Reducing Your Home Insurance Premiums: 7 Simple Steps


Home insurance is essential if you don’t want to end up left in the lurch after a break in or natural disaster. Nobody thinks these things will ever happen to them, but the sad truth is that they do. They can happen to anybody at any time. Don’t leave your fate to chance and make sure you’re protected with a suitable home insurance policy. But how can you make sure you’re not paying too much on your premiums? Take these simple steps:

Shop Around

Shop around. When it’s time to renew your home insurance, don’t just go with your old provider for simplicity. Shop around for a better price and see if they will beat it. If they won’t, then move. It won’t be as much hassle as you think.

Pay a Higher Excess

If you can afford it, pay a higher excess. A high excess will lower your premiums, but you need to be prepared to pay that amount should anything happen. Be realistic and sensible!

Don’t Over Insure

It’s easier than you think to over insure your home. Make sure you get yours right by giving an accurate total of the value of contents in your property that you want insured. Don’t guess; this could lead you to pay more! Some people also end up over insuring as they don’t realise they only need to cover the cost of the property’s re-build, which is cheaper than the actual purchase cost.



Which is Best: Combined or Separate?

Buildings and contents insurance can be purchased together or separately. In some cases, taking out a combined policy can be cheaper. In others, having them separate could be better. Make sure you do your research on both techniques to work out which is most beneficial to you.

Pay Up Front

In many cases, paying up front is much cheaper than paying in installments. Interest is sometimes added on when you pay in installments, so you can make bigger savings if you can fork out the cash all at once.

Build Up Your No Claims

Try not to claim if you can help it, and build up a no claims bonus. This should gradually help to reduce your premiums as time goes on. Don’t be one of those people who claims for every tiny thing!

Install Safety Features

There are many safety features you can install that will lower your premiums. Homeowners insurance costs are climbing because they aren’t bothering to do this kind of thing.The safer your house is, the better! Here are some ideas:

  • Fire proof your home with alarms and extinguishers.
  • Install a safe to keep valuables.
  • Install alarms.
  • Make sure your doors are in good condition.
  • Fit high quality locks to both doors and windows.
  • Join a neighborhood watch plan.
  • Stay visible by cutting down trees that could shield the view of your house from the street.

If you take these steps, you’ll end up paying considerably less for your home insurance cover. Make sure it covers you for everything you need though so you don’t get left in the lurch. It should be good value for money, not just cheap!


The Vital Insurance You Need When Building Your Own Home


Building your own house comes with all manner of financial considerations. Hidden costs can hit at any time and knock you off budget. Building costs are astronomical, not to mention any loss of earning while overseeing the project. There are also insurance costs to consider. Building a house requires a little more than a simple home insurance policy. There is a lot of danger on a building site and plenty of eventualities to cover.

When building a house, you are responsible for everything that happens on site. You are responsible for the health and safety of builders and contractors. You’re responsible for any member of the public who wanders onto your property and injures themselves. A personal injury lawsuit is the last thing you want on top of your budget. This list covers some of the essential insurance you’ll need. It includes some you may not have considered.

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Site Insurance

This is the most important one. Depending on the policy, it should cover your building site and everything on it. It covers your new building against fire, damage and flooding. It also covers any temporary structures on the site. This could be a caravan you’re living in or a workman’s portacabin. They typically cover theft but take a note of how much the coverage extends to. In some cases you may need to consider separate equipment insurance.

Equipment Insurance

Site insurance will usually cover theft of equipment and tools up to a certain cost. However, the equipment stored on a building site can register well into the thousands. Theft of these vital tools and equipment can stop your build in its tracks. It will set you back time and money to replace them. A separate equipment insurance policy can help ease this difficulty. You will be required to prove the security of your building site. It is also good practice to mark all equipment with an identification pen.

Vacant Building Insurance

Once the shell of the building is up, home and building insurance doesn’t always cover any damage. If your structure is lying vacant during the build, you may need vacant building insurance. This will cover you against vandalism and the problems related to vacant buildings. This one is often overlooked and builders can come unstuck. It’s worth looking into.

Health Insurance

When building a house, many plan to get seriously involved. Helping out with the build itself can eliminate costs. You can cut down on private contractors and expensive outsourcing. However, it comes with its own difficulties. You are risking your health and safety by getting stuck in on the building site. This is particularly true if you aren’t experienced. Check your current health and life insurance policy and make sure you are covered for this work. If not, you should add extra provisions to your current policy.

