How to claim back PPI


If you’ve had a credit card, catalogue, car finance or overdraft in the past, there is a good chance you could successfully claim back PPI.


PPI means Payment Protection Insurance and was sold alongside financial products for a number of years and was designed to help if you were off work through sickness or lost your job through redundancy.

It has come to light that many PPI policies were mis-sold and all financial institutions have been ordered by the courts to repay the money if it is proved that the insurance was taken out following poor advice.

Over £12 billion has now been refunded and all the major banks have set aside large amounts of funds to cover the money which is still to be returned.

If you were sold PPI with any financial product, it is worth checking to see if you are eligible for your money to be refunded to you.

Check the details on the policy or if you don’t know if you had PPI, call or write to the relevant company. They will let you know. You can make a claim for an account which is still open or one which was closed some time ago.

The most important aspect to consider is whether you feel that PPI was mis-sold to you. If you were told or discover any of the following:

-        It was compulsory

-        you didn’t realise they had added it to the  finance package without your knowledge

-        you were sold something you didn’t need as you’re already covered elsewhere

-        you were self-employed, retired or unemployed

-        you had medical problems in the past

-        the provider has already been fined

then there is a strong possibility you have a case.

Telephone the lender and tell them you want a refund and the reason why. Some are now handling the issue directly over the phone which makes things easy to resolve. If not, there is a questionnaire to complete which has been issued by the Financial Ombudsman. Complete this and you will receive a reply. If you receive an offer, ensure they include all the money you are owed. If rejected, write to the Financial Ombudsman who will look to handle the case for you.  The Ombudsman is free to use and their role is to settle disputes between customers and companies.

If paying PPI has left you short each month and you now need to pay for an emergency situation such as a post-winter utility bill, you can look to redress the balance with a small loan until you hear about your refund.  Visit payday choice to compare payday loans as they understand that situations crop up in life where you need an injection of cash for a short amount of time.  Payday loans don’t include PPI, so you can rest assured that whilst you are dealing with your refund, you can relax and know the rest of your finances are covered.

PPI has been claimed back by millions of people so don’t delay if you feel that you are owed money.


How I Quit My Job and Became Stress-Free


I know what you’re thinking: I hit the lottery and I was able to retire in a style I had never really expected. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen; otherwise, chances are I wouldn’t even be writing this article. However, many people these days are finding themselves fairly fed up with their extremely stressful jobs. This can be due to a wide variety of reasons, from a long commute to work and back home, to a very demanding and fairly aggravating boss, to excessive physical labour, which can literally wear you out. But it doesn’t mean that you have to continue with your present employment, especially if it’s wearing you down and keeping you from enjoying your leisure time, perhaps your family, or perhaps a night out at the local pub with your mates. Perhaps it’s time to explore some unusual jobs which can be extremely stress-free.


Have Beds, Will Test

Yes, this could truly be one of the most bizarre yet satisfying jobs you could ever imagine. How about being a professional bed tester? Many hotels, in an effort to provide their customers with the most rewarding experience, need to continually check how comfortable their beds are. They can’t necessarily rely on feedback from their clients, so some chains have begun creating positions for professional bed testers, who go around lying down on the job, so to speak, and reporting back as to which beds are acceptable and which need to be changed. As long as you have plenty of energy, and are not prone to falling asleep on the job, this could be just the thing you need.

Traveling the World in Your Swimsuit

Did you ever stop to think why some water parks provide more enjoyable rides than others? It is partly due to the fact that some organizations that have multiple water parks actually employ people to test their waterslides, to make sure that they are not only safe, but that they provide an entertaining experience for young and old alike. Yes, you have to travel the world testing waterslides all over the world, but hey, you get to wear suntan lotion most of the time and go to work in your swimsuit. It could be a lot worse. If the idea of sun and sand appeals to you, you might want to see if the position of caretaker for the 900 or so islands that surround the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is available. The last time I checked, the position was actually awarded to a British fellow out of over 35,000 applicants, but you never know. He might actually get bored by all of that natural beauty and decide to go do something else.

Leveraging the Power of Our Modern Economy

Granted, these are fairly unique situations, but they go to show that if you think a little outside the box, you might just find yourself a great job which has very little stress attached to it. Then again, you may have thought of setting up a recruitment agency, which is also not a bad idea. Getting yourself set up can be fairly simple, as long as you visit and learn about all the ways they can help you get up and running in no time at all. With the money you can generate, you can go try out the waterslides yourself.

Insurance Information For High-Risk Drivers


Insurance is mandatory for drivers across the country. How much you pay for liability coverage depends on your age, driving record and a variety of personal factors. It’s the insurance company’s responsibility to assess the level of risk and determine the likelihood of your filing a claim. Insurance rates depend on where you drive, how much you drive and where you park your car. Premiums are also determined by your personal history, driving record and past claims. All drivers have some level of risk. Yours might be higher or lower depending on your history.


What is a High-Risk Driver?


