A guide to improving your home’s security

You might think it’s something that doesn’t really need to be said, but you’d be surprised at how many people take a lax approach to securing their home. Of course, you don’t want your property to fall victim to thieves, which is why you should do everything you can to ensure it is as safe as possible.

This is perhaps even more important if you live in a high-value home in an affluent neighbourhood. Given that these properties tend to have more valuable contents than the average household, it shouldn’t be too surprising that these are often targeted by criminals more. Of course, the greater the value of items you own the more you will be left out of pocket if you suffer a break-in, so investing in adequate safety measures really is worthwhile.

home's security

Luckily, there are several ways you can go about making your house a safer, more secure place so you can rest easy in the knowledge that any would-be crooks will find it extremely hard, if not impossible, to force entry. [Read more…]

Scam Alert – Traded Endowment Policies

As more and more people try to take their existing assets and grow their wealth, more scams seem to come to the surface as well. People are usually out to make as much money as they can, and this leaves them open to being taken by deals that are just too good to be true. While traded endowment policies didn’t start out as a scam, they have definitely earned that label as returns fell and money was lost. In this article, we go over the concept of these plans, and why they’re such a bad idea in the first place.

A traded endowment policy is a premium insurance endowment policy. Like other products, they have not only cash value, but a maturity value as well. They are considered “participating”, which means that there are future bonuses. Unfortunately, no one knows what the bonus amount is actually going to be.

Traded Endowment Policies

They were a hot commodity about 8 years ago, because a lot of owners of these policies wanted to sell them off instead of having to turn them into the insurer. In other words, the secondary market allowed people to get a better deal, so that’s where they went.

Here’s where the problem comes in for UK people that felt like they were going to triple their money by investing in these policies: they were often mis-sold. If you’re told that something is safe by someone that you consider to be an authority, wouldn’t you take their word for it? That’s what many UK homeowners did, and it cost them dearly. All they wanted was to try to amplify their retirement savings, but many were left holding the bag. If you got a second mortgage in order to take advantage of this deal, then you basically multiplied your problems further. [Read more…]

GAP Insurance – what is it and do you need it?

It can seem these days as though there is insurance for everything. Car insurance, life insurance, pet insurance – the list goes on.

So when you hear of another insurance policy it’s easy to make a knee jerk reaction about it. Usually this reaction is “not another thing to pay for”, but for other people it’s “well I don’t really understand it but I should probably just get it anyway to be on the safe side”.

Neither of these reactions is good. You should never pay for insurance unless you understand it and are sure you need it, but equally you shouldn’t just dismiss it without proper consideration.

GAP Insurance

GAP insurance is one such product you should think carefully about. Guaranteed Auto Protection is an additional type of insurance that you can take out when you buy a car with a loan. When you buy your car, you take out a loan based on the value of the car at that time. But your car will start to depreciate in value the moment you drive it out of the dealership. If your car gets stolen or written off, your car insurance will cover you but they will only pay you what your car is worth now, not what it was worth when you bought it. So if your car was worth £8000 and you took out a loan for this amount you will still be liable for the full amount of the loan but your insurance company will not pay you the full £8000.

GAP insurance quite literally covers the gap between what you owe and what your car is worth. This can sometimes be thousands of pounds.

You should consider GAP insurance if:

  • You want peace of mind that should something happen, you don’t have to worry about finding the extra money to pay off the loan.
  • Your car is quite expensive, new or a luxury car – these depreciate in value faster than other cars.
  • You don’t feel confident about where you park your car and worry about it being stolen.

If your car has a low depreciation value or if you really can’t afford the additional payments, then consider GAP insurance policies carefully. As with all insurance policies, it could end up being something that never pays out, so some consider the “dead money” to be a waste. However it is important to consider that having a car stolen or written off is a stressful enough situation without worrying about money too, so the added financial protection really can be hugely helpful.

Why Yes, You Do Need Motor Bike Insurance

The thrill of riding a motor bike just can’t be beat. When the weather is nice, a motor bike gives you a type of freedom that normal motorists just can’t really understand. But you know what you want, right? You want that thrill and you want to make sure that you’re covered for any circumstance that might arise. Even if you’re a careful motor bike operator, accidents can and do happen. The weather can be a factor, but you also want to think about all of the other things that can really go wrong with while you’re on the road. Do you really want to leave that type of thing to chance? Not at all.

Yet so many people go with the most basic motor bike cover that they can find. Is that something that you should do, always? Not at all. You are much better off looking at the exact coverage that you really need. This would include raising the amount of money that would be paid out in the event of an accident. Do you really want to skip over supplemental money that you can use to cover from a major collision with a regular automobile? Not at all!

