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Showing posts with label Singles. Show all posts

Changing life insurance – what you need to know before switching life insurance

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Changing life insurance – what you need to know before switching life insurance 

When you take out a life insurance policy, the level of cover you opt for (how long the policy lasts for, how much it would pay out), is based on your financial situation at that time. Over time your financial commitments can change – for example, as you gradually pay off your mortgage and reduce the outstanding debt, or children who used to be financially dependent on you grow up and leave home.

Changing life insurance – what you need to know before switching life insurance


To make sure you are getting the most out of your life insurance policy, it is important to check it regularly and consider changing the terms so it keeps up to date with your changing financial needs.

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If you are thinking of changing your life insurance policy, there are a few things you need to consider first.

Can you change your policy, or do you need to cancel it?

If you have reviewed your current life insurance policy and decided you would benefit from changing it, the first step you need to take is to contact your current provider.
A lot of life insurance companies allow for their policies to be changed – you may want to reduce the amount of cover if you have paid off a chunk of your mortgage, or you might want to increase the cover after certain life events (having a child or grandchildren, moving house etc.)
If you are looking to reduce the amount of cover, or length of time you are covered for, then you can benefit from reduced monthly premiums. If you are looking to change your policy to increase the cover then your premiums will increase. However, if you are not happy with the quoted premium price – whether it is a reduction or an increase – then you still have the option to cancel your policy and shop around for a better deal.
You may also have no choice but to cancel, as some life insurance policies do not allow for any changes to the terms.
Bear in mind, though, that if you are looking for a new life insurance company you may have to face new health and occupation checks before you are accepted.
Another thing to consider is whether it would work out as more cost effective to keep your current life insurance policy in place and just take out some form of ‘top-up’ cover with a new provider.
As life insurance premiums tend to be cheaper the younger you sign up, your existing policy could be at a much better rate than any other policy you can find now you’re a bit older. So if you need extra cover it might be cheaper to keep your current policy and get the extra cover elsewhere. The difference in price could be even greater if you have suffered any health problems since you took out the original policy.
There are many different forms of life insurance, all of which offer different benefits and policy features.
Depending on your circumstances at the time you took out the policy, you could have opted for a whole of life insurance policy, a mortgage-only life insurance policy, a level term life insurance policy or simply an income protection policy.
However, circumstances can change and what your current life insurance policy offers you may not be what you need right now. Perhaps you want to change to a policy that is trust based so as to avoid inheritance tax, or now the mortgage is close to being paid off you want to change your payment plan.
Whatever the reason, we can help you identify the life insurance product that is ideal for your current circumstances.

Common reasons for changing your life insurance policy

There are many reasons why you might want to consider changing or switching your life insurance policy. For example:
  • Your life circumstances change
  • You need to add or change a beneficiary of your policy
  • You find a better type of policy that suits you e.g. whole of life or term insurance
  • You see a cheaper policy elsewhere
Below we go into more detail about some of the reasons you may want change, cancel or switch your life insurance.

Changes to your mortgage

For a lot of people, life insurance is taken out to cover a mortgage – and in many cases, this financial commitment will increase, for example, if you move into a bigger house in the future. If you do not review your life insurance terms at this point then you could end up not being insured for the full value of your mortgage – which could leave your family in a financial hole if you were to pass away.
The same could also apply if you have remortgaged in order to release equity from your home.
Alternatively, when you moved you may have extended your mortgage term so that the monthly repayments are manageable – which could leave you with a life insurance policy that will pay out in the next 20 years, but a mortgage that will need paying for another 25 years.

Changes to your family

As life insurance policies are generally taken out to protect our family, another common reason to review and change your policy is if there is a change to the size or make-up of your family.
For example, if you originally took out a life insurance policy when you and your partner bought your first home, then you may want to amend the policy when you have children.
As your family grows, your responsibilities change – so you may want to increase the level of cover to not only pay for the mortgage when you pass away but to also make sure your children are well provided for e.g. make sure they have enough money to go to University.

