Inspire spring 2022

The latest health and wellbeing news from Towergate Health & Protection.

Welcome to the latest edition of Inspire, our quarterly newsletter, designed to keep you informed about issues and developments that are relevant to your business.

In this edition, we reveal how to cope with the cost-of-living-crisis, discuss key insights on managing stress, share our 2022 predictions for cyber risks, and advise on the no-frills approach to self-care. Plus, find out the latest from the insurers.

Five tips to cope with the cost-of-living crisis

The soaring cost of living has dominated the news for the last six months, and with good reason.

With skyrocketing gas and energy prices, inflation at a thirty-year high,1 and lingering Brexit issues, 2022 is now being referred to as the ‘year of the squeeze’.2


Plus, with sanctions placed on Russia potentially putting further upwards pressure on fuel prices, it’s an important time for all of us to get on top of our outgoings.

All of this in combination with the social care levy on National Insurance this April is estimated to cost UK households an extra £1,200 virtually ‘overnight’.3 Most companies, however, are unlikely to be able to afford to give their employees inflation-busting pay rises, which is why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help your employees make their money go further.

1. Salary sacrifice

If your company offers a salary sacrifice scheme, then make sure you take full advantage of it so you can maximise your pre-tax income.

You could end up paying a comparatively reduced price on things like childcare costs, getting to work and even your pension. And if someone is close to the higher rate income tax band, a voluntary increase in their monthly pension contribution could help them to stay within the 20% basic rate tax band.

2. Shopping discounts

Help to make money go further with ViaNabo Advantage.

Advantage, provided by PeopleValue, offers reloadable cashback cards that can be used on everyday shopping – from supermarkets, DIY and electricals to clothes and days out. It also provides access to a free credit checking service, advice if you’re having money worries, and a free monthly lottery. Click here for more information.

3. Employee assistance programme (EAP)

An EAP provides free, confidential advice about a number of concerns, including money worries, and can be an invaluable source of support in times of difficulty.

4. Review your utility costs

Even though prices of gas and energy are skyrocketing, that doesn’t mean other utility bills need to go unchecked.

Use comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket and Go Compare to check you’re definitely getting the best deal on your broadband, phone contract and car insurance.

5. Cashback

Cashback sites like Topcashback and Quidco give money back to you when you click through their website and make purchases with their retail partners.

You can receive cashback on a number of different products and services, like car insurance, mobile phones and broadband.


1. UK inflation hits 30-year high of 5.5% as cost of living squeeze tightens – business live | Business | The Guardian
2. This is going to be the year of the squeeze | Money | The Times
3. UK households warned of ‘year of the squeeze’ as cost of living soars | Household bills | The Guardian

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Don’t worry about what you can’t control – or what you can

According to one study, British people spend an average of over six years of their lives worrying.

Topics people worried about ranged from weight to sleep to finances, with some people even stressing about their mobile phone dying.1


However, even when you have legitimate sources of stress in life, it’s still important to find a sense of inner balance and calm.

Because if you think you’ll stop worrying when life stops being stressful, the chances are you’re going to be waiting a long time.

1. What has worrying ever done for you?

Think back to a particularly stressful situation in your life – perhaps a time of financial struggle or a poorly loved one. How did worrying help the situation?

The answer is, no doubt, that it didn’t. So why do we do it?

There are many different reasons we might worry excessively. It could be that we’re trying to ‘control an uncontrollable situation’ by wondering ‘what if?’ Many of us might even think that worrying shows we’re good people and care about the situation at hand, or that it helps us to solve problems.2

But, importantly, worrying doesn’t solve anything. Which brings us to the second tip.

2. Know the difference between worrying and problem solving

Worrying is such an active process that it can feel like you’re doing something productive, like by being stressed you’re one step closer to stumbling upon a solution.

But it’s just that – a feeling, an illusion.

The reality is that if you have a problem that needs solving, you need the right perspective to be able to sort through the situation properly. Being in a calm, logical frame of mind will help you to take practical steps to begin helping your situation.

3. Identify what you can control

Identify that which is in the scope of your control so that you know what deserves your thinking space and what doesn’t.

That doesn’t, however, mean that you should let your stress go unchecked when it comes to matters that are within your control. Once you’ve approached a stressful situation logically and made practical steps to alleviate it, then you need to mentally ‘put it down’ and move on.


1. People spend 6 years of life worrying about weight, sleep and phone battery|
2. 5 Reasons We Worry, and 5 Ways to Worry Less | Psychology Today United Kingdom

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2022 predictions – cyber risks

The cyber threat landscape over the last year has proven to be the most volatile yet in the history of the market, for the simple reason that the risk is too low and the profitability too high for threat actors.