Motor Bike Insurance

If you’re going to get the best coverage — and not just in price, but in true cover — then you have to go online. There are a few benefits of going online for your insurance needs. One, you’re going to get the exact cover you need without running around town looking at the high street. That’s frustrating to anyone. You also fall more easily to advertising that’s supposed to lure you into thinking you’re getting the best deal. You might feel tired and not really looking to shop around. This makes it even more tempting to fall prey to ads that just don’t serve your needs. It’s much better to make sure that you’re looking online, where you’ll have a wide variety of different quotes to choose from.

Make sure that you’re as honest as possible when you’re filling out quotes. Some people get tempted to make themselves look better on paper. Honestly, in this day and age… an accident isn’t the end of the world. While some insurers will ding you severely for it, others realize that everyone is entitled to at least one mistake. That’s fair, right? You might not always be able to avoid collisions, but keeping a fairly clean driving history helps. In addition, don’t forget that time tends to heal everything — most insurers will only require that you go back 5 years. Everything before that is wiped clean, so to speak. This means that even if you’ve had some driving problems in the past with your motor bike, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be stuck dealing with them forever.

Once you find the right coverage, you can purchase it right online. Be sure that you have a chance to really look at the fine print to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve said that a few times but it really does bear repeating. You have to really think about not only saving money, but having a policy that’s truly worth having. Good luck with everything that you have ahead of you and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

How To Get The Best Term Life Insurance Quote

Term life insurance is an insurance policy that pays a benefit upon the death of the policyholder. Term life insurance policies have stated terms and do not build a cash value. When the term expires, the policyholder has the option of buying another term life policy, purchasing a whole life policy or foregoing life insurance.

Many factors affect the rate for term life insurance policies. Some of those determining factors include age, health, personal habits and credit. While age and gender are beyond anyone’s control, certain habits and hobbies can affect life insurance rates. For example, smoking and skydiving can both significantly increase life insurance rates. Young people, women, nonsmokers and healthy people with good credit and no risky hobbies get the best life insurance quotes. There are ways, though, to get a good life insurance quote even with some risk factors.

Smoking

Smokers can get better life insurance rates if they quit smoking for at least a year. Some insurance companies require former smokers to be smoke-free for three to five years before they are eligible for nonsmoker rates. Life insurance companies are glad to offer lower rates to nonsmokers because they tend to be healthier and have longer life expectancies than people who smoke cigarettes. Term life insurance can cost up to three times more for smokers than nonsmokers.

Term Life Insurance

Health Conditions

Most life insurance companies require applicants to have a physical exam prior to the start of the policy. Applicants with a good report from the doctor will be offered a better rate. Certain health problems can make it hard to find affordable term life insurance. For instance, a person with high cholesterol has a higher likelihood of having a heart attack. That risk factor alone can lead to a higher term life insurance quote. However, health conditions that are being successful managed with medications and physician supervision have less of an impact on term life insurance rates.

Credit

Life insurance companies look at the personal history as well as the medical history of insurance applicants. Some of the records that may be reviewed include driving records and credit reports. A clean driving history and excellent credit will yield the best quotes for term life insurance. On the other end of the spectrum, a DUI or bankruptcy will likely cause the life insurance quote to increase exponentially. Applicants with minor driving or credit problems will get better quotes as their situation improves.

Risky Behavior

Hobbies such as surfing, rock climbing and skiing put the participator at a higher risk of death, making them a higher risk to the life insurance company. While the applicant may not think their favorite pastime is dangerous, failure to disclose the information may jeopardize a claim on a term life insurance policy.

It is important to tell the truth on term life insurance applications. In many cases, the agent or broker will tell applicants which risk factors are causing the quote to be higher than expected and give advise on how to lower the rate.

Income protection insurance

One of the most valuable resources for protection your financial stability is income protection insurance. An income protection insurance policy ensures that you and your family have the financial coverage you require to maintain your standard of living in the event of an illness or injury that leaves you unable to work for a period of time. The tax-free benefits of your policy can help you keep up with the costs of food, housing and other vital needs until you’re fit to return to work.

Income protection insurance, or IPI, fills an important need for working adults to maintain an adequate income in spite of illness or disability. While state-funded protection benefits may replace a percentage of your lost salary, these funds typically do not cover the realistic cost of supporting a spouse and children. Income protection insurance gives you the supplemental funds you need to live comfortably during an extended absence from your job.

Benefits and Limitations of Protection

In exchange for your premiums, income protection insurance provides tax-free income for a period of time stated in your contract. If you become unable to earn an income because of an illness or injury, IPI pays out benefits monthly or weekly to cover your living expenses until you are able to return to your job, or until the end of your coverage period. If you retire or pass away during the course of your coverage, benefits to you and your family must be replaced by your pension or other retirement funds, or by life insurance benefits.

