Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Contract hire: Ways to save money on car insurance

Car insurance can be very expensive, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you save money

Contract hire is a very cost-effective way of using a vehicle, without actually owning it. Along with a low initial outlay, you pay a low fixed-monthly rental, so you can always keep track of your finances. Fuel and insurance are not included in the monthly rental, but if you choose to include a service and maintenance package in your plan, these are the only extra costs you have to bear. Have a look at our suggestions below on ways to save money on your car insurance

  • There are now hundreds of car insurance companies all vying for your business, so the competition is hot and you can take advantage of some good bargains. If you shop around you will almost certainly be able to beat the renewal quote offered by your current insurer

  • Keep your car in the garage overnight. You will pay more in insurance for keeping your car on the road, because there is more chance of your car being broken into or damaged. As a second best option, put your car on a driveway

  • Go through a car insurance broker's website so you can get access to quotes from at least 40 car insurers, by simply inputting your details once. When you've received a quotation, call them to discuss the details of the policy, and maybe even request a further discount

  • Keep track of how many miles you do each year, if you travel less then you will save on premiums

  • If you're aged between 18 and 21 then you have got the option of “pay-as-you-go insurance”. This is a new type of insurance pioneered by one particular insurance company. It's especially for younger people who find it hard to afford car insurance. You're charged for the miles you drive, and it gets more expensive per mile between 11pm and 6am. For a one-off fee of £199, your car is fitted with a Global Positioning System which communicates details of your mileage direct to Norwich Union, they then send you a monthly bill

  • If you've got more than one car registered at your address, you can get extra savings by insuring them all in one policy

  • High spec and performance cars cost more to insure, because statistically speaking, there's more chance of them being stolen or being involved in an accident. Save money by choosing something a bit more practical

House insurance – what to itemise

When you renew your house insurance you may think your contents insurance covers everything in your home – think again.

Most house insurance policies have a ‘high risk items limit’; this can vary widely between policies with some insurers having the limit as low as £1,000. Whatever the limit on your particular policy it is important to be aware of it.

Take a look around

There are many items in the average home that could potentially be worth more than your high risk items limit. These items can range from computer and audio visual equipment to antiques. Electrical equipment that may exceed the limit is often quite easy to identify as it is likely to have been purchased relatively recently. With regard to the latter, people are often unaware of how much that statue handed down from great aunty whoever may be worth; any such items should be taken to a dealer for a professional valuation.

Replacement price not current value

It is important to note that when talking about house insurance, in particular contents insurance, it is the price of replacing a particular item that should be of paramount concern to both you and your insurer, not its current sale value.

Paying the premium

It is important to note that you will have to pay a premium on any item that you value above your high risk items limit and avoid the need for ppi claims if you can. The number of such items you possess may affect the type of policy you take out; if you only have one or two items it may be worth specifying each item; if you possess many high value items it may be more economical to simply take out a policy with a higher high risk items limit. However, even if you do have a large high risk items limit it may still be prudent to supply your house insurance provider with a list of your valuables; this will help avoid any disputes should you need to make a claim.

Pension Advice: Part Time Work and Pensions

Are you one of the many employees working within a UK company on a part-time basis? Do you have access to your work’s pension scheme? As a part-timer it is just as important that you take high quality pension advice in order to consider the pension options and the pension rights available to you. In fact, as a part-time worker you need to remember that you have the same pension rights as a full-time worker, read on to find out why.

In the past, many part-timer workers would miss out on the Occupational Pension scheme which was set up within their organisation or they would not receive the employer’s part of the contribution to their pension. Part-time workers were not seen as having the same rights as full-timers or the Work Pension scheme would require that the employee work full-time in order to qualify for the scheme membership. However, this all changed in 2001 when the House of Lords ruled that part-time workers who could justifiably claim they had been discriminated against could make claims for pension rights dating back to 1976.  The part-time workers regulations were put in place in order to ensure that part-timers have the same working rights and conditions as full-time workers. As many part-time workers are women (as the primary carer of their family unit) these regulations might also correspond to the sexual discrimination regulations.

What if you do not have access to an Occupational Pension?
If this is the case you may possibly have the right to claim compensation as you are not being treated as fairly as your full-time counterparts. In the past this would mean that you would only be able to claim for two year’s backdated pension contributions based on discrimination regulations. However, this has now changed and if you meet the correct requirements to entitle you to make a claim you may be able to claim back-dated contributions from as far back as 1976.

Are there many conditions you need to meet in order to make a claim?
One of the main requirements is that you have to have been working for your employer within the last six months

Pension Advice: Pension decisions

It is the most important decisions in life which are often the hardest  to make and making a decision about which pension scheme is best for you is certainly an important decision. If you want to have peace of mind about how you will live when you retire then it is important that you get it right the first time. This means taking sound pension advice and understanding how best to weigh up your options. So, should you bear in mind when considering your pension options?

There are quite a few pointers which might be considered when trying to decide which pension scheme will be of the best benefit to fulfill your needs. An experienced Financial Adviser will always advise you of the pension options available to you and what the pros and cons are of each. However, it is also important that you understand the options being presented to you and that you take your time in making this decision as it will affect your finances for the future. Below are some pointers for you to consider:

1)      Fully research all the pension options available with firms such as Pension Lite to you by seeking advice from a Financial Adviser who has access to the maximum number of lenders possible.
2)      Certain pension schemes give you more control over how your pension fund is invested. If you want this level of control then be sure to ask your Financial Adviser about these types of pension schemes.
3)      Write a list of all pros and cons of each pension scheme available to you
4)      Always compare the charges on different types of pension schemes as this will influence which scheme you decide to go for. Stakeholder Pension Scheme’s charges may differ to occupational scheme charges.
5)      Always bear in mind how flexible the pension options are and how flexible you are wanting them to be.
6)      Be aware that with Stakeholder Pensions the extra charges must be clearly defined and explained to you.
7)      Speak to your employer about your pension options before deciding on which is best for you, as they may also decide to contribute to your pension scheme.
8)      Fully research pension transfer charges