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Finance

What Is Income Protection Insurance And Why You Need It

We are all living in an uncertain world and in order to protect oneself against unforeseen circumstances, insurance policies should always be in place. Life insurance covers your family in the worst case scenario, and in the event, you are unable to work for any reason, income protection insurance will ensure that you suffer no financial hardship.

Injury or Sickness

Regardless of how healthy a person might be, they could suffer injury or fall ill, and in the event, that person is unable to work, income protection insurance will cover the costs according to the policy terms and conditions. Like every insurance policy, income protection is covered by the terms and conditions of the policy, and without the help of an experienced lawyer, it can be difficult to fully understand the lengthy pages of small print.

Making a Claim

If you must stop working due to either illness or injury, you can make a claim on your income protection insurance, and without the help of an experienced lawyer, this can be stressful. When a person is injured or sick, the last thing they need is to worry about how they will pay their bills, and with the right legal representative, the claimant does not have the stresses and strains that are normally associated with claiming on a policy.

The lawyer will be able to very quickly determine whether or not your claim is valid, and once they have requested the claim forms from the insurer, all the relevant documentation can be submitted on your behalf. This type of insurance does not involve a lump sum payout, and the claimant will normally receive up to 75% of their gross salary for the duration of the working absence.

No Win No Fee

This service is offered by most legal firms, and should the lawyer feel you have a strong claim, they would be happy to act on your behalf on a “no win-no fee” basis, which means the claimant has absolutely nothing to pay until they receive their award. In the event the claim is unsuccessful, there is nothing to pay, which gives the claimant peace of mind. People are reluctant to employ the services of a lawyer, knowing that this can cost a lot of money, and with no guarantee of success, a person might be reluctant to make a claim, even if they qualify.

In the event a person does claim and for one reason or another, are not happy with the outcome, the lawyer can actively pursue the claim, and by using the right legal channels, a review of the case can be carried out. If you have this type of insurance and are unable to work for any reason, all it takes to contact the right legal firm is an online search, and with the help of an experienced lawyer, the claim can be made.

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Finance

5 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

Maybe you have applied for a loan before and were either not approved or received a high-interest rate. The reason for that was because of your low credit score. Whether we agree with this system or not, we have to learn it and play that game if we want to ask for a loan.

So how do you your credit score higher and assure yourself of getting a good interest rate? Follow these 5 tips and you’ll find your credit score will begin to rise in the near future:

1. Pay your bills on time.

That’s the simplest way to improve your credit score. Set up automatic payments if you have to, but make sure every bill is paid on time. Many bills, like mobile phone service, won’t report that you’re paying on time, but the moment your account goes to collections, you can be sure that it will hit your credit rating.

2. Don’t open new accounts.

New accounts are red flags for companies looking to extend you credit, like an auto loan. The more credit cards you have, the more trouble you can get into.

3. Keep your credit to available credit ratio low.

Sometimes credit is a necessary evil, but don’t run it up any higher than you absolutely have to. If you have $2000 in credit card debt, and $10,000 in available total credit, your ratio is 20%. However, if you have $2000 in credit card debt and only $5000 in available total credit, your ratio is now 40%, and that hurts your score.

4. Don’t close your accounts.

Unless you have had problems with the credit card company, leave those cards with 0 balances open. You don’t have to use them, but if you carry a balance anywhere else, those open cards help your credit to available credit ratio. One of the exceptions to this is if the card has an annual fee. If you have a 0 balance, you might close it, just to save yourself the cost.

5. Consolidate your debt if it’s in your favor.

Many credit cards are looking for your business, and they often offer up 0% interest for 1-2 years when you use the balance transfer. If you’re struggling trying to juggle multiple payments, or you know you can pay off the balance, if you didn’t have to worry about the interest, then look into a credit card offering balance transfers. Your score might take a brief hit with the new card, but in the long run, paying off a card is better than missing payments.

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Finance

Insurance Costs Go Up As More Personal Injury Claims Are Filed

Although there are lower accident numbers recorded every single year, the number of people that were injured in vehicle accidents and that look for financial compensation is constantly rising. Claims are now fueling much dearer insurance premiums with many in the industry now expecting an increase of around 40% in the following year.

According to the best accident lawyer we should see an increase in claims in the future simply because people are now starting to be aware of the rights they have according to law while others simply say that the reason for the increase in the claims is that fraud is done. No matter the case, the insurance industry is working hard now to tackle fraud and deal with a problem that is clearly escalating.

The big problem seems to be various associated referral payments that follow the car crash. An accident management company is usually tipped off by a garage, take the case and then bill the insurance company for various expenses including doctor fees, car hire and compensation. We are actually faced with an inflated total cost because of the actions of these accident management companies so insurance companies have to react and change fees.

Bodily injury claims are bringing in increased costs that are much higher than in the past. This is seen as the biggest factor why insurance premiums are going up. Around 20 years ago the injury claims made out around 20% of the insurance claims costs. Just 5 years go the proportion was closer to 50%. It is interesting to note that the premiums that end up being paid remain at the same high amounts even if the number of people that end up with an injury in a car accident is lower. This can only indicate that fraud is present.