IPI coverage

The tax-free status of IPI coverage means that you are not subject to normal income taxes. However, your premium payments do not qualify for tax relief, and tax relief from other benefits may be reduced or eliminated whilst you are receiving insurance benefits. If you are covered by IPI through your employer, your employer’s payments for your policy may be claimed as a business expense. This tax benefit may encourage employers to consider offering IPI protection as a benefit of employment.

Income protection benefits are only payable to policy holders who have become unemployed due to an illness, accident or disabling injury. These insurance policies do not cover job loss due to a voluntary resignation, termination or a lay off. Before you purchase a policy, review the list of exclusions carefully so that you are aware of any restrictions on your cover. For instance, many policies exclude income loss due to drug or alcohol abuse, self-inflicted injury, pregnancy, war or criminal activities.

The length of time that you may continue to receive benefits is restricted by your insurance policy. This limit ensures that you have the motivation to resume work once you’re fit to return to your job. If you change careers in the interim, your benefits may be reduced, modified or eliminated, depending upon the risk level of your new profession. While you’re unable to earn your current salary, IPI allows you to fulfill your obligations to your mortgage lender and other creditors, as well as meeting your household’s basic needs.

Income Protection Insurance Rates

In general, IPI is an affordable form of salary protection for healthy adults. Your age, the risk level of your occupation and hobbies, your health status and lifestyle factors such as tobacco and alcohol use may affect your insurance rates. If you have existing health concerns, such as heart disease or diabetes, you may have higher rates or be denied protection by some insurance companies.

The deferred period, or the length of time between the loss of unemployment and the pay out of your benefits, may affect your rates, as well. As the insured, you have the ability to decide how long you can afford to wait before you begin to receive your weekly or monthly payments. When you consider income protection insurance, consider how long your current savings would last, or how much financial coverage your state-funded benefits would provide before you would require IPI benefits to maintain your standard of living.

Comparing quotes for income protection insurance is fast and convenient when you search for affordable cover online. Compare quotes from multiple providers to find coverage within your price range. The cover you receive may make the difference between whether you can meet your financial obligations as you recover from a disabling illness or accidental loss of physical function.

Income protection insurance gives you and your loved ones greater peace of mind, knowing that you have the resources to cope with a financial crisis. An accidental injury or illness can strike any healthy adult. With IPI, you can rest assured that you will be able to provide for your family and maintain the costs of your household in the event of a disabling injury or a sudden decline in your health status.

Wedding Cancellation Insurance

Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime’s event, that women have planed since their childhood. For grooms, getting married is a rite of passage that marks the steps that a boy takes to become a man. Without a doubt, weddings are perhaps one of the most special occasions that two people can share in their lifetime.

Weddings can be a complex event to coordinate, arrange services for, and to pull off. Investing in wedding cancellation insurance is the perfect way to safeguard the financial investments that go into planning a wedding. Wedding insurance is a cover policy that protects the financial investments for items like nonrefundable deposits, damages to property or possessions, theft and vandalism, and many other incidents that may occur leading up to a wedding.

Wedding Cancellation Insurance – What Does It Do?

Wedding cancellation insurance is insurance coverage that helps to protect the financial investment that goes into planning and orchestrating a wedding. Most wedding insurance cover policies are offered in a range of coverages usually in increments that range between ?5000, and ?50,000.  There are wedding insurance policies that offer coverage at higher levels.  Weddings are considered big events, regardless of their size. They are very complicated and complex events to plan, orchestrate, and eventually pull off.

There are a lot of deposits that must be made. There are a lot of outside vendors and suppliers that must be relied upon to do their jobs. There is a great deal of money that goes into producing a wedding. There are a great many factors outside of anybody’s control that can go wrong. Insurance cover for weddings is designed to give peace of mind to those people who have to invest in a wedding.

Wedding Cancellation Insurance

Wedding Cancellation Insurance – What Does It Cover?

Insurance coverage is limited by the maximum amount of the policy. When choosing insurance cover for weddings and other important occasions, make sure that the maximum coverage amounts is adequate for the function that the policy will cover. For weddings, it is important to make sure that the dress, rings, the wedding transportation, the wedding cake, flowers, and any other deposits that may be required, be covered under the policy.

An important question to ask is what happens if a supplier is unable to meet their obligations at the last minute. To find a suitable replacement may cost extra, and it is important to know if that extra charge is going to be covered by your insurance policy. [Read more…]

What is professional indemnity insurance and do you need it?

Professional Indemnity Insurance is protection for companies and contractors who give advice or offer a professional service to other businesses.

Most mistakes made in the workplace are only small and easily rectified, however some can have much more serious implications. Professional Indemnity Insurance is there to help protect you and your company should you become implicated in a case as a result of a mistake.

