Category Archives: Insurance

Insurance

INFINOX CEO Robert Berkeley: we raised our additional clients’ money insurance to £1M

LONDON, Jul-17-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Based in the City of London and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority since its founding in 2009, INFINOX (infinox.com/en) has decided to expand its client funds insurance policy to £1,000,000. The insurance policy is underwritten by QBE Underwriting Limited and other participating syndicates and comes as standard, at no cost to INFINOX’s retail clients.

It is the second time during this year for the retail broker to raise the threshold of clients’ insurance above the standard £50,000 compensation per customer, per claim, provided by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for customers of firms authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in case of a firm not being able to meet its financial obligations due to insolvency. In January 2017, INFINOX announced covering each retail client individually with such additional insurance up to £500,000.

Robert Berkeley, CEO of INFINOX, comments on this step: ‘INFINOX has built a reputation as a major player in the Forex industry, through underpinning dynamic products with competitive trading parameters and a premium customer experience. At INFINOX, our core value is treating every single client as a partner. In the move to ensure even higher security and the confidence of our clients, we decided to raise our additional clients’ money insurance to £1,000,000 from the previous £500,000. This is our way to show what best practice is, and what integrity and premium client service actually means’.

This type of additional insurance becomes important under extreme circumstances of a firm’s insolvency and where a firm is unable to meet its financial obligations or claims made against it, and enables clients to either claim against Infinox Capital Ltd or the insurance provider. Therefore, this insurance policy provides investors far greater investor protection and compensation rights than ever before.

For more information, visit https://infinox.com/en/client-funds-insurance

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Car insurance plan is all about creating a new revolution in the vehicle industry

The Indian urban transport system is undergoing a face lift. Many small budget cars such as Nano and others have become very popular among vehicle owners in India. Automobile companies are consistently introducing new cars and motorbikes that meet precise requirements of Indian consumers. However, this has also resulted in increase in the number of car accidents. Vehicle owners are also experience problems with traffic jams, parking space and a lot more. Safety is the major concern.

For safety of vehicle, one needs to buy a comprehensive Car insurance plan. Motor insurance plan is important to cover various dangers a vehicle may encounter. Most of the risks covered include the ones caused by natural as well as man-made calamities. Get a vehicle insured is the primary source of keeping risks away from a vehicle. However, it is crucial to understand more about the best Vehicle insurance companies before investing in a plan.

In India, car insurance plan and the companies are managed by the Indian Motor Tariff. Hence, the cover offered will remain the same regardless of where one buys it from. Additionally, the Car insurance plan is compulsory as per the law. It should also be renewed each year.

There are many things to consider before buying a car insurance plan. One needs to know about the premium rates. The company will ask for records and details such as gender, age, gender, payments made in the past etc. These factors influence the premium rate.

Using quotes will also help in getting an idea on rates and cover facilities offered. Studying the costs and coverage offered by the companies in detail is important.

“Comparing quotes will make sure one gets the best rate and cover facilities offered by various reputed companies in India” states Insurance Experts.

It is crucial to check the reputation of the insurance company prior to buying the insurance plan. The research will help in reaching out to the best company in India.

Accidents cannot be foreseen. Getting a car insurance plan from one of the best vehicle insurance companies such as ICICI Lombard or Bajaj Allianz can help customers ensure car security under all conditions.

Buying car insurance plan from one of the most reputed vehicle insurance companies can help in securing the vehicle and ensure adept financial help in case of an emergency. Buying a car insurance policy after weighing all the pros and cons can definitely help a car owner ensure safety of their vehicle. Moreover, these plans are mandatory for vehicle owners in India by law.

I am renowned Insurance Agent, presently working for the venerated survey company for the contribution of Facts & Figures for the reports & statistics. Previously, I have been active member for many government schemes concerning Auto Insurance in India.

Contact Details: Kerala, 3622902, devikapandit19@gmail.comwww.insuranceexperts.in

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ICICI Lombard Introduces Overseas Travel Health Insurance Plan

ICICI Lombard Private sector general insurer, a provider of ICICI Lombard health insurance online has recently launched ‘International Travel Insurance Plan’. This plan is different from a regular travel insurance plan provided by insurance companies these days as it provides overseas medical insurance assistance too.

“We have launched this product keeping in view that number of international travellers from India is increasing. Apart from medical insurance, this policy covers a host of other risks like political ones, catastrophic evacuation, emergency financial assistance, and home insurance cover,” said Amit Bhandari, the vice-president for underwriting and claims.

Mr. Bhandari also confirmed that the ICICI Lombard medical insurance company has collaborated with United Health Care (UHC), a US-based healthcare provider. According to Bhandari, the collaboration by online insurance company will take care of bill settlement directly. It will also help with other facilities such as cashless hospitalisation. This is available across a huge network of hospitals.

As per a recent report and statistics studies, total premium collected by the travel insurance segment across the country stood at 400 crore INR in the last financial year. This is quite a low figure as compared to those collected for previous financial years in the history of travel insurance sector.

CICI Lombard is the largest private sector insurer. It had a gross written premium (GWP) of Rs 5,358 crore last financial year.

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Another £400m Into RBS’ PPI Compensation Fund, Says Missoldppiclaims.info

The Royal Bank of Scotland has earmarked an additional £400m to cover the cost of compensation and refunds relating to mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), says leading PPI Claims Company Missoldppiclaims.info.