There is a correlation that becomes visible between bodily injury claims and the frequency at which the above mentioned companies get involved. We are looking at the real mystery of having fewer road accidents and an increase in the number of people that make claims for injuries happening during car crashes.

Local investigations found evidence of people leaving garages and then receiving text messages about being in an accident or not. According to the Daily Telegraph, there was a company that paid 500 pounds for the road accident claimants besides the compensation that would be received, thus engaging in fraudulent practices.

The bottom line is that insurance companies need to protect themselves. Because of this they need to raise insurance premiums. This is done as new departments are set up in order to check the claims.

Unfortunately, this hurts everyone, including people that are genuinely injured and that would benefit from a faster claims process. Insurance companies end up having to check everything so the entire process is so much slower than it could be. Both law enforcement and insurance companies work hard now to come up with a solution to dealing with the fraudulent claims attempts.

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Finance

Additional Costs New Home Buyers Overlook

If you’re committing to buying a home for the first time then you’re probably already slightly overwhelmed by the figures involved. However, it’s not just the price of the property that you need to bear in mind. These are some of the key additional costs that many new home buyers tend to overlook.

Stamp Duty/taxes

This is payable by the buyer of a home and, unless you’ve managed to land a property that comes with stamp duty or taxes already paid, (there are a few out there) then it’s an additional cost to consider. Property taxes tend to fall into different brackets depending on the value of the property and move upwards on a sliding scale. Each tax percentage is usually paid on the proportion of the property price that falls within the threshold.

Moving costs

Moving support varies in cost from the full blown package, where you don’t have to lift a finger, to the hire of a van that you load and unload yourself. Remember too that you may need to set up a storage facility if there is likely to be a gap between moving out of one property and into another – and that this could double your moving costs if the timing works out that way.

You may end up having to take out an unsecured loan to cover these additional costs or even get your parents involved as guarantors for a guarantor loan if you haven’t got enough money saved.

Insurance

With any high value asset it’s important for the owner to insure it – and that goes for property too. There are many different types of homeowner insurance to choose from, offering various levels of cover, and some properties and locations require very specific policies. Remember that your mortgage provider may require you to have home insurance, as well as mortgage insurance to protect your repayments if you’re not able to make them.

Repairs and renovations

Before you make an offer on a property make sure you have costed up any potential repairs and renovations that it needs. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the feeling of “this is the one” and to forget that if the property needs serious repairs it’s going to add substantially to the overall cost to you. Key areas to look at include the roof and walls, bathroom fittings and the kitchen. It may even be possible to factor in some of these potential costs into a reduction of the overall purchase price.

Closing costs

This category covers any expense that is likely to arise during the process of closing your sale. So, there will be a fee to pay on the mortgage, for example as well as the costs of lawyers and surveyors. You will have to pay for certain searches, such as those on the building and the land, and there will be an agent’s fee to pay if you used one.

All of these additional costs can have a big impact on whether a new property is really affordable for a first time buyer and all are in addition to the monthly cost of a loan you need to buy the home in the first place. Whatever your situation, make sure you factor them all in.

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Finance

4 Priorities Every New Business Should Focus On To Manage Finances

Managing the finances of a new business involves numerous aspects – and inevitably you won’t have time to deal with them all. That is why it is critical that you prioritize your tasks, and focus on the most important areas first. By doing so, you can actually reduce the overall workload involved in managing your finances, as your business’ fundamentals will be that much stronger.

With that in mind, the 4 priorities that should take precedence above and beyond all others are:

Properly structuring the financial part of your business plan

While perennially underestimated, the financial part of your business plan is extremely crucial. It will form the basis of most of your early financial decision and give you yardsticks by which you can measure your success. Although many of your projections may turn out to be inaccurate, the fact that you can know that and compensate for it will be a big help.

Separating business and personal finances

Small businesses in particular often have a lot of overlap between business and personal finances, but you should separate yours as soon as possible so that you can manage both more efficiently (and for credit rating purposes). The same applies to any personal or business debts, as the last thing you want is for one to affect the other.

Keeping track of accounts from day one

From the very first day that you start a business you should keep track of accounts. Assuming you already have a business plan that includes a budget you should be off to a good start – and you should then track bills, expenses, and all other pertinent information. While you may not have a background in accounting, keeping basic accounts for a small business isn’t too difficult and as it grows and becomes more complex you can get help if need be.

Monitoring financial position daily

All these priorities will allow you to monitor your financial position, and you should make it a point to take stock of where you stand daily. By reviewing where you stand on a constant basis, you can make better decisions regarding the direction that you take your business in, and can also identify any issues early on and take steps to address them. Even if you have someone managing your accounts, it is important that you are aware of the financial position your business is in at all times, as ultimately you will be making the decisions.

Assuming you prioritize these aspects of your finances, your business should have a solid foundation and be well-prepared to deal with most challenges. Make no mistake you will still have to focus on other areas involving its finances as your business continues to grow and expand, but at very least you should have the right information to make good decisions on all those fronts when the time comes.