Level Term Life Insurance

As we’ve briefly mentioned in the previous post, level term life insurance pays out a set amount of money to your dependants, if you die during the term of the policy. Here, we’ll be taking a closer look at this most comprehensive form of life insurance cover.

Benefits

In the unfortunate event of your death, level term life insurance will help your remaining family members cover the costs of mortgage payments. This is the most common purpose for which people take out this form of life insurance. Setting the term of the insurance policy the same as the mortgage will guarantee that the policy is enough to cover your mortgage. One of the biggest benefits of this is that the later the insurance is paid out in the term, the lesser the amount of the mortgage to be repaid. Thus, your family will be left with a paid off mortgage and cash to spare. Although mortgage repayment is a major purpose of this form of cover, the policy’s cash can be used to pay off other debts. Or, you may simply want to leave your family with lump sum, to spend how they will.

Costs

The cost of life insurance depends largely on medical factors and lifestyle choices. Medical factors include any illnesses you may have or may have the propensity to develop. Thus, familial medical history also comes into play, when insurers are calculating your risk for life insurance. Asthma and heart problems top the lists, when it comes to what insurers are looking for here. Lifestyle choices include habits that affect your health. As you’re probably aware, cigarette smoking habits and alcohol consumption will both dramatically increase the cost of life insurance premiums. Dangerous high-risk hobbies, such as sky diving, and high-risk occupations will also drive up the cost of your life insurance.

Is pet self-insurance a viable option?

Now that we’ve trawled through the various pet insurance options available and come across some of their pros and cons, the question arises, do you really need a pet insurance policy? With lifetime cover not entirely what it seems and the increasing cost of premiums, is there another option? While there are several options and ways to ensure your pet is taken care of, in this post, we’ll take a look at self-insurance.

What is self-insurance?

Put simply, self-insurance is when you save a set amount of money regularly, to be used to pay for potential veterinary bills. Of course, the amount you choose to set aside will be determined by your budget and what you can afford. Instead of spending money on expensive premiums and not claiming any amounts back for healthy pets, self-insurance gives you an option. You could keep hold of your money and develop a fund while your pet is young and healthy, to pay for illnesses and problems in old age. Over the course of several years, this fund could grow to be quite substantial.

What are the pitfalls of pet self-insurance?

The first thing to consider is the risks your pet carries. Between species and breeds, some may be more likely that others to develop illness, congenital diseases and hereditary conditions. While, others may be more likely to be stolen. Furthermore, veterinary bills can be expensive and appear suddenly. Depending on where you’re up to with your self-insurance pot, you may not have the funds immediately available to cover vets’ bills. Thus, you may be jeopardising the wellbeing of your beloved pet. Additionally, if your pet develops a chronic condition, it could easily cost you thousands of pounds. At that point, it will be almost impossible to get pet insurance.

The Basics of Lifetime Pet Cover

In this post, we take a closer look at the most expensive form of pet insurance, lifetime pet cover. Lifetime pet cover is the most comprehensive form of pet insurance and the costliest. With some variance among insurance providers, lifetime pet cover offers protection through a wide range of illnesses and injuries. Lifetime policies account for chronic and recurring conditions, while non-lifetime policies do not provide cover for pre-existing or age-related conditions. In this way, lifetime policies may offer pet owners more peace of mind than non-lifetime policies, such as accident only, specified conditions and time limited policies.

Lifetime pet insurance policies come under two categories and are termed “annual limit per condition” and “condition limit.”

Annual Limit Per Condition – These policies offer pay outs for veterinary expenses up to an agreed limit for any condition that your pet may develop. For example, if your dog develops diabetes and your limit is £10,000, then you will be entitled to claim back expenses worth up to £10,000. Similarly, if during that same period, your pet dog also develops arthritis, you will be able to claim back up to £10,000 of payments made towards treating this second condition. Thus, the £10,000 pot resets with the emergence of each new condition and is available for a year’s duration.

Condition Limit – These policies set a lifetime limit for each condition your pet may already have or may develop. Thus, if the policy agrees to a lifetime limit of £25,000, the policy holder can claim up to £25,000 of expenses made towards treatment of a condition for as long as the policy is renewed.

Advantages of Lifetime Cover

If you have a pet which suffers from a chronic or recurring condition, lifetime insurance cover offers the best solution. Providing continual cover and high limits, you can rest assured that your pet’s treatment costs will be covered.

 

Pet Insurance Tips

With improvements in technology, healthcare and nutritional science, pets are living longer than ever. However, with improvement comes increased cost, such as for food, toys and veterinary care. Pet insurance policies can help you to organise your finances and maintain your budget, without comprising on your pet’s quality of life. Follow Insurance Finance Talk’s top tips to help obtain the best pet insurance policy for you and your beloved pet.