Just like teen drivers pay more for insurance, some adult drivers have increased rates because they fall in a high-risk category. Usually, high-risk drivers have let their insurance lapse or have driven without any insurance for some time. Intoxicated driving and reckless driving will put you in the high-risk category as will multiple tickets, traffic violations and unpaid fines. High risk car insurance allows these drivers to purchase coverage if they pay more based on the increased chances of a claim being filed. It’s also possible that drivers will be denied altogether or won’t be able to receive coverage through their preferred provider.  For more information:


Am I a High-Risk Driver?


If you have a poor driving record or convictions, companies won’t want to insure you. The same is true if you were caught driving without insurance or without a license. In other cases, you might not understand why your rates are so high. One thing that you can do is request a copy of your driving record by visiting your local DMV website. If you’ve been in an accident or filed a number of claims, order a free copy of your Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) auto claims report from LexisNexis Personal Reports. Car and home insurance companies track your claims and use this information to assess your risk. You should also know that many companies check your credit score when calculating premiums.


High Risk Car Insurance Options


As a rule, high-risk drivers pay more for car insurance and have fewer options. Follow the same guidelines that you would when shopping for traditional car insurance. Contact several licensed insurance companies, and compare rates. Premiums can be as much as 60 percent higher compared to low-risk drivers. These surcharges generally apply for three years. In addition to comparing rates online or through brokers like, there are other steps you can take to lower your risk and insurance costs. Make sure that any fines and tickets have been resolved, and let your insurance company know. You could also drop comprehensive and collision coverage or use a less expensive car. Completing a defensive driving course is another way to reduce your risk and get points taken off your license. In extreme situations, you may receive repeated denials. Some states have special insurance pools to cover drivers who can’t get coverage on their own.


Auto insurance is a necessity that protects you financially if you damage another vehicle or injure another driver. Even if you’re a high-risk driver, you should do your best to adopt safe driving practices. Checking your CLUE report and driving record are the best ways to ensure that insurance companies are using accurate, current information. If you find errors or believe you were denied coverage based on your race or national origin, you might have a right to sue. Being a high-risk driver isn’t the end of the world, but it is a good reason to improve your record and become a better driver.


Driverless cars to change the car insurance industry?



While the world and his wife (husband, partner etc) have been entirely focused on car emissions and alternative fuels, another technology, which could revolutionise the world of motoring, has been quietly advancing.
That technology is the driverless or autonomous car. These vehicles first came to public attention when it was announced that Google was trialling them in the US. Now a number of US states have passed legislation to allow them to drive on public roads. And it’s not only Google. Suddenly every car manufacturer is busy developing and trialing the technology. Similar trials have been conducted in the UK and according to the BBC, the UK government is determined to stay at the forefront of developments.

A crash-free future

All well and good but how does that impact the car insurance industry? Well, the thing about autonomous cars is that they don’t crash. The Google car, for example has covered 500,000 miles without a single incident: not a prang or scrape to report. That is about five average car life spans without a single ‘claim’. This is all to do with the way these cars navigate. They use lasers, cameras and GPS navigation to determine their position and look for any obstacles. Should they sense any danger, they can react much more quickly than a human driver.

And it gets better, much better. Autonomous cars don’t break the law. They don’t show off to their friends or jump lights. They can also see in the dark or fog, perfectly. They don’t speed or drive aggressively and they don’t have road rage. Furthermore, autonomous cars talk to each other and to cameras and sensors across the road network. If there is an accident or breakdown up ahead, they know about it long before any driver could see it. Any problems are avoided before they are even encountered. It is worth saying again: autonomous cars don’t crash.

Tumbling premiums

As autonomous cars spread (and they will, quickly) all of these safety benefits only get better. In the early years they will still be vulnerable to being bumped by those old fashioned human drivers but as the technology becomes standard, this risk will disappear. Very soon you could see such cars become totally mainstream, entering the used car market through sites such as and saturating the market. This is why the autonomous car will have a game-changing effect on the car insurance market. If cars don’t crash, there won’t be hefty claims from motorists, therefore the price of premiums should tumble.

Surely there are other factors that will ensure we still have high premiums, such as theft? Well, no. The same technology that guides the car will prevent it from being stolen. Cars will be started by biometric identification, a simple pin number or from your smart phone: it isn’t going anywhere unless you want it to. If it should move off without you, simply tap your smart phone and tell it to come home. The day of the car thief is over.

The car insurance industry as it is will not be able to live on the resulting tiny premiums. It will morph into breakdown cover and other services but the days of sky high premiums are surely numbered.


Five Financial Resolutions That Work All Year



In today’s fragile economy, making resolutions once a year is a luxury few can afford. With medical laws changing, investment sectors in an unpredictable state and the housing market less than robust, it has become important to reassess monetary tactics as often as you pay off your debts. There are a few core resolutions that need to be followed regularly to keep your bank account healthy.

Consult with Your Team

Those who are willing to admit they don’t know it all are open to a higher level of expertise that can keep those portfolios, debts and accounts tidy throughout the year. Financial planning has branched into a number of niches, ranging from retirement income planning to insurance underwriters. For those in long term relationships, a coordinated group of professionals will probably include a spouse or partner, given that every choice has impacts that are far from individual.