The nationalised bank has released figures for the last quarter showing a pre-tax loss of£1.26bn, a proportion of which is due to the allocation of a further £400m to its PPIcompensation fund. In a move echoed around the banking industry in recent months, RBS now has increased its total PPI allocation to now stand at £1.7bn. However, it is unlikely to be the end of the compensation claims for the beleaguered bank.

Its recent computer problems resulted in significant numbers of RBS, Natwest and Ulster Bank customers being locked out of their accounts for days, a mistake which has cost£175million so far with a further £50m of compensation put aside.

RBS is also part of an investigation by regulators in the UK, US and Asia – including the fraud division of the US justice department – over the part it played in the manipulation of the LIBOR inter-bank lending rate. With settlement negotiations imminent, the fines that could potentially be applied RBS believe could have a “material” impact on the company.

Despite the problems, RBS showed operating profits for the third quarter increased from£650m to £1bn, while bad debt fell by £159m and staff costs were 5% lower due to a 7% reduction in staff.

Stephen Hester, chief executive of RBS, said: “The extraordinary challenges which RBS faced following the financial crisis are being worked through successfully. The five year restructuring plan is now in its later stages with important work still to do, including an emphasis on dealing with reputational issues now that the bank’s safety and soundness has advanced so well.”

A spokesperson for leading PPI Claims Management Company, Missoldppiclaims.info said: “It’s good to see RBS recognising its responsibilities towards customers that were mis-sold PPI policies, in particular the responsibility to put customers first and treat them fairly. This can be seen in its decision to increase lending to its business customers even though there was a downturn in loan applications, but it would be good to see a similar helpful response to borrowing for its non-business customers with personal loans and residential mortgages.

The reputational issues Mr Hester refers to are likely to be industry criticisms that RBS customers play second fiddle to the short-term interests of shareholders and staff. As a result, RBS has relaxed its lending position towards its small and medium (SMEs)businesses, which has led to a an increase of new lending by 3% since the second quarter despite a 25% drop in SME loan applications due to the Olympics and doubts over the stability of the UK economy.

Analyst Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “There is no doubting the immensity of the task RBS has faced in executing its turnaround plan, nor indeed the progress made so far.”

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Prudential reveals more than 2 million couples have never discussed finances together

Prudential reports that many British couples are burying their hands in the sand over their financial situations. One in seven* (14 per cent) couples over the age of 40 – or around 4.2** million people – admit they have never discussed their finances.

Fears about having awkward conversations drives this behaviour, with 15 per cent of those surveyed admitting they feel uncomfortable talking to their partners about financial planning.

A concern that these conversations will boil over into arguments is another reason that couples avoid talking about their finances – money is the third most likely subject to cause arguments among couples, with nearly one in four (23 per cent) claiming that they fight over finances, ahead of work (10 per cent), and politics and religion (5 per cent). Only household chores (27 per cent) and disputes about family (30 per cent) are more likely to cause disagreements.

Even for the majority of couples who do discuss their retirement plans, long-term issues are likely to be side-lined, as short-term everyday expenses take priority. Daily living costs and household bills are regularly discussed by the majority of couples (60 per cent and 52 per cent respectively), and one in three couples (34 per cent) speak about the costs of home improvements, large purchases and luxuries.

However, discussions about long-term planning are far less prevalent, with only 16 per cent of couples claiming to regularly talk about retirement income and pension planning. Only 3 per cent of couples claim they have had conversations about inheritance planning and tax.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential said: “Money can be a tough topic to discuss at the best of times. Many couples prefer to steer clear of conversations about finances, and especially discussions about longer-term issues like retirement which might feel light-years away. Yet it really pays to be honest about your financial situation. Being open about discussing long-term financial planning as early as possible will help couples to ensure they can enjoy a comfortable retirement together.”

Only 13 per cent of respondents said they had seen a financial adviser with their partners in the past five years. A further 13 per cent say they or their partner has seen an adviser separately within this timeframe and 8 per cent have seen an adviser but not within the past five years. The vast majority (66 per cent) have never seen a financial adviser to discuss retirement or pension planning.

Vince Smith-Hughes continued: “Websites like www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk andwww.moneyadviceservice.org.uk can help with some in-depth information about retirement options. A joint conversation with a financial adviser should help couples to make the right pension savings decisions during their working lives, so that they’ll have the right income to support their lifestyles in retirement.”

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Confused.com reveals that barking mad Brits leave homes unprotected

New research from home insurance expert, Confused.com has revealed that UK homes are woefully unprotected against intruders with more than three in five (61%) having absolutely no security systems set up.

Latest statistics from The Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that in the past year (2011-12), the UK has been subjected to 677,000 burglaries, yet Brits are still failing to protect their homes against unwanted intruders.

With so many attacks on homes in just 12 months, it’s unsurprising that more than a third (38%) of Brits rarely or never feel safe in their own homes. Despite this, a worrying two fifths (42%) don’t have basic security systems such as motion sensors in place, while a third (33%) don’t even have security lights set up.

ONS figures reveal that flats in urban areas that have been lived in for less than a year are the most likely to be targeted by intruders and burglars. Houses with an annual income of less than £10,000 are also among the most tempting targets for pesky prowlers.