Insurance is a vital part of building your own home. Before you even start building, you should shop around for quotes. Get the best possible deals and build them into your budget well ahead of time. As we are all aware, self builds rarely stay within budget, so overestimate. Making sure you are effectively covered will eliminate surprise costs down the line.

Starting A Roofing Company? This Is Everything You Need To Know About Protecting Your Team


Starting a new company in any industry requires a lot of research. If you don’t have appropriate cover for your team, you might go out of business very quickly. Also, it’s vital that you learn about standard regulations. Asking people to perform tasks that are overly dangerous could land you in hot water if complaints are made. At the end of the day, you must value your workers, which often means spending a considerable sum of money. Today, you will learn about the best ways to protect your team when starting a roofing company. Failing to follow our advice could mean your dreams are crushed before they even get started.

Public liability insurance

All tradespeople must have public liability insurance. A decent policy will pay out if you ever cause damage to a client’s property while performing your job. That is especially crucial in the roofing trade where accidents are commonplace. You should search online and use price comparison websites for the best deals. However, it’s vital that you always read the small print to ensure you understand the policy you’re purchasing.

Non-negligence insurance

While you might think public liability insurance would be enough, you are wrong. That type of cover only pays out when you cause damage to the property your team are working on. If you accidentally do the same to a neighbouring home, you will be liable to cover the costs. For that reason, you need non negligent damage insurance. A decent policy will make sure your company is looked after regardless of which house you might damage.

Appropriate training

You are no doubt starting this company with a view to making high profits and perhaps even paying your mortgage off early. So, the last thing you want is workers who do not understand the best methods of performing their duties. With that in mind, you should always provide training for everyone, no matter how experienced they might be. Handling that process in-house is the cheapest option, but you’ll want to employ the services of a specialist firm for the best results. Just search online, and you will find hundreds of training providers in your home country.

Buying the best equipment

Asking your team to undertake roofing projects with poor equipment is a recipe for disaster. You should always speak to your workers before they start every job to see if there is anything they need. While you might have to make a small investment to get the products, doing so will significantly limit the chances of anything going wrong. If you’re on a very tight budget, you might like to consider using online auction websites. However, specialist trade stores are usually quite cheap.

Having read through everything you need to know about protecting your team when starting a roofing business, you should be in the best position to get things right. When all’s said and done, the last thing you want is for a member of your staff to effectively close your company down due to their negligence. So, get the cover you need immediately!

14282642288_f9cda1ed17_zSam Beebe

Home And Mortgage Protection Insurance For Dummies


It seems that we can’t do anything without insurance these days. I can see a time coming when ordinary members of the public will need to buy liability cover to protect them against law suits from other people who are trying to make a quick buck. Many people dislike it because it is an invisible service. You might have wished some mishap would have befallen you so you can take advantage of the product that cost so much money. You don’t mean it, of course, but paying out endlessly for a premium that you never use is frustrating, to say the least.

The day might come when a disaster befalls you. Then you realise why you had the foresight to pay for the cover that you now desperately need. Home ownership is one area where you cannot afford to neglect insurance. It is your security and the biggest investment you will ever make. If somebody is offering a fast house sale in Stapleford and you find it attractive, here are some things you should think about when you complete the purchase.

4122171512_3f4dc612d0_zAlan Cleaver

Life Insurance

If you were to die while there is still a mortgage on the property, would your family be able to cope? Life insurance can be expensive, but it is necessary. It may come as a condition of the loan or could even be a part of it. Endowment mortgages are life insurance policies. During the term, you pay only towards the premium and the interest on the loan. The lender invests the money you pay them for the policy and uses the profits to clear the debt when the loan is due. If you die during that period, they will repay the mortgage and the house will belong to your beneficiaries.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance will be a condition of the loan. The lender has to protect their investment in case the building develops structural problems or suffers damage from an accident. The cover should be enough to rebuild the house if the worst happens. Unwary people often don’t realise that the house will cost less to reconstruct than its market value, and they insure it for too much. Research the subject well, it could save you cash.

Mortgage Protection Insurance

Mortgage protection insurance will help you to maintain the payments for a year or two if you lose your job or cannot work through accident or illness. It gives you breathing space while you make alternative arrangements. This product is one of the culprits of the mis-selling scandal, so read the small print.

Contents Insurance

What would you do if everything in your home became a victim of fire or flood? It makes sense to protect your belongings with content insurance. You pay only a small monthly premium for peace of mind. You probably don’t realise how much all of your stuff is worth until you perform a survey. Take photographs of every room too, just in case you need to show them to the insurer in the event of a disaster.