Changing your life insurance beneficiaries

When you pass away, your life insurance payout goes into your estate along with any other assets such as your home and investments. Your estate is then distributed among your beneficiaries in accordance with your will (if you have not prepared a will then intestacy laws are used to distribute your estate).
Another option is to set your life insurance policy up in a trust. This will mean your beneficiaries/dependents can access the payout with the lowest amount of tax applicable.
Writing your life insurance policy in trust means that any payout from the policy is not included as part of your estate for inheritance tax purposes. The standard inheritance tax rate is 40% on any assets above £325,000. So depending on the value of your other assets, as much as 40% of your life insurance payout could be paid as tax unless the policy is written in trust.

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Over two-thirds of people in UK do not have a life insurance policy, See the reasons here.

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Over two-thirds of people in UK do not have a life insurance policy, See the reasons here.

More than two-thirds of people in the UK don’t have a life insurance policy, as new research has found that just 30% of people have a policy. This amounts to 8.1 million households currently having some form of life insurance protection – significantly less than the UK’s total 11.1 million mortgaged properties.

Over two-thirds of people in UK do not have a life insurance policy, See the reasons here.


Life insurance, which can pay out a lump sum on death, means that if the worst happens to a parent then the family finances can be taken care of. In most cases, that means the mortgage and household bills can still be paid if the main household earner passes away.

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However, as this latest research by comparison site Compare The Market has found, there are a lot of families in the UK at financial risk – which could lead to having to sell the family home if they can no longer afford the mortgage repayments.
As the average mortgage debt and unsecured debt (e.g. credit cards) currently stands at £57,830 per person, many families would likely find themselves in great financial difficulty if a parent were to die.

What life insurance do you need?

There are a lot of different types of life insurance you can buy, with level term life insurance being the most well known. This type of cover allows you to select both the amount of cover you need (i.e. how much the policy will pay out) and the length of time the policy will last (often until the mortgage is paid or until the children have grown up and are no longer dependant on you). If you die during the policy term, then your family will receive the payout. If not, the policy will simply run its course and then end after the agreed term/
Alternatively, you could opt for a decreasing term life insurance policy. With this, the payout amount decreases over time which means the monthly premiums are lower than for a level term policy. If you only want a policy to cover your mortgage, which reduces with time as you slowly pay it off, then decreasing term life insurance might be a cost-effective solution.
There is also whole of life insurance, which covers the policyholder for the whole of their life and then pays out when they pass away. As this policy is guaranteed to pay out at some point, the premiums are more expensive than a term life insurance policy – so it is more commonly used by people to cover smaller amounts such as funeral costs.
According to figures from the Association of British Insurers, the average payout for a term life insurance policy in 2017 was £78,323, compared to £4,511 for whole of life insurance policies.
Other forms of life insurance include:
  • New parent life insurance
  • Over 50’s life insurance
  • Joint life insurance
  • Family life insurance
  • Critical Illness Cover

Average cost of life insurance premiums

Life insurance premiums are calculated based on several different factors e.g. how old you are, whether you smoke, what job you do, your health (e.g. any conditions such as diabetes) and so on.
Typically, the younger and healthier you are when you take out the policy the cheaper the monthly premiums will be. A healthy, young, non-smoker can expect to pay around £10 or less a month for life insurance, whereas a 40-year-old smoker could find those costs doubling or even tripling depending on other factors.
Therefore it is advisable to arrange a life insurance policy at your earliest opportunity, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late. You can keep the costs of life insurance down by shopping around for the best quote that suits your individual needs – something we can help you with:

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TODAY QUESTION! Does your car insurance cover child car seats?

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New research has revealed that as many as one in four car insurance policies do not offer cover for child car seats – leaving parents severely out of pocket if something were to happen to their car seat.

TODAY QUESTION! Does your car insurance cover child car seats?