While Brits are woefully unprotected against unwanted visitors, they do believe that deterrents would help allay their fears. A quarter (25%) of UK homeowners believe that guard dogs make for the best intruder deterrents, and in fact nearly two thirds (61%) of dog owners admit to leaving their dogs at home while they’re away on short breaks to ward off would-be burglars. With almost nine in ten (88%) Brits admitting that just seeing an unchained dog on a property would be enough to stop them from entering, it’s undeniable that having a dog at home is an effective deterrent of burglars.

However, an ‘attack’ from a guard dog doesn’t need to be physical to be effective. Nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents admitted that the bark is the most unnerving thing about a dog. A Labrador’s bark is seen as the third scariest (7%), just behind Pit Bulls (9%), while German Shepherds (45%) are the clear winner. German Shepherds have a history of being effective guard dogs. Their size intimidates intruders, and the Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Loudest Bark is held by a German Shepherd as well.

World Record holder, Daz, of Clacton-on-Sea can bark at up to 108 decibels and has been instrumental in keeping his house safe.

With his in mind, Confused.com has launched a free-to-download audio recording of Daz which homeowners can leave playing in their home while they’re out and about. Daz barks intermittently on a reel to create the illusion that the house is occupied and to scare off would-be-intruders so that people across the country can go about their business, safe in the knowledge they’ve got a more secure home. The Doggie Deterrent audio file can be downloaded here – www.confused.com/home-insurance/dogs-prevent-burglaries-for-barking-mad-brits.

Gareth Kloet, Head of home insurance at Confused.com, said: “There are plenty of simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of your home being burgled. Drawing the curtains at night when you’re out; installing security lights and fitting an alarm that’s working are just a few. What’s really stood out in this research is the positive impact having a dog at home has on home security; it helps deter intruders while reassuring the homeowner as well.”

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Confused.com reveals that ‘Gender has never mattered less’

A new Confused.com report, entitled ‘UK caught in the gender blender’ anticipates new EU gender rules, which will come into force on 21 December 2012. The rules will mean that men and women will be treated identically when it comes to insurance, with no more gender-based discounts for women drivers. Cheaper life insurance for women will also become a thing of the past.

The report reveals that the rules of the gender battle between men and women have changed for good. The Future Laboratory, which compiled the research report on behalf of Confused.com, has identified that the ‘battle for gender-blindness’ will take over from the fight for equality, or feminism.

Other EU countries have already taken gender equality a lot further than the UK but Elise Claeson, who contributed to the Confused.com report, revealed that: “Gender neutrality has been a disaster in Sweden.”

Elise, who is a former equality expert at the Swedish Confederation of Professions, explains: “Gender neutrality has caused an epidemic of relationship breakdowns, because we are sexually attracted to the opposite, yet we have spent years trying to make men and women the same.”

But neuroscientist and author Lise Eliot argued in the report that people’s ability to drive well, to talk about emotions, and to read maps, are not set in stone by our genes or hormones. Instead, they are programmed to be girls and boys by the words and actions of parents and friends.

“Kids rise or fall according to what we believe about them,” she said. “Pre-schoolers are already aware of what’s acceptable to their peers and what’s not.”

She continued: “There is little solid evidence in human studies of sex differences in children’s brains. The idea that girl’s brains are wired for communication and boy’s for aggression is simply a fallacy.

“We still live in a clear two-gender culture. But rather than being something we are born with, our gender identity is set by the nurturing of our parents and the pressures of our peers.”

The report also examines the impact of the new EU gender rules, which will be enforced from 21 December 2012.

Matt Lloyd, Head of Life insurance from Confused.com feels that losing gender as a risk factor for insurance is a step backwards. He commented: “Gender is a stable and useful long term indicator of risk which cannot be replaced easily when the new law comes into effect on 21 December 2012. Women definitely have the most to lose through the changes relating to life insurance.

“It is likely that life insurers will be looking for a similar solution to telematics in the future and that the individual, not the group, will be rated.”

More than half (51%) of people in the UK think that women and men are equal when it comes to driving, sports (52%) and in the kitchen (52%). Tellingly, two thirds (66%) of people also say men and women are business equals.

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ActiveQuote Launch New Life Insurance Comparison Service

ActiveQuote is delighted to announce the launch of its new life insurance comparison service, allowing users to compare life insurance quotes online from 11 leading UK insurers.

Since 2009, www.activequote.com has remained the leading health insurance comparison website in the UK, comparing more products than anyone else and offering the user greater control over tailoring their policy.

In April of this year ActiveQuote followed this up by successfully unveiling its income protection comparison service, giving customers the opportunity to compare short term and long term income protection products side by side for the first time.

Now, ActiveQuote has expanded its range to include a third product by launching its life insurance comparison tool. The new life insurance comparison system includes all the unique features customers have come to expect from ActiveQuote: online quotes that can be tailored to fit their budget and requirements, choice of leading UK insurers and the ability to buy their chosen policy online.

After the customer specifies the level of life insurance required, ActiveQuote search the leading UK life insurers including Legal & General, Aviva and Friends Life to find the best life insurance and critical illness quotes to suit their needs and budget.

The life insurance quotes can then be tailored online, with the customer able to amend the amount of cover, policy term and critical illness amount with instant updates to the price. After viewing the full details of each plan, unsuitable quotes can be removed at the click of a button and the selected policy purchased online.

Managing Director Dr Richard Theo said: “ActiveQuote has led the movement into online comparison for medical insurance and income protection. We are now delighted to add life insurance to our online portfolio.”

