lighting.
  • Keep an eye on neighbouring properties.
  • If you see anything suspicious contact police on 101.

Remember that if you are a victim of theft but there is no sign of break-in as the thief has gained access through an open window, you may be unable to claim. Check your home insurance policy details for more information.

Contact us on 01737377250 or visit for all of your insurance needs.





There are enough boredom filler apps out there to entertain maybe your dog, but mostly you, from one that makes interesting noises to get your dog to look at the camera, to another which “translates” your dogs barking.

But if you’re serious about caring for your dog, here are five apps to check out:

1. Perfect Dog
This is an app for before you get a dog. It has information and pictures of over 350 dog breeds, and lets you search by useful information such as whether a particular breed gets on with children or whether they shed hair, as well as by physical attributes like long ears or medium-sized.
This makes the list as it can help you make the right choice on your future pet in the first instance, and potentially avoid problems in the future.

2. Map My Dog Walk
Just like the popular activity app for us humans, Map My Dog Walk tracks the distance and duration of your dog walk, taking into account variables such as pace, speed and elevation.

This way you’ll be able to ensure you’re putting enough into your dogs exercise, or limiting it where necessary.

3. Dog Friendly
More for your social life than your dog’s health, this app boasts a database of over 27,000 locations in the UK, including hotels, camping sites, beaches and pubs. Each one can be pinpointed on Google Maps, making them easy to find, and it means you don’t have to leave your dog home alone or put them in a boarding kennel.
4. Pet Coach
Google is littered with forums dishing out health advice for pet owners, from other pet owners. Pet Coach puts worried pet owners in touch with verified veterinarians and pet experts to give you the answers you need. You can browse topics and sources – from nutrition to fleets – and ask a vet at anytime to receive a free answer.

5. Mydog
This app works alongside the UK’s largest database for microchipped pets, Petlog. Send an instant lost alert to Petlog, Facebook, DogLost and friends and family, get advice and essential contacts to help you locate your pet, and search for vets and rescue centres nearby using the app’s Directory for Dogs or Cat Friendly Directory

Remember that pet insurance can cover the costs of medical treatment, missing pet advertisement and rewards, boarding fees and holiday cancellation. Speak to Commercial Insurance Services Ltd about the right options for you and your pet.

Contact us on 01737377250 or visit for all of your insurance needs.



To access your personal stored information, including bank details and your address, all a hacker needs is your phone. If this is not adequately secured, their mission is even easier. Of the principle causes of security breaches, unsecured mobile phones are among the top seven. But with this advice from, yours doesn’t have to be.


The more you leave your Bluetooth connected, the more opportunity you provide unwarranted access. Make sure it’s turned off if you’re not using it.


It can be tempting to hook up to whatever network is going to allow you to connect. But beware – unsecured public networks can be a portal for an underworld of snoopware and spam. It’s better to log on to a secured network, such as that which you would find in a coffee shop, or use your cellular data. And avoid checking your bank account when you’re on the fly to keep your bank details safe.

There are plenty of options to lock down your phone so only you can use it. You can even access your phone with a fingerprint scan, your voice or your face on some of the newer smartphones. Use these tools to your advantage to stop anyone else gaining access. If you’re using a password, don’t go for one that’s easy to guess, like “1234” or your birth date. Alternatively, you could use the unlock pattern feature if you’re struggling with a memorable password.

Add SMS messages to phishing and you have “smiphishing”. You receive a text message, supposedly from a business you know and have dealings with, which asks for a password update or personal information. If you respond to the message or click any links within, you could be lumbered with malware, or even have your phone commandeered. Instead, just delete the message.


There is no excuse for not having protection when surfing the internet on your phone as there are enough useful free options out there. Your phone provider has no obligation to protect your phone when browsing. Some apps roll all the protection you might want into one. For example, Webroot, which is available for Android phones provides antivirus protection, and allows you to locate, lock and wipe your phone remotely if you lose it or it’s been stolen.

Only download from official app stores, as these are more likely to have been verified. Be sure to read up on what the app offers, so when it asks you for permissions to access things like your photos or contacts, you know whether or not this is a reasonable request to facilitate the apps function.

Android phones have trackers which are easy to activate and can be enabled via your phone settings. Once it’s on, you can find your phone and lock it. Other apps for tracking your phone are available to download, including Cerberus and Pre Anti-Theft.


If you’re reading this and checking off your smartphone security to-do list, there’s no time like the present. These measures are quick, free, and could save you from a personal cyber breach.


Contact us on 01737377250 or visit for all of your insurance needs.