You can never have too much cover in the modern world. Anything can happen and leave you penniless if you don’t arrange protection. It can be an expensive business, but you will be glad you paid for it if life takes a wrong turn. Sometimes you need help to rebuild your life and home.

How You Can Pay off Your Mortgage FAST


Many people would love nothing more than to pay off their mortgage over the course of just a few years. However, for most, their debt is so substantial that they could never dream of paying it off early. Many people accept that they’ll have this debt for a minimum of the next 15 years. However, just about anybody can pay off their mortgage fast, you just need to be determined and focused. Read on if you’d like to learn more:

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Put a Little More

In some cases, all you need to do is pay a little bit more. Literally paying an extra £5 per month on your mortgage could cut months off your payments. A lot of people say their mortgage costs them £570 a month, for example, when in actual fact it’s £563. If you really do round it off to £570 when you pay it, it could make a lot of difference! Just be sure you won’t get charged too much for paying it off early. Many lenders charge for early payment, but you need to be sure you can afford this as well as the money you’re currently paying.

Pay Every 2 Weeks Instead

If you can put some money down on your mortgage every 2 weeks rather than every month, you’ll have made one full extra payment by the end of the year. This shouldn’t make that much difference to your finances, but it can knock 5 years or more off the time you take to pay the full amount! Not only will it knock years off the time you’re paying it back, it’ll also save you thousands in interest. This can make a huge difference, especially if you have a large property, like a 5 bedroom terraced house in Wolverhampton. Even if your home isn’t quite as large as that, paying the mortgage bi-weekly is a great little trick.

Pay Off Other Debts First

If you have other debts, like credit cards or catalogues, make sure you pay them off before you begin overpaying on your mortgage. This is because the interest rates are higher on those kinds of debts, so if you can pay them off first you’ll be saving a lot more money in the long-run. It’ll also be a huge weight off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your mortgage and nothing else. It can truly change your life!

Make Sure You Have a Cash Cushion

A cash cushion is always advisable at any time, but especially so when you’re thinking of paying off your mortgage early.  You should make sure you have the bare minimum of 3 months of savings to live off should anything go wrong. You never know what might happen! The larger the cash cushion you have, the better position you’re in to start paying off this debt early.

Providing you’re able to free up some cash from somewhere else, you should have no problems paying your mortgage off quickly. Knowing that your house belongs to you and all you have to worry about is the bills will give you peace of mind. Good luck!

How Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Can Change Your Life



I advise you to research well and consider the type of mortgage you intend to take on carefully. If you commit to a full term endowment, for example, you can’t pay it off early. That means that you have limited options. A straightforward repayment mortgage, on the other hand, offers you some flexibility in the way you handle your finances. You must, of course, make sure that you can make extra payments on it before you take it out, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

In the early days, most of your payments go towards the interest on the loan and little comes off the balance. If you can reduce the balance quickly, they cannot charge as much interest on it. Then, more of your monthly payments will go towards reducing the balance further. It is easy to see why you can save tens of thousands of pounds that way. The guys at Hampton estate agents fees in Amersham reckon you can reduce the term of the loan significantly by paying a third again on top of your monthly repayments.

But what will you do with the money you save on the mortgage when you own the property? Here are some awesome ideas.

Holiday Home

Many people choose to splash out on a second home in the sun. Europe is open for business, and you can find property over there for a bargain price if you are wise. Even if you have to take on another mortgage to fund the purchase, you know what to do. In ten years or less, the place could belong to you. Renting it out when you are not there will bring in an extra income too. That sounds idyllic to me!

Home Improvements

You could invest some of your money back into the house by improving it. Think about adding extra bedrooms with an extension or loft conversion. An indoor swimming pool would make you the envy of your neighbours; there are some stunning pool enclosures on the market.


You deserve a holiday of a lifetime where you can experience all of the places you ever wanted to see. Maybe a cruise around the Mediterranean is your style, or would you prefer an African safari? There are too many options to list here, but you get the picture.


Men and women alike have a passion for vintage cars. Now that you can afford one, which will it be? Ferrari have produced some incredible works of art over the years; there is sure to be one to suit your image.

Boarding School

My kids couldn’t wait for me to win the lottery. Little did they know that they would find themselves in private education if I did. If your horrors are making your life a misery, pack them off to boarding school so that you can enjoy peace and quiet once more. Seriously though, the threat may be all it takes to bring them in line.