In many industries it is a legal requirement to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance, and in others it is required in order to adhere to with the regulatory bodies that govern it. Even if you are not directly required to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance it is becoming more and more challenging to survive without it, as many clients will now insist that every supplier they work with has PII in place.

professional indemnity insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance will cover you for the following instances up to the limit of your policy:

  • Professional neglect
  • Negligent statement or actions
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Libel or Slander
  • Loss of documents

This means that should a mistake arise under one of the above circumstances, the amount of compensation awarded against you, and costs incurred for corrective work you have to complete and associated legal costs would all be covered, up to the limits of your policy.

Not only does PII protect you and your company from the financial implications of compensation, it is also there to help you keep the negative impact of a court case to a minimum as experienced legal aid can go a long way to reducing any damage to your reputation.

Types of business that often take out professional indemnity include accountants, IT consultants, business consultants, journalists, architects, financial advisors, engineers and many more.

Please click here for more information on professional indemnity insurance.

Pet Insurance Is a Great Way to Save Money and Protect Your Four Legged Friends

Are you thinking about insurance right now? Probably not, but that’s what we’re here for, right? You need to make sure that you’re thinking about all of your options when it comes to great insurance for the entire family. Naturally, for most pet owners that would extend to you and your four legged members of the family. Yet is pet insurance really something that you need to consider? The jury is actually out on it, if you’re looking around the world of personal finance. Some people feel that pet insurance is absolutely worth it, and they will defend it to the teeth. However, you have to think about how often you’re going to use it. Pet insurance isn’t something that’s always standard across the board. This means that your veterinarian might not take the insurance at all. That would still leave you having to cover the bill.

What’s worse is that if you have to suddenly get emergency care, you might not have time to find the provider that’s going to accept your pet insurance. This means that you could still be reliable for a pretty hefty bill. Even if you can get reimbursed it can take a while for all of the paperwork to go in. You don’t want to try to handle everything on your own though, and pet insurance when it works very well.

Pet Insurance

It’s going to be up to you to find a pretty nationwide form of pet insurance through a career that has a lot of partnerships around the country. If you try to go with a super cheap policy, it might not be accepted as universally as you might like it to be.

You also have to realize that if you don’t pay the premiums, you’re not going to have the coverage. While this might sound obvious, you might be surprised how many people seem to forget that. You always want to make sure that you’re pursuing all of your different options out there. Don’t just give up thinking that you can’t find affordable pet insurance. You also want to make sure that you’re looking based on your actual pet. Don’t just think all pet insurance is the same across the board. You want to go with insurance that specifically covers the animal that you have in question. For example, do you really want to take out a pet insurance policy and find out that they don’t accept birds? That’s a “gotcha” that could cost you a lot of money.

Be aware that pet insurance doesn’t help you buy all of the supplies that you need for the overall maintenance of your pet. Medications that they need as a result of illness can be covered, but again…check the fine print of a policy before you assume everything is right as rain. This is why comparing quotes online is really the best way to go.

It’s a little way to take care of the pets in your family, but it’s not without its problems. As long as you’re willing to do true research, there’s really no way that you’re going to go wrong with this. Good luck!

Unemployment Protection Still matters – Check It Out

Are you looking and worrying about losing your job? If you have enough time to prepare, you can invest in something that can make it easier than ever before to really get a handle on your finances and move on to a better job later on. This would be unemployment protection. Now, some circles of the media feel that this is insurance cover that’s a real waste, but we don’t think so at all. The truth is that if you really want this type of protection you can certainly find it. It’s just a matter of deciding what you’re going to do and then following through with it.

Keep in mind that unemployment protection kicks in when you’ve been made redundant. If you’ve been fired, it’s on you to find a job on your own. But with so many companies looking at downsizing, it might be in your best interest to get this coverage anyway.

Unemployment Protection

You want to start by looking at the waiting period on the policy. Obviously, this is an insurance product. You’re not just going to be allowed to make a claim early on. You’re going to have to actually wait a little bit. Usually 90 days. You also want to look at the maximum amount of your salary that they’ll actually cover. This can be as high as 85 percent, but the higher the percentage — the more money that you’re going to have to pay in terms of premiums.

The deferred period is a little different — it’s the amount before the monthly benefit gets paid. If you have savings, then you can select a longer deferred window so that your premiums come down. But if you need it fast — like four weeks from the date you lost your job — you’ll be able to get that. It’ll just cost you a lot more money.

You will also struggle to find insurers that are willing to cover 80% of your salary — usually 50-60 percent is much more common. You also want to look and see how long they’ll actually cover you. The longest policies that we’ve seen go up to a year. You might not think that’s a long time, but it’s better than the alternative.

Unemployment can strike at any minute. The job market has become so competitive that it’s very difficult to find a job. Companies are getting pickier and pickier about who they really want on their teams, which means that you’re going to have to work even harder to get things done. Now is the perfect time to make sure that everything is lining up the right way. Good luck!