ActiveQuote’s life insurance comparison service is released at a timely moment, as many people will be reviewing or investing in a policy before the imminent EU Gender Directive. On 21st December insurers will no longer be allowed to base premiums on gender, so experts are predicting a 20% rise in life insurance premiums for women and a small increase for men.

Dr Theo said: “Now is the final chance for many customers to take advantage of the current life insurance rates, so people who are considering taking out cover or changing to a new insurer should compare life insurance as soon as possible.”

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Confused.com reveals car insurance prices plummeted by 13.6% for drivers under 20

Confused.com has revealed car insurance has plummeted by £360 (13.6%) for drivers aged 17-20, but 2013 could see dramatic price rises after this December’s EU gender ruling. Experts have warned 17-20 year old drivers to take advantage of the current preferential rates and advised young drivers to avoid 2013’s predicted price hikes by shopping around.

Average comprehensive car insurance prices now stand at £757 as of Q3 2012, compared to £843 for Q3 of last year, a significant year-on-year fall of £87 (10.3%).

However, Confused.com’s experts predict this reduction could be short-lived and that the Treasury’s forecasts of 24% rises for young female drivers in the age group 17- 25 may come true for motorists in 2013, catching those who fail to shop around. This predicted insurance price rise could affect female drivers throughout various age groups, according to this Treasury data. 26-30 year old females are forecast an 18% price hike once the gender directive takes effect. 31-35 year old female drivers are expected to suffer a 10% price rise.

Smaller price rises are expected for women aged 36-40 who are predicted to experience a 3% rise, and 41-45 year female drivers are only expected to receive a 1% price rise for their future car insurance policies.

The latest Towers Watson/Confused car insurance price index shows a very different picture to those future predictions. 17-20 year-old women have fared best during Q3 of 2012, with a whopping 17.3% annual decrease in prices. For men it was the 36-40 year olds who experienced the most significant drop, with a 10.7% reduction in annual costs.

For Third Party Fire and Theft cover only, average premiums for Q3 stood at £1,131, showing minor reductions year-on-year of 2.1% and 1.5% quarter-on-quarter.

Quarter 3 of 2012 saw car insurance prices fall for all age groups, particularly young female drivers, but predictions from the Treasury indicate that young female drivers could see rises of up to 24% after the EU gender ruling becomes law on 21 December 2012. After this date women and men cannot be priced differently for insurance meaning women will no longer directly benefit from being statistically less risky drivers as far as insurers are concerned.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com said: “We would recommend that young drivers take advantage of these latest price drops if they are able to renew now, but we anticipate that steep price hikes loom with the advent of the EU gender ruling, which means shopping around has never been so key.”

Regionally the biggest annual price falls have been in the Manchester/Merseyside area (prices fell by 12.5%), closely followed by the North East (a drop of 12.4%). By postcode area, Kirkwall saw the biggest price drop in the UK as prices fell by 15.6% and this was closely followed by Darlington, where car insurance prices dropped by 14.6%

Women on average saw their premiums shrink by 11.7% over all in Q3. For spouses of either gender the average premium cost for a joint insurance policy is a lot less than average costs for solo drivers: male drivers insured plus spouse are quoted on average £432, compared to £907 as insured only driver, for women it costs an average of £787 for insured only driver cover, but just £418 for women who have a spouse on their policy.

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Confused.com Reveals That 1 in 3 ‘Worth More Dead Than Alive’

1 in 3 people in the UK (34%) say they are ‘worth more dead than alive’ according to new research by Confused.com, but 40% of people in the new study say that they have dependents who could not pay the bills if they died, and nearly 60% do not have life insurance.

A new, short zombie film made by Confused.com hammers home the message that once people are gone, it’s too late to think about life insurance, which is sad for the poor zombie who is patiently waiting at home for a financial adviser.

However, nearly 60% of the UK (59%) told Confused.com that they do not have a life insurance policy, despite the fact that 64% do have a mortgage which they have not yet paid off.

Insurers in the UK pay out £37 million every day to help dependents cope with the death of loved ones, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) but despite this, more than 1 in 10 people surveyed (11%) admitted that their loved ones would be without a home if they died. This strongly suggests that many may not protect their families through life insurance or savings.

30% of couples have a joint mortgage, while 57% have a joint bank account. This could mean they’d have to take on joint debt on their own if their partner died without life insurance.

Matt Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at Confused.com explained: “A debt such as a mortgage should ideally be backed up with life insurance so that it can be paid off in part or in full if one of the mortgage holders should die. The loss of a loved one is a stressful time without having to worry about not being able to afford the mortgage bills.”

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Confused.com reveals that men named Brian have the best credit profile in the UK

Confused.com has revealed men named Brian have on average the best credit profile in the UK, while for ladies it is Helen.

In contrast, the first name with the poorest average credit profile is Lisa, while the male equivalent is Daniel.

Confused.com, the comparison site, analysed data from thousands of its customers who have used its free Credit Card Matcher Tool this year to reveal the names with the best and worst credit profiles in the UK. Confused.com is urging consumers to think about their credit history before they apply for a credit card, as a rejected application can negatively affect your credit score.

When it comes to surnames, people with the last name of Edwards have on average the best credit profile in the UK. Meanwhile, the surname with the lowest average credit profile is Thompson.