When your home is free of debt, a world of possibilities opens up before you. What will you spend you cash on? It is a personal choice, but the suggestions above appeal to me; especially the last one. For now, pour a shot of whiskey and light a cigar with a banknote. Make the most of a mortgage-free life; you deserve it.

Money Matters: Your Guide to Tax Levies


In a nutshell, an IRS tax levy has the potential to seize all of your assets to compensate them for your back tax liability. Here are a few things you could lose; checking and savings accounts and inheritances. As well as; property, pensions, insurance policies, and anything else that is of value and has your name attached to it:


With thanks to Alan Cleaver for the image

Why Are Tax Levies Filed?

There are two stages that need to be satisfied before a tax levy can be filed against you. A tax levy is filed against you when you have unpaid back-dated taxes. In addition to this, you must also have not cooperated with the IRS when they have demanded that your tax be paid up-to-date.

A tax levy being filed against you is not the first stage in the process, it is the last. Before you receive a tax levy from the IRS, you would have received a number of phone calls and/or letters. These correspondences would have requested that you pay back what is owed in unpaid tax.

What Are The Effects Of An IRS Tax Levy?

The IRS can seize your assets 30 days after you have received your IRS tax levy. The process starts when the IRS sends out a notice to all third parties that you have a financial connection to. These third parties will include your bank and your employer. All third parties will honour the IRS requests and notices. If they do not, they are held liable for your owed tax amount. There are no hiding places if you have been issued a notice of intent from the IRS.

Are There Different Types of IRS Tax Levies?

Yes. There are a number of different types of IRS tax levy that you can be issued with. They are normally determined by your personal financial and tax situation.

The most common form of levy is the IRS tax levy on wages, which collects money direct from your employer. Another form of levy is to take the money directly from your checking and savings account.

Depending on the situation, the IRS may also issue a tax levy to seize any physical assets from you. This can include you home and car.

I Have A Tax Levy From The IRS. What Do I Do?

You need to do the right thing and address the issue at hand. You will need to face the IRS head on and deal with your tax levy. Luckily there are a number of things you can do to get the IRS tax levy lifted.

Getting the IRS Tax Levy Lifted

First of all, contact the IRS and ask for a repayment plan to be set-up. If you do not have the financial means to repay what is owed then you will have to prove financial hardship.

I Can’t Get the IRS Tax Levy Lifted

You do have the right to appeal if you do not believe the IRS has made the right decision. You can also appeal on the amount that is owed. For more information on the appeals process, you will have to visit the IRS website.


What To Do If You’ve Received A Cash Windfall



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Cash is the basic monetary unit that makes the world go round, in a sense! Without cash, we wouldn’t be able to buy things, and would have to resort to bartering for goods and services!

Most people get along in life just fine with the money that they earn through their employment with some folks obviously earning more than others! So it can be a welcome surprise if you are just “managing” in a financial sense, and you benefit from a decent cash windfall!

Whether you have inherited some money from a recently-deceased relative or friend, or are the beneficiary of an investment that has matured, if that new stack of cash is burning a hole in your pocket, what should you do with it?

Rather than flying to Las Vegas and blowing it all on poker games and slot machines, there are some practical things you can do with the extra money. Here are some ideas to help you:

Pay off your debts

People often say that it is better to pay off your debts than to save up money at the same time, and I agree with them.

Because the money you owe will most likely have interest added onto the balance, the longer you have outstanding balances, the more money you will owe. If your cash windfall isn’t sufficient to pay off all of your debts, pay the ones with the highest amount of interest; these are usually credit cards.

Fix your car

One thing that George from Hilton Garage recommends you do is to use some of the money to fix your car if it needs repair work.

Most of us rely upon our cars to get to work and back each day, and the last thing we want to do is spend ages going on public transport and potentially ending up late for work, as a result. Of course, there should be a limit to the amount you spend on your repairs.

If the required repairs exceed the total value of the car, it is wiser to trade in your car for a newer, more-reliable model and use some of your cash windfall to pay for it.

Fix your house

Anyone that owns a house will have some repairs that need completing, such as plastering, guttering, or even double-glazing.

Most of us put these jobs off because they cost a lot of money, but now that you have a cash windfall you could put that money to good use and repair your home, whilst increasing its value in the process.

Invest your money

Would you rather make your money work for you? If so, you should consider investing it. There are all sorts of commodities that you can invest in.

One popular way that people invest their spare cash is by lending it to others through peer-to-peer lending websites such as Zopa. The type of risk category you lend to determines how much interest you make, with higher risk borrowers proving to be the highest interest earners.