As a result, cyber insurers have had to evolve just as quickly to prevent and respond, leading to the following predictions for the year ahead:


  • Zero-day ransomware attacks will dominate the headlines, whereby criminals exploit software vulnerabilities before any patches are available to avoid them by businesses. This means that the only way to prevent an attack is through improved security controls in advance
  • Third party dependencies will continue to be a weak link for cyber risk. Managed Service Providers and Cloud Computing Providers will continue to be lucrative targets for cybercriminals, with the fear of the next large-scale systemic risk event – where a single event has the potential to impact thousands of businesses – at the forefront of everyone’s mind
  • Cyber insurance will predominantly become a proactive risk management service. Insurers will seek to prevent claims before they happen and will pivot to conducting scans to detect vulnerabilities as an added service through mobile app technology
  • Increased scrutiny by both regulators and government advisory groups with a focus on improving security standards for businesses to prevent attacks. Equally, government bodies will seek to ensure there is more transparency around when businesses decide to pay ransom demands through legislation
  • Criminals will continue to target businesses in industries where standards for security have historically been weak. Manufacturers and distributors have been particularly impacted in the last year given dependencies on automation, robotics, and the supply chain as entryways in their networks
  • As a result, the cyber market is expected to continue to harden with more corrective action taken on rates to ensure the coverage can be maintained as broadly as it has been. Cyber will move from ‘hard to sell’ to ‘hard to buy’ based on limited available capacity, and undoubtedly become where a company’s largest exposure now lies.

This is an abridged version of an article taken from Towergate Insurance Brokers. You can find it here.

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Three no-fuss ideas for self-care

Self-care doesn’t have to be self-indulgent, and it’s not just for women. It’s a vital element of being a functioning person in society.

How can we accomplish the things we want to if we’re not operating at 100%? How can we feel settled and at ease without giving our mind and body the rest they need?


How can we expect to be the sort of friend, sibling, partner, or child we want to be without giving ourselves what we need first?

So use these three no-frills, largely low-effort tips to take care of yourself and, in doing so, improve the quality of your life.

1. Deep breathing

When we’re stressed, our body changes on a physiological level; your heart beats faster and you might even feel a bit dizzy. Your body has activated ‘fight or flight’ mode, to an extent.

This stress response doesn’t have to be a single event, either. For many of us, who feel like we’re juggling priorities or struggling to balance work and life, our flight or fight response might actually be turned ‘on’ all the time to a lesser degree.

Dr. Esther Sternberg, research director at the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine, says, “Deep breathing turns on the vagus nerve enough that it acts as a brake on the stress response…which in turn powers up the parasympathetic nervous system.”

Deep breathing can not only quell your stress – it can prevent it from kicking in in the first place.1

2. Take passive care of yourself

We might approach self-care with enthusiasm at first, but what about when we lose steam?

If that’s the case, that’s no problem, but you want to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself even when you might not feel like doing so.

This is where vitamins and supplements come in. To be clear, this isn’t a case of reaching for the cheapest multivitamin you can find in the shop. Instead, treat the process of finding out what your body needs with real consideration.

This could be a good-quality probiotic with the right strains for your gut health or skin concerns,2 a B12 supplement if you struggle with fatigue, or a vitamin D supplement for the winter months.

3. Give everything a place

The link between positive mental health and a tidy environment is strong: a tidy home is found to reduce stress,3 improve focus4 and give us a sense of calm.5

So if you’re someone who struggles to feel settled or has anxiety issues, make sure that your surroundings aren’t exacerbating the issues.

Give everything in your home a place. The result isn’t just visually pleasing – it’s also essential for your sense of flow. Having to fumble in the morning for things because you don’t know where they are will only ever fluster you. If you find you have more items than you have reasonable places to put them, it may be time to consider getting rid of a few things – or reorganising your space.


1. What Deep Breathing Does to Your Body |
2. The effects of selected probiotic strains on the development of eczema | Wiley Online Library
3. Cleaning and Mental Health: Benefits and How to Get Motivated (
4. How Cleanliness Can Affect Your Mental Health (
5. How Mental Health and Cleaning Are Connected (

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Latest news from the insurers

Have you heard the latest from the insurers?

Here are the most recent updates from Aviva, AXA Health, Bupa and Simplyhealth.



17 February 2022 - Secure properties and plan journeys ahead of storms

Aviva advises residents and business owners to carry out checks to their properties to help prevent damage.

9 February 2022 – Aviva powers up renewable energy insurance as it taps into net zero commitments

Aviva’s renewable energy insurance business has grown to more than 150% of the size of the fossil fuel power generation book it exited in 2019.

AXA Health

7 February 2022 – Gender pay gap at AXA improves for third year running

AXA UK’s Gender Pay Gap Report shows a continuing narrowing trend in the difference between the pay and bonuses paid to men and women.

25 January 2022 - Kindness, community spirit and deeper human connections: the lasting legacy of the pandemic?

New research from AXA’s Mind Health Study reveals that despite the highest level of mental ill health in Europe, the UK is leading the way in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.


7 February 2022 – National apprenticeship week in Bupa Global and UK

In Bupa Global and UK, 10% of the workforce is made up of apprentices.

13 January 2022 – Gen Z seek ethical workplaces as environ-mental health burden bites

Businesses demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments will win the war for Generation Z workers in 2022 as they face an increasing ‘environ-mental’ health burden.


14 February 2022 – Simplyhealth supports The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity with donation to help improve the lives of people affected by cancer

The donation will go towards funding a unique exercise intervention project which is providing specialist support for prostate cancer.

7  January 2022 – One in five consumers not able to get a GP appointment when they need it, finds new Simplyhealth research

The research, carried out in December 2021, revealed that just under half (47%) of UK consumers tried to book an appointment with an NHS GP in the previous six months.


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