As well as a credit name lottery of sorts, the research reveals the existence of a postcode lottery when it comes to good and bad credit. The UK postcode with the highest average credit profile among its residents is SL4 in Slough. Meanwhile, SA1 in Swansea – the postcode with the poorest average credit profile – has a score 10% below the national average.

The research shows that age also makes a difference when it comes to credit scores as on average people’s credit history improves as they get older. Average scores for people aged 65 and over are 8% higher than the national average, according to the research. Meanwhile, the age bracket with the worst average credit profile is 18 to 24 – 4% lower than the national average.

Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, said: “While our research shows the names with the best and worst credit profiles in the UK, people’s names are obviously not a rating factor when looking at credit. So if you’re called Brian you won’t automatically be gifted with a great profile, or penalised because your name is Lisa.

“We would encourage people to think about their credit history as a good or bad score can have a number of implications, such as your likelihood of acceptance for credit cards and also loans and mortgages.

“There are certain things you can do to improve your situation if your credit history is non-existent, or not quite up to scratch. For example, a credit building card may be one option. By using a credit building card sensibly, you demonstrate to lenders, such as banks, that you can borrow and pay back money responsibly. This in turn helps to build up your credit history.”

Confused.com’s Credit Card Matcher Tool allows people to check their likelihood of acceptance for a credit card before they apply.

Lewis added: “By using our free Credit Card Matcher Tool, people can potentially avoid a negative credit card application. If you apply and are not accepted then a lot of people aren’t aware that this can harm your credit score.”

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Confused.com reveals the benefits and dangers of Baby on Board signs

Confused.com has teamed up with Brake, the road safety charity, to highlight the benefits and dangers of ”Baby on Board’ signs and remind parents about safety for younger passengers.

37% of parents (almost 2 in 5) have displayed a ‘Baby on Board’ sign either currently or in the past. Now it’s time to find out if they are a help or a hazard. Confused.com’s new research among 2,000 drivers (50% of whom have children under 16) found that 80% of the parents who use baby on board signs think they improve safety, while 46% of drivers said that ‘Baby on Board’ signs obscure vision when driving.

Confused.com’s research discovered that clutter is a concern among many drivers, and having too many novelty items displayed could be a safety issue. 51% of all those questioned said they think other drivers display too much clutter in their car windows, such as stickers and novelty items. 15% of drivers who do exhibit these signs admit they do so simply because they are a cute/novelty item while 4% only display one because they received it as a gift.

Brake’s experts have confirmed that window clutter can be an issue on the road, but acknowledge that baby on board signs can also have a safety benefit.

Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive at Brake, said: “Baby on board signs can be incredibly helpful for emergency services at the scene of a crash in knowing whether there’s a child involved, but this help can become a hindrance if drivers display signs when their child isn’t in the vehicle. Worse still is the danger that can be posed by drivers obscuring their view by cluttering up windows with lots of signs. Drivers’ priority should always be getting there safely, without putting themselves, young passengers or other road users a risk. That includes ensuring your view isn’t obscured and you remain fully focused on the road.”

The research also found that drivers who have never displayed a ‘Baby on Board’ sticker or do not drive children around are more likely to think the signs are tacky (34%) or dangerous as they obscure vision (18%).

Meanwhile, 46% of people who drive kids around say they have driven with a ‘Baby on Board’ sign and 22% of these say they always display the sign.

Confused.com’s survey also reveals that 14% of parents with under-16s think ‘Baby on Board’ signs are uncool/not trendy and 33% of drivers think the signs are ‘tacky’. Interestingly, it’s women who are most likely to disapprove of the signs, with 35% of women questioned saying the signs are ‘tacky’ while only 31% of male drivers felt the same.

The research also found that a quarter of parents aged 18-24 (who have young children) always display a ‘Baby on Board’ sign when they drive. This age group is also most likely to display novelty stickers in their car window, compared to drivers of other ages. 18-24 year-old drivers are least likely to say that other drivers display too much clutter in their car windows.

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NRMA Insurance To Offer Life Insurance

NRMA Insurance’s alliance with life insurance provider TAL will see TAL provide life insurance policies on behalf of NRMA Insurance, with customer policies managed by TAL.

NRMA Insurance Chief Executive Officer Andy Cornish said that the alliance would help make life insurance more accessible for customers.

“Underinsurance is a problem in Australia with around 95 per cent of people not holding adequate life insurance.*

“Our alliance with TAL allows us to address this by offering easy to understand andaffordable life insurance, as well as greater access as customers can purchase life insurance through all of our existing sales channels.

“TAL, like NRMA Insurance has a long and proud history of helping Australians protect their assets, and offer security for them and their families.”

Mr Cornish said the alliance means NRMA Insurance can utilise the expertise of TAL to offer its customers another important insurance product, while also continuing to focus on their core suit of products.

“This alliance will allow us to continue to grow our multi-product, multi-channel strategy,” Mr Cornish said.

TAL Direct Chief Executive Officer John Hoyle said NRMA customers will experience a seamless delivery of high quality service.

“TAL is the market leader in direct life insurance and has a history of successfully partnering with non-life insurance businesses to provide greater access to life insurance for their customers.

“The alliance is a significant partnership. The products and services we provide for NRMA Insurance will be to the same high standard TAL applies to its own business,” said Mr Hoyle.

NRMA Life Insurance is available from 9th October 2012 and customers can purchase online, in an NRMA office or by calling 132 132.