Plan Your Retirement

Life may seem short but retirement could last thirty years or more, making retirement plans a crucial life strategy that needs to begin at the latest in your thirties. Retirement benefits gleaned from employment are useful but far from a complete solution. An investment and savings plan, which includes the decision to buy property or rent it, are necessary measures for preparing for that beach home you’re dreaming of when you retire. Retirement funding is best achieved when every return is fed immediately into your portfolio once nuts-and-bolts living costs and debts have been covered.

Maintain Your Budget

Every now and then, socks need darning, cars need servicing and budgets need refining. It is said that it takes three weeks to create a habit, even a bad one. Overspending is easy to slip into without noticing, so every few months, it’s a good idea to add up those unnecessary expenses, calculate what their annual costs are and consider what you would have preferred to do with the money. According to Janet Rae-Dupree of the New York Times, the mere act of breaking those negative behaviors improves your general awareness of other elements needing a change.

Rethink Your Financial Future

Once you have done all the balances, budgets, and organization, it is time to reconsider your goals. Interest rates change, homes gain and lose value and tenancies become more expensive.

Reassessing whether your financial plan is serving your goals helps you to continually reach for higher things. You might need to improve your income through study, fast-track your retirement, start your own business or buy a new home. As long as you don’t forget to dream, can help you fulfill your goals.

Manage Your Housing

Those who tend to travel for work need the mobility of a tenancy, but that doesn’t mean home ownership should be cast aside. Property investment should be organized with a focus on cash flow gained through rental, not appreciation, since the latter can never be guaranteed. An individual who is less mobile and chooses a fixed rate mortgage can avoid the inflation rent is prone to. Better yet, a home that is fully paid off offers free room and board in your golden years.

How to Prepare Your House for an Inspection

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DAUTING: Prepare for a house inspection – batten down the hatches?


House inspections can be very daunting. For the days leading up to it, you will surely be stressing and trying to clean the house as much as possible. Of course you are, it needs to be done. But there are other ways to go about it than frantically rushing around. Stop, take a deep breath, and systematically go through everything that needs to be done. It’s likely that you can get things clean a lot quicker and easier than you expected.

Tidy Up

First things first. Tidy up the house as much as you possibly can. Put your clothes away, do the dishes, put those books back in the bookshelf. A tidy house can look immediately cleaner and more respectable. Once you’ve done this, it will be easier for you to determine what nee4ds to be done next.

Clean the Floor

If you have tiles or linoleum floor, make sure that you mop from top to bottom. Once you’ve done this, sweep or vacuum to make sure that there are no marks, or pieces of things lying on the ground. For carpet, it’s best to use a steam cleaner. This is a quick and easy way of making your floor look brand new. However, if you can’t afford to get someone in, or don’t have the time to hire a cleaner, there are other ways to go about it too. They may take a little time, or have slightly less quality results, but they are still options you can choose. You may want to scrub the carpet with some floor cleaner. This can be effective if there are any noticeable stains. Grab a rag and rub out the stain.


Wipe Surfaces

This is important. Make sure to wipe down every surface in the house. Over time, dust is sure to appear and clump together, and you don’t want any of this to be visible for your inspection. Bathroom cleaners can be great for wiping down bench tops and basins.

Windows and Mirrors

Once everything else is looking clean, you can start on windows and mirrors. Just a quick wipe down with a cloth will often do the tick, but have some cleaning liquid handy as well. This adds the finishing touches to your house and will make it sparkle with life.

Tend the Garden

Once the inside is done, don’t forget about the garden. You don’t need to do much, just mow the lawns and prune back any plants that are starting to look messy. You’re not expected to be an expert landscaper, just make sure it looks tidy.

Preparing for an inspection doesn’t need to be stressful. If you prioritize what needs to be done and take care to do it properly, you’re in the clear. Just make sure not to forget about smaller jobs. Look over your house thoroughly before you decide you are finished. For more information on keeping a tidy and de-cluttered house, have a look at Fort Knox Storage Australia to help you find the best storage options.

Holiday Prep 101


This holiday season may find you doing something completely new, or just settling into familiar routines, like visiting with family, or even experimenting with some pretty elaborate and over-the-top menus. Doesn’t sound like there could be much danger in this, right? Well, you’d be surprised! Adults and children alike often use the holidays as a time to relax and free themselves of certain limitations. These can lead to accidents that, when left unattended or poorly attended to, can affect both yourself and your home. You don’t want to have to dip into your homeowners insurance just because of a holiday mishap, do you? Have a look at some of our basic holiday Prep tips to help you get through the holidays without a scratch!

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Car Insurance Basics


Car insurance is mandatory, which means that you have to have it. Most people look forward to dealing with an insurance agent with about the same level of enthusiasm they show for their dentist just after he mentions a root canal, but purchasing car insurance doesn’t have to be a painful experience. According to the CNN Money there are several important factors involved in choosing a company to provide you with car insurance.

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