  
The figures also revealed that less than 50% of all UK car insurance policies will pay out the full value of a damaged car seat.
In the UK, all children under the age of 12 or under 135cm in height must sit in a recognised child car seat or booster seat, and with some car seats costing upwards of £400 many parents are taking a big financial risk.
According to new data from Defaqto, 25% of car insurance policies (67 out of 267) offer no cover at all for car seats and only 44% of the policies included cover for the full cost of replacing car seats that are damaged in an accident.

The table below shows how much the different policies will pay out for damaged child car seats:
Car seat coverNo. of policies
£100 per seat36
£150 per seat9
£250 per seat2
£300 per seat1
£500 per seat1
Some policies also limit the total amount they will pay to replace child car seats, regardless of how many seats may have been damaged. So with parents travelling with more than one child in the car it can be an expensive cover shortfall.

Child car seat replacement services

If you find that your car insurance doesn’t offer cover for your child seats, then you may be in luck if the manufacturer offers a replacement service.
Maxi-Cosi offers a service that replaces your damaged car seat for a brand new replacement if your insurance doesn’t cover it – which applies to their entire range of car seats.
Kiddy also offer a similar service, which allows you to return any Kiddy car seat that is involved in an accident and get a free replacement up to six years after the sale date – regardless of whether your insurance would cover it or not.
You will need submit evidence of the accident, including the police report and insurance report, to benefit from both of these schemes.

Do you need to replace the child car seat after an accident?

Even if there is no visible damage to the seat after a collision, you should replace it immediately.
No matter how minor the collision was, you can’t be sure that any of the safety mechanisms within the seat haven’t been damaged – and when children are involved is always better to be safe than sorry.




Exactly How your job can affect the cost of your car insurance

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Exactly How your job can affect the cost of your car insurance

A study by comparison site GoCompare has shed new light on how your job could affect how much you pay for car insurance.

  
Exactly How your job can affect the cost of your car insurance

The study looked at which occupations were the most likely to have an ‘at-fault’ claim against their car insurance policy, with GPs coming out on top as the most accident-prone profession for the fifth year in a row.
Health professionals in general dominate the list of occupations that are the most likely to have a fault claim. GPs are at the top with 12.4% of them making at least one fault claim in the past year. Hospital consultants are third on the list with 11.5%, hospital doctors are fourth with 10.7% and surgeons are fifth with 10.5%.

See the full top 10:
RankJob% making at least one claim
1General practitioner12.4%
2Claims adjustor11.9%
3Hospital consultant11.5%
4Hospital doctor10.7%
5Surgeon10.5%
6Health visitor10.4%
7Mortgage broker10.3%
8Optometrist9.9%
9Speech therapist9.9%
10Insurance consultant9.8%
Source: GoCompare
The prevalence of health workers in the top 10 could be a result of the high levels of stress and long hours associated with working in that sector.
It’s also interesting that both insurance consultants and claims adjusters feature in the top 10.
In terms of professions that are least likely to have an at-fault claim, bar workers and different factory workers have the least – along with people who work with cars a lot such as dispatch drivers, car wash workers, car dealers and garage managers.
RankJob% making at least one claim
1Barman2.3%
2Picker2.3%
3Packer2.6%
4Carpet cleaner2.7%
5Dispatch driver2.7%
6Car dealer3%
7Car wash attendant3%
8Painter3.2%
9Garage manager3.4%
10Bookseller3.5%
Source: GoCompare
Bar staff and order pickers are the least likely to make a fault claim on their insurance. However, pickers are often seen by car insurers as high-risk applicants and therefore tend to have expensive policies – so the low incidence of at-fault claims could be down to these drivers being less likely to pursue a claim for fear of further increasing their premiums.