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Confused.com Reveals That A Third Of UK Workers Admit Pulling A Sickie

Confused.com has revealed more than a third of workers (35 per cent) admit having lied to their boss about the reason they have missed work. Popular excuses workers use to pull the wool over their employer’s eyes include flu, stomach aches, diarrhoea and bad backs. However, the astonishing number of people who still go into work when they are actually unwell implies a dangerous culture of ‘presenteeism’.

The poll of 2,000 UK workers also reveals the top five professions where people are more likely to make up an excuse to their boss about missing work. These are call centres (54 per cent), utilities (47 per cent), the voluntary sector (45 per cent), health (43 per cent) and fashion and design (42 per cent).

Meanwhile it also highlights the regions where workers fib the most too. These are East Anglia (40 per cent), the East Midlands (38 per cent), the North East (37 per cent) Yorkshire and the Humber (37 per cent), and the South East (37 per cent).

Despite many employees making up excuses to have a day off, many more still soldier on and go in to work despite feeling unwell. More than half (55 per cent) of people polled said they had gone into work when they felt too ill to do so because they were worried about what their boss or colleagues would think.

Confused.com is warning UK workers to consider what protection they have in place in case long-term illness does strike. Matt Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at Confused.com, said: “Our research suggests that the culture of turning up to work ill is more of a threat than ‘pulling a sickie’. It is very worrying that workers are not prioritising their own health and feel that they cannot take a day off sick when they are genuinely unwell.”

Matt Lloyd continued: “With many people experiencing a lack of job security over the last few years, it’s a really important time to think about protection products, such as income protection and critical illness cover, especially if you have dependents such as children or you have regular payments to make such as a mortgage.”

The research also shows that women are more likely to worry than men about taking time off sick – 64 per cent say they have been into work when they felt ill because they were afraid their boss wouldn’t believe them. Nearly half (47 per cent) of men said the same thing.

More than one in 10 workers in the UK has missed work due to a hangover, according to the study. People from the North East are most likely to miss work after a heavy night out – 15 per cent of workers polled from the region said they had missed work because they were hungover.

Other common reasons why people had missed work include simply staying in bed to catch up on sleep (10 per cent).

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As More Workers Are Hospitalised For Stress, ActiveQuote.com Suggests Investing In Income Protection Insurance

With rising numbers of people being admitted to hospital due to severe stress, experts are urging UK workers to invest in income protection insurance to protect themselves against the health implications of the economic crisis.

New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HCIS) show that nearly 6,400 people were hospitalised with stress in the 12 months to May 2012.

Not only is this a seven per cent rise on figures from the previous year, but it represents a staggering 47 per cent increase since 2007-8 when the economic crisis first hit.

As the HCIS figures do not take into account people who visited their GPs, Accident and Emergency or sought alternative practitioners’ advice, experts believe the actual figure could be much higher.

Dr Richard Theo, of income protection insurance comparison website ActiveQuote, said: “Stress is the single biggest cause of sickness in the UK, affecting one in five of the working population and causing the loss of 105 million working days each year.”

“But stress is not just a condition in itself; it is also a trigger for a range of other health conditions, from mental illness, depression and anxiety to high blood pressure and heart attacks.”

According to the statistics, those of working age are most likely to be hospitalised for stress. Depending on the severity of their condition, sufferers may be unable to return to their job for a prolonged period of time.

With government illness and disability benefit only paying out a maximum of £99.15 per week to eligible claimants, the financial implications of being out of work for a long period of time can be serious.

Dr Theo recommends UK workers consider investing in income protection. He explains: “An income protection policy is designed to replace your income if you cannot work due to a long-term illness such as severe stress.

“Rather than relying on your savings or government benefits, an income protection policy will pay you up to 70% of your income every month, with some plans even paying out up until retirement. This type of policy could provide much needed peace of mind during a recession.”

But Dr Theo warns that income protection insurance is unlikely to cover pre-existing conditions. He said: “People who are looking to protect their income against accident and sickness should compare income protection quotes as a pre-emptive step to safeguard their finances in the future.”

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Confused.com Launches A New Mobile Phone App To Make Parking Easier

Confused.com has highlighted that 69% of motorists avoid areas due to the cost of parking, however it has come up with a solution: the ‘Confused.com Parking’ app.

Confused.com Parking is the new easy-to-use parking app that gives drivers directions to car parks, finds out how much they charge, and choose the closest and cheapest location via their current location using the GPS on their mobile phone or by typing in an area or postcode.

Car insurance expert Confused.com tackles the tricky problem of parking prices with the latest addition to their growing app portfolio. The new, free and useful, car parking app has been developed for Confused.com by Rant Media with data obtained in an exclusive partnership between Confused.com and Parking Data & Research International. The data is updated several times a month.

The Confused.com Parking app provides transparency on car park prices to consumers and is a solution to help save them money when shopping. The app means they no longer have to just accept the first car park they stumble upon but allows users to make the best choice for their pockets.

The app is free to download from Apple’s App Store and takes advantage of the iPhone’s innovative mobile phone technology. The operating systems for the app are iOS 5 and later and are compatible with iPhone 4 or later versions. The Confused.com Parking app is also being developed for both Android and Windows phones and will be available later this year.

The parking app is the latest innovation from Confused.com this year with more to come in the coming months.

App users can get directions to car parks, find out the cost of parking and choose both the closest and cheapest.