Compare Insurers

When it comes to hunting a good deal, comparison is the first and foremost starting point. In a previous post, we’ve looked at what types of cover pet insurance policies offer. However, as with anything, different pet insurance providers offer different deals. Acquaint yourself with the types of cover and conduct a search online for comparison websites, so you can compare pet insurance policies side by side.

Assess Insurers

With a plethora of options and unscrupulous rogue insurance brokers offering irresistible deals, make sure your policy is legitimate. Check for online reviews, search specialist pet forums and conduct due diligence when assessing and reviewing pet insurers. Most household-name insurance companies now offer pet insurance. By sticking to the big names, you may be paying a little more for your peace of mind and the health of your beloved pet.

What Does Your Policy Cover?

As mentioned above, and in a previous post, coverage comes in a variety of options. Pet insurance health plans may require extra provision for pre-existing, hereditary, congenital or breed-related specifics. If undeclared, or not covered by your insurance, you may be left without cover and your pet may suffer as a result. Review the coverage provided by any policy, before settling on the insurance provider.

Speak to A Vet

A vet can help guide and advise you on which coverage may be best suited to your pet. They could help inform you of breed-related problems, what to expect as your pet ages and what sort of coverage would be best suited to your individual pet. DNA checks may also reveal any health issues that linger in your pet’s family tree.

HM Revenue and Customs Advice: How to Spot Missing Trader VAT Fraud

In guidance issued to VAT registered businesses, HM Revenue and Customs have presented advice on the signs and hallmarks of missing trader VAT fraud. As a VAT registered business, failure to spot missing trader fraud could have serious repercussions for you and your business. If HMRC can demonstrate that you knew or should have known that your transactions were connected to missing trader fraud, then you could lose your entitlement to claim the input tax linked to those particular transactions. With potentially considerable sums on the line, join Insurance Finance Talk today to learn how to spot missing trader fraud.

  • Ensure the legitimacy of customers or suppliers

Make enquiries and exert due diligence when dealing with a new customer or supplier. Establish the facts behind their history in the trade, this is your first port of call. Secondly, have you been contacted by buyers and sellers, offering to buy and sell the same goods, of the same specifications? Another tell-tale sign of missing trader fraud is when a supplier offers deals that carry no commercial risk for you. In other words, no payment is requested until payment is received from a customer. Furthermore, deviations from normal commercial practices are another hallmark sign of missing trader fraud.

  • Establish that the goods being supplied to you are as described by your supplier

With dubious operations and well-conceived scams operated by serious fraudsters, it is vital that you ensure the goods being supplied to you match the quantity and specification you seek. Furthermore, checking their condition is also important, in order to establish whether they are damaged or not. Also, are the goods you are purchasing actually viable for reselling in the UK market. In other words, if large quantities of goods with non-UK specifications are being offered to you in the UK, this may be indicative of missing trader fraud. Finally, does any agreement existing between you and the supplier make provisions for goods being not as described?

 

 

Insurance Fraud

According to the Association of British Insurers, fraudulent insurance claims cost more than £2.1 billion each year. To the average consumer, this translates to an addition of £50, on top of their insurance policy premium. Thus, over several years, this figure can grow into the hundreds. Although we have covered some aspects of insurance fraud in previous posts, we will visit some other dimensions to insurance fraud that may have been missed.

What is insurance fraud?

Put simply, anything which attempts to cheat the insurance process is considered insurance. Similarly, for an insurer to knowingly deny a customer a benefit also constitutes insurance fraud. According to statistics on the UK, motor insurance fraud is the most common type of fraud and the mostly costly for consumers.

Common Types of Motor Insurance Fraud

Application Fraud

  • Failure to disclose or misrepresentation of information upon application for insurance
  • Omission of past accident or insurance claim details
  • Failure to report points on license
  • Failure to mention car modifications

Fronting

  • One of the most common types of motor insurance fraud prevalent today
  • Fronting is when the main driver of a vehicle is listed on the insurance policy as a named driver
  • Usually a person at higher risk and with a higher insurance premium is fraudulently listed as a named driver in order to reduce the insurance premium
  • Despite being a common practice, fronting constitutes insurance fraud and is illegal
  • Since it is considered insurance fraud, fronting could render your insurance policy null and void

False or Exaggerated Claims

  • This is the most common type of opportunistic insurance fraud
  • It usually involves someone who has been involved in an accident and has decided to make a claim against their insurance policy
  • In order to maximise the pay out from the insurer, the insurance fraudster may concoct or exaggerate claims of injury resulting from the accident

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is an avenue used by sophisticated criminal networks to raise millions each year. However, it’s not just seasoned criminals that resort to committing insurance fraud. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) warns that often people who have never committed a crime may discover an opportunity, possibly based on a legitimate insurance claim, to defraud their insurer. The industry refers to this as opportunistic fraud, which can be committed on a range of insurance policies, such as motor, property or pet insurance. In research commissioned by the ABI, it was found that opportunistic fraud arises as a result of perceptions of fraud not being a serious crime.