Why your job can affect the price of car insurance

Car insurers determine the premiums you have to pay based on the risk you represent i.e. how likely you are to make a claim, and how expensive a claim is likely to be.
Factors such as your age, your driving experience, where you live, where the car is parked overnight, how expensive/new/powerful the car is and so on. Your occupation is also one of these factors, as it can indicate a lot about your driving habits and the likelihood of making a claim. Those who use their car a lot for work may pay more insurance, for example, but you may also pay more simply for having a job that statistically leads to more claims.
On average, retired people and PAs pay the least for car insurance while labourers and waiters pay the most. It is important to make sure you choose your occupation carefully when you are getting a car insurance quote, as a lot of jobs could fit into several different categories – and some categories may be more expensive than others. However, it is even more important to ensure you are truthful and list your occupation accurately, as failure to do so could result in your policy being invalidated at the point of a claim – making it much more expensive for you than if you just told the truth originally.
Is it worth making a claim?
You pay for car insurance so that it is there to protect in the event of a claim, however, there are some occasions when you may be better off not making a claim.
If you are at fault for an accident that has caused damage to your car as well as a third party car, then the repair bill is likely to run into the thousands of pounds so – even with the excess payment and loss of a no claims discount – you will still be better off letting your car insurance deal with it.
If you have only caused minor damage to your own car and the repair costs are something you can afford to pay yourself, then going through your insurance might be less cost-effective as you will lose your no claims discount and will likely face higher premiums as a result.
It always depends on the individual circumstances, so make sure you evaluate the costs of repairs against the long-term effect a claim would have on the cost of your car insurance before you decide what to do.



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The Speeding on a motorway will increase your car insurance by £101 a year, see all here.

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New analysis from market research experts Consumer Intelligence has shows that receiving a motorway speeding conviction will add an extra £101 to your yearly car insurance premium.

  

The new study involved analysis of almost 36,000 insurance quotes over the past year, and found that the average cost of a speeding conviction is an extra £50 added to your insurance bill – on top of the minimum fine of £100 and three penalty points for speeding.
Consumer Intelligence found that drivers with no speeding convictions are quoted an average of £693 for car insurance, but that increased to £743 for drivers with a speeding conviction. The biggest increase on car insurance premiums comes with those who are caught speeding on a motorway – called an SP50 offence – who pay an average of £101 more for car insurance.
Speeding on a public road is known as an SP30 offence, and this will add an average of £36 to your insurance.
Consumer Intelligence looked at quotes for drivers aged over 25 with speeding convictions, and found the knock-on effect on car insurance prices is higher for drivers aged over 50.
Over 50’s will see their car insurance premium rise by £58 on average for a speeding conviction, and pay an extra £166 per year for a motorway speeding offence.
The maximum fine for driving over the speed limit can be as much as £2,500 depending on the severity of the offence and how much over the speed limit drivers are caught.
Recent data from the Government shows that 1.9 million penalty notices were issued in 2016 for speeding offences in 2016, an increase of 32% since 2011. However not all penalty notices result in fines as many drivers are offered a speed awareness course instead.
If you receive a speeding endorsement on your licence it remains there for four years from the date of the offence, and car insurers stipulate that all driving convictions within the past five years are declared.
Consumer Intelligence’s pricing expert John Blevins said:
“Our analysis shows that the cost of speeding is not just the fine but the higher insurance bill.
“At more than £100 a year for being caught exceeding the limit on a motorway or £50 on a public road it is substantial considering insurers ask about any convictions in the past five years.
“Insurers understandably take the view that drivers who break the speed limit are potentially a greater risk and as a consequence put up the cost of motor insurance. Premiums may be heading down again after years of increases but drivers who break the law will not benefit from any price reductions.”
The table below shows the average premiums and cost of speeding.
TYPE OF DRIVERCOST WITH NO CONVICTIONSCOST WITH ANY SPEEDING CONVICTIONSCOST WITH SP30 CONVICTIONSCOST WITH SP50 CONVICTIONS
All drivers£693£743£729£794
Under-50s£795£840£836£865
Over50s£469£527£483£635

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Today insurance question! Does your car insurance cover child car seats?