Users can identify the cheapest car park before setting out on their journey by using destination or postcode; whether disabled parking spaces are available; CCTV, baby changing facilities and even park and ride, and if they accept electronic payment as we wouldn’t want drivers to be caught short.

Drivers worried about their time limit expiring can use the app to set up a parking timer to remind themselves the cost that has been clocked up and when their parking space expires, plus costs attracted by choosing to stay longer. Phone alerts will be sent to the user to make them aware of their car parking time.

The app is free and is so simple to use, even a child could use it. Drivers needn’t make parking any more difficult than it needs to be; they can just download the app and no one’s pocket money will be wasted on excessive parking prices.

Gonzalo Bernstein, Head of Business Development at Confused.com, who worked closely on the development of the app, said: “We anticipate this app will help reduce arguments between couples and friends in cars, reducing the time spent driving around aimlessly looking for space and also reducing costs.

“The app is free so we anticipate iPhone users will snap up the chance to save time and money with it, and we anticipate announcing both Android and Windows versions before the end of this year.

“It goes without saying that we recommend the app is either used when stationary or by a passenger and never by a driver in motion.”

For more about the app, please visit: www.confused.com/parking-app

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Confused.com Reveals That Brits Fork Out Nearly £8bn A Year On Over-Priced Parking Places

New research released from car insurance expert Confused.com, has revealed that the cost of parking has grown from being a necessary inconvenience, into a leading factor in the deterioration of UK high streets.

Parking prices rose 12.5% over last year alone, forcing Brits to spend close to a whopping £8bn a year on parking their cars, but this parking spending spree might be about to grind to a halt. Confused.com has found that over-priced parking is now proving to be too great a turn-off for the majority of UK shoppers with over two thirds (69%) of Brits reporting they intentionally avoid shopping areas with high parking prices.

If the retail sector, and indeed Britain, is to return to economic prosperity, the consumers’ road to the high street needs to be as simple as possible. An overwhelming two thirds (65%) of Brits confess that more affordable parking would see them return to the high street.

However, the hope of parking without paying extortionate rates looks to be a faraway fantasy across the country as more than three quarters (78%) of Brits currently spend up to £150 on parking each month. While this might seem steep, it’s a far cry from the prices people in the Knightsbridge area of London face. Drivers in the city centre have to live with the country’s most expensive car park which charges £36 for 3 hours parking – an average of £12 an hour.

While the overall cost of motoring is rising, motorists need to look around for the ways they can save on daily necessities. Confused.com has launched Confused.com Parking mobile app.

The Confused.com Parking app could save drivers hundreds of pounds a year by allowing them to check out the prices of nearby car parks. For example, shoppers using Birmingham’s Royal Angus street car park twice a week, could save themselves £888.00 a year by making the five minute (1.3 mile) drive down the road to the Livery Street multi-storey car park. This cost of laziness is symptomatic of the entire country with motorists in Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh all guilty of paying over the odds in the name of convenience.

With so much being spent going on parking charges, it’s unsurprising that more than 3 in 5 (64%) Brits list the price of parking as a key consideration when deciding where to go shopping. With over half (57%) of all parking spaces in the UK being ‘pay-to-park’, a staggering 82% of people start the spending before they even make it to the shops.

Moreover, British shoppers are frustrated that the car parks they’re forking out for simply aren’t up to scratch. More than one in five (21%) Brits feel that the current services don’t offer enough space, and with a paltry third (33%) of UK car parks offering over 100 spaces, it’s not surprising that 60% of motorists spend between 6 and 20 minutes every trip searching for a space.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com, said: “In today’s difficult financial climate, people have had to find ways to save every penny possible. Over-priced parking charges are a problem that every motorist in the country has to deal with, but hopefully our Confused.com Parking app will help people throughout the UK save money when it comes to parking their cars. The fact that the app is so easy to use should also help them save time by finding parking spaces more easily.”

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Confused.com Reveals That Couples Resent Spending Money On Each Other

Confused.com, the leading price comparison website, has revealed that love could be one of the biggest losers of the recession as bailing out one’s partner or spouse is the most resented expenditure among the nation’s adults.

From picking up the tab for a partner at a restaurant to covering their cost of a taxi, it seems couples up and down the country hate putting their hand into their pocket to help out their other half.

The UK economy is currently stuck in recession after contracting for nine months in a row. Confirming that love in Britain could be well and truly on the rocks as a result of the flagging economy, people’s own wedding costs, such as hiring a venue and even paying for the bride’s dress, came in second place in the study. Buying presents for other people’s weddings followed closely behind, coming third in the list of life’s most hated expenses.

Meanwhile, as people’s spending power struggles to pick up, it seems many adults are tightening their belts, with the fourth most resented expense in the poll being contraception.

For many Brits, having to fork out on common expenses such as utility bills (7th), car insurance (9th) and dentistry (10th) is less of a resent than helping out their loved one. Showing just how bad things may have got, some of the expenses that didn’t make the top 10 but still fared better than a partner or spouse include; contributing to a work colleague’s birthday collection (14th), paying a compulsory charge for shopping bags in some UK supermarkets (15th), buying petrol (16th) and being charged road bridge tolls (19th).

The survey showed the South West could be the least romantic region in Britain, with 20% of people polled from this part of the country giving their partner top marks on the “Moan-o-meter”. Meanwhile, it seems love isn’t quite dead in Wales as people from the region proved they were the most happy to splash out on their spouse – just 10% were worked up enough about this to give it the top score.