Some people may argue, insurance fraudsters aren’t proper criminals. However, the consequences of committing insurance fraud are severe and grave. People found guilty of committing insurance fraud may have their future job prospects curtailed, as well as seeing a hike in their insurance premiums. Thanks to the Insurance Fraud Bureau and its Insurance Fraud Register, insurers are in an instant able to scour integrated databases before taking on new customers. As a result, people with bad insurance records will come to light immediately, when taking out a new policy.

Another view diminishing the severity of insurance fraud is that it is a largely victimless crime. Since victims of insurance fraud are covered by their insurers, and insurers rake in the cash in the millions, a few claims will hardly be noticed. Wrong. Insurance fraud is one of the biggest contributors rises in insurance policy premiums across the board. Whether they relate to motor insurance or property insurance, insurance fraud has a big impact on the premium you have to pay. Ultimately, the average consumer ends up footing the bill for insurance fraud.

Stay tuned to Insurance Finance Talk for all the latest on everything related to insurance and finance!

 

 

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau Warns of New Scam

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau has warned of fraudsters resorting to a new scam, targeting customers by claiming to be acting on behalf of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau itself. In some instances, the fraudsters have also claimed that they have obtained victims’ information from the Motor Insurance Database. The scam revolves around fraudsters claiming to be contacting the victim as a result of an accident they have been involved in. As such, they then claim that they are contacting victims in order to arrange for compensation. However, in reality, the fraudsters will only be seeking to garner personal details and any information related to accidents a victim may have actually been involved in.

Be Prepared: Motor Insurers’ Bureau Fraudsters’ Tricks

Fraudsters claiming to be acting on behalf of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau have been observed to deploy numerous tricks to dupe potential victims. Citing the name of a reputable organisation, fraudsters may claim to be investigating an accident you were involved in. Through this, they will aim to trick you into providing details of an accident you may have actually been involved in. Also, they will insist on you embellishing or falsifying information in order to increase the claim. Crucially, fraudsters will seek to obtain your bank details, to complete the payment of compensation supposedly due to you.

Take Action: Inform the Motor Insurers’ Bureau

If you receive a suspicious call, or you are concerned about being targeted by fraudsters, the MIB have advised the following:

  • Record all details of the person making contact: name and contact details
  • The name of the company they claim to be from, including the MIB
  • Your insurance details

Remember: What the Motor Insurers’ Bureau Never Does

  • The MIB does not contact members of the public unless a claim has been made
  • The MIB does not pass on or sell on insurance claim details to third parties, under any circumstance
  • The MIB will never request personal details or bank details over the phone

Cash Crash Insurance Fraud Scams

In a swindle that’s become all too common place, insurance fraud scammers target unwitting members of the public as part of bogus crash insurance fraud scams. Racking up an annual bill running into millions and millions of pounds, insurer’s pass on the costs of this to the average consumer. With insurance premiums already sky-high, worse for those living in expensive areas for insurance, the average consumer is made liable for footing the bill of the practice of insurance fraud. Staging fake accidents and claiming bogus injuries, car insurance fraudsters roam the streets, ready to pounce. Follow Insurance Finance Talk and avoid falling victim to this looming threat.

According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau, following considerable analysis into insurance claims, there are four scenarios commonly created by insurance fraudsters:

Slamming On

Since it is generally assumed that the trailing car is responsible for a rear-end collisions, insurance scammers will brake suddenly, forcing a trailing car to crash into their rear. Apart from vehicular damage, scammers cash in further by claiming injuries such as whiplash.

Flashing Headlights

Approaching side roads, scammers will flash a vehicle joining the lane in order to dupe them into thinking they are giving them way. Accelerating quickly, insurance fraudsters will then intentionally collide with the vehicle from the rear.

Immediate Repair

Sometimes, after the scammers have manufactured a collision, they will attempt to coerce the victim into paying for repairs. Rather than going through the route of pursuing a fraudulent insurance claim, scammers will intimidate, threaten and ultimately coerce the victim into paying cash on the spot.

Blind Spot Lurking

On motorways and major roads, would-be scammers will try to lurk in their victim’s blind spot. Accelerating quickly and swerving into the course of the victim’s travel, the scammers will force a collision, by not giving the trailing vehicle enough room to manoeuvre.