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Today insurance question! Does your car insurance cover child car seats?

New research has revealed that as many as one in four car insurance policies do not offer cover for child car seats – leaving parents severely out of pocket if something were to happen to their car seat.



The figures also revealed that less than 50% of all UK car insurance policies will pay out the full value of a damaged car seat.
In the UK, all children under the age of 12 or under 135cm in height must sit in a recognised child car seat or booster seat, and with some car seats costing upwards of £400 many parents are taking a big financial risk.
According to new data from Defaqto, 25% of car insurance policies (67 out of 267) offer no cover at all for car seats and only 44% of the policies included cover for the full cost of replacing car seats that are damaged in an accident.
The table below shows how much the different policies will pay out for damaged child car seats:
Car seat coverNo. of policies
£100 per seat36
£150 per seat9
£250 per seat2
£300 per seat1
£500 per seat1
Some policies also limit the total amount they will pay to replace child car seats, regardless of how many seats may have been damaged. So with parents travelling with more than one child in the car it can be an expensive cover shortfall.

Child car seat replacement services

If you find that your car insurance doesn’t offer cover for your child seats, then you may be in luck if the manufacturer offers a replacement service.
Maxi-Cosi offers a service that replaces your damaged car seat for a brand new replacement if your insurance doesn’t cover it – which applies to their entire range of car seats.
Kiddy also offer a similar service, which allows you to return any Kiddy car seat that is involved in an accident and get a free replacement up to six years after the sale date – regardless of whether your insurance would cover it or not.
You will need submit evidence of the accident, including the police report and insurance report, to benefit from both of these schemes.

Do you need to replace the child car seat after an accident?

Even if there is no visible damage to the seat after a collision, you should replace it immediately.
No matter how minor the collision was, you can’t be sure that any of the safety mechanisms within the seat haven’t been damaged – and when children are involved is always better to be safe than sorry.


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See How insurtechs are transforming insurance underwriting – 7 examples

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See How insurtechs are transforming insurance underwriting – 7 examples

Start-ups working in the financial industry have been on a steady increase since at least 2010, and now with the heightened focus on insurtechs, we are seeing more of these ambitious companies developing technology that helps underwriters manage risk. As John Cusano notes in his blog post, “Insurtech Firms Star at New York’s Fintech Innovation Lab”, the rise of insurtechs is being embraced throughout the industry, with top-tier firms actively integrating many of the innovative solutions.
See How insurtechs are transforming insurance underwriting – 7 examples