Looking at the results, Confused.com added all the average scores from each of the regions together to work out who hates spending their cash the most. The results break the stereotype of a person from Yorkshire being tight with money, with the poll showing people from the region are most happy to put their hand in their pocket when it comes to some of life’s common expenses. On the other hand, people in the South West could be the tightest in Britain when it comes to spending their hard-earned cash.

Nerys Lewis, money expert at Confused.com, said: “Forget ‘for richer, for poorer’. It seems when times are tight many Brits are simply saying “I don’t” when it comes to bailing out their better half.

“However, while it seems like romance could be in recession, many adults could be realising that love doesn’t have to cost a thing – instead choosing to romance their partner for free with a good old fashioned stroll in the park, for example, or cooking a meal rather than eating out.

“What’s more, we feel many people are simply getting smarter about how they spend their cash making traditional money gripes such as car insurance and utility bills less of a bother as people shop around to get the best deals.”

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Confused.com Reveals That Credit Cards Firms Target the Unemployed

Confused.com is warning consumers of the dangers of debt as a study by the leading price comparison website shows a credit card may be more attainable for many people than last year, especially those that are unemployed or on lower incomes. However, average fees and charges have risen making borrowing more expensive.

The study, which compared the whole of the UK credit card market in July 2011 with July 2012, shows there are currently 23 credit cards that would potentially accept someone that was unemployed compared to 17 last year.

The latest employment figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of unemployed people was 2.56 million in the three months to June 2012, up 51,000 from a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of people unemployed for over one year was 882,000, up 1,000 from the previous quarter, with the Confused.com study suggesting credit card providers could be aiming to meet increased demand from those out of work.

Many credit card providers have also reduced the amount someone would need to earn before successfully applying for a credit card. The annual income required for a successful application has decreased year-on-year from an average of £9,718 last year to £9,035 in 2012.

Should the trend continue for another year, or at least stay the same, this would take it below the amount people need to earn before paying income tax, which the government announced will rise to £9,205 in April 2013. Currently people can earn up to £8,105 per year before paying the basic rate of tax.

Credit card providers are also letting more people in on their top cards – the minimum income required for a platinum credit card has decreased by 36% from an average of £18,425 in 2011 to just £11,838 this year.

Meanwhile, the number of credit cards available and aimed at people with substandard credit scores or limited credit histories have increased by more than half from five last year to 11 in 2012.

However, despite credit cards potentially becoming more attainable over the past year, the Confused.com study shows average interest charges and fees have risen, making borrowing more expensive.

The average balance transfer fee has increased from 2.27% in 2011 to 2.81% this year. A person transferring a balance of £2,137, which is the average balance moved onto new cards, would have previously paid £48.51 on average. With the increase, they will now pay an average fee of £60.05.

Looking at the whole of the UK market, interest rates have increased since last year – representative APR has gone up from an average of 18.5% in 2011 to 20.5% today.

Confused.com started to compare credit cards in 2008 and customers can compare credit cards from across the whole of the UK market.

Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, said: “As credit card providers make more cards available to more people, we are warning consumers of the dangers of debt as it appears to be increasingly easy to obtain yet more expensive to get rid of.

“However, credit cards can offer consumers a number of benefits, such as earning rewards on their spending, offering purchase protection, and improving their credit scores, so we’re simply urging people to use them in a responsible manner, as well as shop around to get the best deals.”

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Confused.com Launches New Online Live Chat Service

Confused.com is encouraging people not to be put off buying life insurance as just over a third of Brits (35%) admit they find it a complicated issue, with the age group 35-44 finding it the most complicated.

To help tackle this issue Confused.com has launched a new online Live Chat service. This new web service allows Confused.com to communicate, chat and engage with visitors to their website and answer any questions they might have regarding life insurance quotes or insurance terms. Some other advantages of live chat include facility to call back and real time assistance with application process.

Life insurance can be seen as a complicated and difficult purchase and worryingly 18% of Brits say they don’t understand why we need life insurance. 35% of the under 24’s agree with this statement, but even more surprisingly 1 out of 10 of the over 55’s also agree.

In fact in the UK 38% of people feel life insurance isn’t necessary, and if it is necessary it is aimed at the age group 41-50, meaning that as a nation we are under-insured and clearly misunderstand what life insurance really is.

However an average life premium costs 74p a day and has many added benefits which include future financial protection, protection from major debts and securing your family’s standard living.

With many people not seeing the necessity of life insurance, these additional benefits may sweeten the offer, allowing policyholders and their families to be covered in the future should the worse happen.

Matt Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at Confused.com said: “Many people do not understand the need for life insurance and what benefits it actually provides. The main benefit of life insurance is peace of mind – knowing your family will be looked after financially in the future.

“With the introduction of our new Live Chat solution, Confused.com customers can ask our representatives any questions or issues they may have and they will get a real time response. People can make sure they get the right policy that fits their requirements and get help in doing so. Our research has shown that 55% of the UK hasn’t tried to get life insurance via the internet and those that have done so -12%- have found it difficult.

“So Confused.com’s new service will improve the customer’s experience as well as the customer service efficiency though real-life interaction. It will help customers understand clearly what life insurance is and what benefits it can offer the policy holder and their loved ones.”

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