Inspire winter 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 share some tips on how to cope with uncertainty that’ll have you all set for the new year. We also explore some activities you can do for free (that don’t require you put your hand in your pocket), the science behind why giving feels so good, and we reveal why it could be time to prepare your business for flash flooding. Plus, find out the latest from the insurers.

How to cope with uncertainty

Life is full of uncertainties. In the last few years, the UK has braved a global pandemic, Brexit, a recession, and is now in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

It isn’t a coincidence that mental health issues, including anxiety, have skyrocketed in the last several years.


Uncertainty isn’t always bad, of course, but many people don’t like the feeling or idea of not being in control. That’s why we’ve compiled this list on how to find your footing in the midst of uncertainty.

1. Remember the last time uncertainty wasn’t the end of the world

If you’re facing uncertainty in your life right now and it’s making you anxious, the chances are it’s not the first time.

If you were to recall the last time you felt a sense of unease from feeling uncertain about something, what sort of thoughts did you have? What was it that worried you?

Then ask yourself: how did those thoughts in any way alleviate your situation?

2. Don’t look at the news too often

There is no better way to make yourself feel anxious than to be constantly checking the news. Habitually checking what’s going on in the world is part of many people’s daily routine, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. If checking the news constantly is bringing you down, consider disabling news notifications on your phone.

3. Forget temporary distractions

When you’re feeling anxious or unsettled, it’s tempting to want to distract yourself with your phone or the TV. But this doesn’t sort the problem out – it only prolongs it.

In the longer term, it’s better to focus your efforts on activities or hobbies that will help you to feel in control, like making a plan, jotting in your journal, meditating, or exercising.

4. Build your tolerance for uncertainty

We don’t all have the same tolerance for uncertainty. Some of us feel uncomfortable and anxious when plans change suddenly while others are much happier – and even thrive on – ‘going with the flow.’ Try to make a conscious effort to embrace life when things aren’t going quite as planned. That way, when things go awry in a more major way, you’ll have had practice at welcoming the uncertainty with open arms.

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Things you can do for free

Nothing is free – or so they say. But it turns out that there are still a few places you can visit and things you can do that won’t cost you anything.

Now the UK is experiencing a cost-of-living crisis, there’s never been a better time to explore options that won’t burden your bank account.


1. Museums

Museums may not make the top of everyone’s ‘fun things to do’ list, but you just need to find the right one for you. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, animals or outer space, there’s a free museum out there that fits your interests.

2. Art galleries

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Investigate for yourself at one of the UK’s many free art galleries. Use this comprehensive guide of free art galleries and museums across the UK to find a gallery or exhibit near you.

3. National parks and nature reserves

From beaches to downs, to nature reserves and woodlands, the UK boasts so much natural beauty – almost all of which are free to access. Whether you’re going alone or with family and friends, or taking a canine friend, there’s so much to explore for free.

4. Free gyms

If you’ve cancelled your gym membership to keep up with the rising cost-of-living, that doesn’t mean the gym is closed to you forever. At many local parks, you’ll find outside gym equipment where you’ll get many of the perks of a regular gym, but with plenty of fresh air.

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The healing power of giving

When we’re helpful or giving to others, we feel good.

Most of us do, anyway. It turns out that this feeling has a basis in science, which shows us that giving back doesn’t just benefit others – it benefits us, too, in a rather profound way.


The selfishness myth

It’s an old adage, from the Darwinian school of thought, that humans are hardwired to be self-serving. Yet more and more research suggests that the opposite is true.1

Influential American neuropsychologist Jordan Grafman led two studies in the early 2000s with the aim of locating where that impulse to be good to others comes from. Both studies examined the participants’ fMRIs, which evaluates blood flow and can therefore detect brain activity, after asking them to make donations to charities. Volunteers had the option to keep the money for themselves, donate to charity, or receive a payoff.

Miraculously, the results demonstrated that ‘when the volunteers placed the interests of others before their own, the generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food’ and other rewarding things.

Volunteerism and wellness expert Allan Luks observed the phenomenon of the ‘helper’s high’ nearly thirty years ago, where he found that half of the studied women who volunteered their time claimed to feel a euphoric high when they helped others.

A study of people struggling with alcohol and going through the Alcoholics Anonymous program found that ‘those who helped others were nearly twice as likely to stay sober a year later’ – and they had fewer depressive symptoms, too.

Here, the research seems clear: biologically, it feels good to give.

Because of this, we’ve compiled a few easy ways you can give back without having to spend anything extra. There’s no reason that generosity has to cost the earth – or your bank account.

1. Supporting local businesses

Why not redirect the money you already spend to smaller companies who will appreciate it more? Instead of getting your groceries from the big supermarket chains, consider visiting farmers’ markets or local greengrocers. Rather than purchasing from the big conglomerates, consider visiting small businesses in your area or online.

2. Help your neighbour

Instead of trying to save the world, why not try helping those around you first? It doesn’t have to be your next-door neighbour. Apps like Nextdoor connect people in a community and give the opportunity for users to help others in a neighbourly way, for instance by volunteering to assist elderly members to attend doctor’s appointments or to help with grocery shopping.