“Insurtechs are aiming to help insurance companies perform better rather than trying to muscle in on their traditional markets,” says Cusano, discussing how the innovative start-ups are facilitating growth in the industry.
The commonality behind most insurtechs is that they use data at the core of their operations. Information gleaned from sensors the multitude of devices on the Internet of Things, aggregated public records or even behavior patterns of industrial workers can all contribute to a more agile, effective insurer. Information is the lifeblood of underwriting and insurtechs are helping keep the industry healthy and happy.
With the diversity of companies working to develop digital underwriting solutions, it can be hard to identify those that will ultimately have the biggest impact. The following list focuses on seven insurtechs providing intelligent and creative solutions:
  • Friendsurance – Marketed as a social insurance solution, Friendsurance groups together individuals who have the same coverage.. The groups are incentivized using cashback rewards: the fewer and smaller the claims that are made, the greater the rewards. As claims are made, the cashback rewards diminish, encouraging the group to only make claims when absolutely necessary. This minimizes false claims and helps underwriters manage risk.
  • TrueMotion – An insurtech that uses smartphones’ sensor technology to score drivers based on their behavior, significantly around distracted driving. The information helps underwriters attract and retain the safest, most profitable drivers.
  • Habit Analytics – Data sourced from smartphones and connected devices at home is used to create behavioral patterns that help insurers make decisions regarding services, products and risk models. Leveraging real-time data allows for enhanced underwriting models and optimized pricing decisions.
  • Goji – Positioned as a platform that uses personal history to help purchasers connect with the best insurer available at the best cost, Goji delivers that data to a group of major underwriters. By including driving history as a part of the application, insurers are able to provide quick quotes on the individual based on a score. This minimizes risk for the underwriter by allowing for accurate, selective pricing.
  • StrongArm Tech – Focused on improving the wellbeing of industrial workers, this insurtech helps underwriters better manage risk by using data collected from sensors worn by workers. The statistical connections between behaviors, injuries and claims allow for more accurate pricing and the development and implementation of preventative solutions for injury.
  • Guevara – Similar to Friendsurance, Guevara operates on a cashback platform, putting consumers into groups that are incentivized to be honest and accurate when they claim. As more claims come through, so the cash reward diminishes. This supports underwriters by reducing the number of false claims and allowing for targeted policy pricing.
  • Open Data Nation – Using aggregated information sourced from around 2.5 billion public records in the U.S., Open Data Nation is able to provide insurers with insights that help them assess risk. Insurers can prioritize and select the customers they wish to underwrite, while avoiding higher-risk options.
As digital technology continues to become more nuanced and precise, the number of insurtechs is likely to grow. Insurers that do well in the new digital landscape will be those that adopt the creative solutions being developed by some of these innovative companies. As shown in the short list above, there are plenty of contenders developing creative digital offerings and helping drive the future forward.


Why workers’ comp insurers should look to innovation and technology to prepare for in insurance.

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Why workers’ comp insurers should look to innovation and technology to prepare for in insurance.

In my first post in this series, I outlined how workplace injuries cost companies and their workers’ compensation insurers billions of dollars each year and proposed that analytics tools and a new generation of wearables could help bring down the costs and risks of workplace injuries.

Why workers’ comp insurers should look to innovation and technology to prepare for in insurance.
In this post, I’ll look at why workers’ comp insurers should look to innovation and technology to prepare for headwinds the industry may face in the years to come. Workers’ comp insurers currently lag life and personal lines auto insurers with regard to the effective exploitation of technologies such as Internet of Things devices for risk engineering and mitigation.
They continue to rely on worker job codes and other static criteria to assess injury risks and to price policies. This might not be enough to ensure growth and competitiveness in the future. The sector—the largest segment of the US commercial insurance market—remains profitable, but workers’ comp insurers cannot afford to be complacent.
According to a report from Moody’s Investors Service, the US workers’ comp sector has improved significantly since 2011 as the domestic economy has strengthened and as the labor market has grown. But Moody’s warns that rising competition could lead to margin compression in the years to come.
What’s more, labor shortages and an ageing workforce could result in the recruitment of a less qualified and trained industrial workforce, and hence, the risk of higher benefit payments. Older workers, who are at higher risk of many classes of injury than younger workers, may also be encouraged to postpone retirement.
Dr. Richard Victor, the former CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute and current senior fellow at the Sedgwick Institute, forecasts a 55 percent increase in the number of workers’ comp claims by 2030. This could see the costs (including inflation) of workers’ comp triple in the same timeframe.
With challenges rising for workers’ comp insurers and industrial organizations alike, an episodic approach to evaluating workers’ risk of injury is not sufficient. Leading organizations should be looking at how they can leverage the Internet of Things and analytics tools for continuous monitoring of workplace injury and productivity risks.
The advent of platforms such as Strongarm Technologies’ FUSE Risk Management Platform promises a similar revolution in the monitoring of worker health and safety to how the industrial Internet of Things has transformed management of industrial assets, or how fitness wearables have changed the way many people approach health and fitness.
Such solutions can help to vastly reduce injuries, bringing benefits to workers’ compensation insurers and their clients alike.
My final post will wrap up by looking at how workers’ comp insurers can use wearables and data to offer more value and understand risks better than ever before.

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