3. Plant a tree

Trees are vital to life on earth. They provide oxygen, store carbon, and give life and shelter to wildlife. They also protect us from floods and other ecological disasters. While planting one tree isn’t going to change the world, it’s a small and inexpensive way you can beautify your surroundings, and a visual reminder of your commitment to improving the earth.


1. The Science Behind the Power of Giving |

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Facing the threat of flash floods

After some of the hottest UK temperatures on record, many of us have been relieved to see those familiar wet weather warnings on the forecasts.

Although lower temperatures and showers sound welcome, they come with their own unique risks – flash floods.


Dr Rob Thompson from the University of Reading took to Twitter to explain how heavy rainfall so soon after a heatwave can cause flooding. During a drought, the ground dries out and becomes harder. This means that when it finally rains, it’s more difficult for the water to soak into the ground.

Instead, we are likely to see rainwater become stuck on top of soil with nowhere to go, which creates a real threat of flash floods.1 It’s far safer for countries to experience long periods of moderate rain, allowing the water to seep its way slowly through the hard soil.

Five steps to prep your business for flooding

Each year, FloodFlash take the best data available to establish the threat that flooding poses to UK businesses. The resources they draw upon include industry leading data from their partners at the Ordnance Survey and JBA as well as the open-source data available from the Environment Agency.

FloodFlash surveyed 500 financial decision makers either at risk of flooding or worried about the risk of flooding, and 200 insurance brokers to find out what they think. Of businesses surveyed, 73% worry about flooding as a threat to the UK economy.

But there are options to protect against that threat. There are some simple steps you can make to take responsibility for your risk, many of which don’t cost a thing.

1. Research the flood risk for your business

A search on the site is a good place to start if you want more information. A flood risk assessment can also give a more specific view for your property.

2. Register for flood warnings

Sign up for the government’s free online service. Get email or text alerts sent whenever your business is threatened by flooding.

3. Create a flood plan

Planning what stock or equipment you need to move, and who within your organisation is responsible for moving it, is a great way to limit the impact of a flood. The Environment Agency has some great tips on how to create a flood plan.

4. Establish what resilience measures you might benefit from

If you find out that you are at a high risk and can’t move important commercial assets, it’s time to think about resilience measures. Many companies that provide these services offer free surveys to establish what you might need. Need a recommendation? Ask your Towergate Health & Protection consultant to put you in touch with FloodFlash.

5. Get insurance cover

It might seem obvious, but many businesses still have large excesses or go without cover entirely. Cover might cost a little, but going without it can cost a lot.

The risks

Over 436,000 commercial properties in Britain have at least a low flood risk. That’s 27% (over a quarter) of the total commercial properties. Of those with some level of flood risk, almost 300,000 (18% of the total) have what FloodFlash would define as a moderate risk.

The cohort of properties at significant risk is over 236,000. In other words, if you have a flood risk at your business, it’s more likely to be a moderate or significant risk than a low risk.

Read the FloodFlash 2022 Commercial Risk Report to find out more.

Our sister company Towergate Insurance provides comprehensive cover to SMEs and larger corporations to help you to manage the risk of flood. If you would like help with insuring your business against the threat of flooding, please speak to your Towergate Health & Protection consultant.


1. What happens when it rains after a drought? Reading Uni experiment raises fears of flash flooding | ITV News Meridian

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Latest news from the insurers

Have you heard the latest from the insurers?

Here are the most recent updates from some of the key providers, including Aviva, AXA, Bupa, Simplyhealth, and Vitality.



22 November 2022 – More than a million first-time buyers may put plans on hold, due to cost-of-living crisis

A further 16% of under 45s said they had no intention of house-hunting.

21 November 2022 – Deepening debt sparks renewed concern for employee wellbeing as cost of living bites

Among lower income employees, nearly a third report that their current level of debt is detrimental to their wellbeing.


28 November 2022 – New AXA study reveals Brits take 21 unnecessary risks around the home each week

Seven in 10 people take at least one risk a day.

16 November 2022 – AXA Commercial revamps intermediated SME business to give more to brokers and customers

AXA says that they understand that SMEs come in all shapes and sizes and has tailored its proposition to better accommodate their needs.


1 December 2022 – Employees avoid telling employers about less visible disabilities

The research from Bupa showed that not wanting to ‘cause a fuss’ (30%) or be treated differently (25%) were the key reasons for keeping their conditions to themselves.

29 November 2022 – Bupa adds interactive mental health platform to online offering

This comes as Bupa research shows there’s a reluctance to seek mental health help, as well as trends towards searching for symptoms online.


1 December 2022 – Simplyhealth donates £90,000 to those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine

The donation will be divided between Computer Aid, HALO trust, and Unity.

21 November 2022 – Becoming a B Corp

Simplyhealth are the UK’s first health insurer to be awarded B Corp status.


October 25 2022 – Discovery features fourth on the 2022 Fortune Change the World list

The seminal list features organisations from around the globe that are positively impacting society through activities that form part of their core business strategy.

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