Monday, 16 November 2015

Insurance Issues and Advice

Insurance policies are very important in the event of a loss because one can be reinstated to their former status prior to the loss. But having a policy does not necessarily mean you will be compensated in case of a loss. This is because of several reasons which are always stipulated in the policy document. Majority of people do not know in full details what the terms and conditions of their policies are, hence are caught off guard when there is a loss and their claims are declined. It is wise to read all the details on your policy document. The most common reasons why insurers fail to honor claims are;

False representations

Whenever signing up for a policy or making a claim it is very important to state all the material facts on all the forms as needed, if you have any medical issue you should disclose it. Being dishonest or not giving all the facts is enough reason to make an insurer deny a claim and to some extent cancel the policy. Assuming you get compensation for an injury that was not accidental or not as serious as you stated, the insurance company can legally stop all payments. The insurer can also sue you for some misrepresentations which are punishable by law.

If the risk is excluded in your policy
All insurance policies have exclusions on what risk they do not cover. It is therefore important to be aware of what they comprise of in your policy. For example, suicide is not covered in most policies within a certain period. Hence if one takes a cover and before the stipulated time they commit suicide, they are not liable for compensation and their policy lapses. Also, if you are undergoing a cosmetic procedure and the situation is not medically beneficial to you or is not life threatening a health insurance can deny the claim.

Inability to prove liability

This applies mostly in motor insurance. If it is not determined who is liable then your claim can be denied. For example if there is an auto accident and it is not determined about who was at fault, when you file a claim to an insurance company for the damage of your car by a person they have insured they may decline the claim if the insured was not at fault, if you were not fit to drive, if you were not sober or were not authorized to drive that car.

If you have gone beyond the statute limitations
Legally, every claim can only apply for a certain period before it is filed. If one lodges a claim after the stipulated time has elapsed then their claim can be denied. Each state has different statute limitations hence it is important to be aware before hand of the statute limitations of where you live. It is advisable that as soon as a loss or damage occurs you file a claim so that you can be within the stated statute limitations.

Business Loan Mis Selling

As much as people are susceptible to error, there is no denying that there are some institutions that deliberately or accidentally hand the wrong service or product. This has been the case in the UK in recent years because many of financial institution’s clients are mumbling about this type of mistake on their part and you seek for a refund. Now it would be virtually impossible for you to do it on your own except of course if you are an expert on said matters.

Now before you will be presented to the methods of suing and presenting your claim before the said financial institution, you should first know how mis selling is done. One of the most common causes of this sort of error is that the representative who is attending to your concerns accidentally or even deliberately placed the wrong service for a particular price or premium. When you ask for a cheaper, more practical service and you are handed an expensive one, this is a clear case of business loan mis selling. 

Going directly to a lawyer or an expert on the matter will be a bad move as there are certain steps that needs to be followed in order to hasten the entire process. However, if you feel that you are in no position to give time and study the process, you might as well look for experts right away. Anyhow, here are some of the things you can do if you have been sold a wrong business loan.

Gather the Facts and Evidences
The first thing you should do is to gather the facts and evidences before filing for the mis selling. Receipts, contracts and all other instruments that would support your claim should be gathered in this case. In the event that you have a witness like your wife, a brother or a friend then it would be much better as it would strengthen your allegations.

Consulting with a Lawyer
After you have gathered the necessary documents, evidences and even witnesses, it’s time for you to present them to an attorney. Consult a lawyer on how you should approach the claim you have – should you be direct or should you present the facts first? A lawyer could help you out as regards the proper steps to be taken so that the financial institution will have no choice but to succumb to your allegations.

The last thing you will then need to do is to present your claim or protest with the financial company that mis sold the business loan. This is not always easy but you might lose so much if you did not approach them about your concern. It is important that you present evidence you have so that the company will have no other choice but to grant you your claim or request. Just don’t rush things so that you don’t commit any mistake.

Card Protection Plan and the Mis selling

In the recent past, banks have been accused of mis-selling some of their products to their customers. Years ago, payment protection insurance topped most of the mis-sale complaints. Today, card protection plan mis-sale comes among the top mis-sold services by card protection Plan limited and some banks.  This has led to hefty repayments as directed by the financial services authority to thousands of consumers.

What is Card protection plan?
Card protection plan is a type of insurance cover aimed at protecting the consumer against theft, loss and fraudulent use of credit, debit, or automated teller machine cards.  The insurance cover has numerous different features depending on the type of cover you take out and the amounts of premiums paid. These include emergency loans for customers who lost their cards while out of the country.  The cover is offered by various firms and banks under the guidance of the card protection plan limited.  In some instance the card protection plan cover is sold together with identity protection product. This allows the card owner to monitor and identify any illegal use of their card, and take legal action if necessary.

What constitutes of card protection plan miss-sale?
Like any other form of financial products mis-sale, card protection plan should be sold to people who fit into specific criteria. However, CPP limited has allowed the sale of the cover to many people who do not qualify thus cannot make a claim when the card had been lost or used fraudulently. The other mis-selling involves mis-information by the CPP sales agents to the consumer. Multiple card holders also experienced a serious mis-sell whereby the CPP gained access to all their cards even if they only took the cover for only one card. This allows CPP to deduct payments from any of the cards. Due to this, some customers who cancelled the covered card continue to make payments from other cards in use unknowingly.

What to do if you have been miss-sold CPP
In many instances, consumers are not aware of the cover or cannot prove they had it. The first thing is to confirm that you had the cover. This can be achieved by looking at old financial receipts on your cards. Once you have evidence, the first step is to lodge a formal complaint with the CPP limited or the financial service provider who sold you the cover. Attach copies of the evidence as you lodge the complaint and make it clear what you want to achieve. Many people demand for repayments or compensation. If the CPP do not take action within eight weeks then make file a complaint with the financial ombudsman. The ombudsman will intervene on your behalf and demand repayments. If there is limited or no evidence the body will carry out investigations on your behalf.

Card protection miss-sale is among the mis-sold financial services in the UK. Like any other miss-sold product, it is best to lodge a complaint as soon as you find out the product has been miss-sold to you for fast settlement.

How to Cash In My Pension

Through the years, everyone believed that the best way to store money and use it in the future was to deposit them in banks or even get life annuities, more popularly known as pensions. However, this kind of view has changed in the past 5 or so years because of the economic crises that most countries are experiencing. Yes, there is an economic crisis that circles every nation and damages the businesses. Because of this some are forced to cash in on their pensions. It is better to get something earlier than to wait for the date of maturity and get nothing.

That is not the only instance when people would cash in on their pensions. There are other instances like when they want to settle their accounts with banks or other financial institutions or when they need to buy medicines for their illnesses. In these cases mentioned, the pension companies will have to adhere to the requests because of the reason behind the request.

How to Cash In?
The procedure of cashing in is not as easy as it seems because various steps should be followed and documents need to be presented so that the company will release the cash in your pension. In case you want to do the claiming yourself, you should consult with the company’s representative so that you may fully understand how it is done. After you have spoken with their representatives, you may start to gather the documents needed for them to release your pension early.

Know How Much You Need
Most financial companies have a lot of options. You can either get 50% of your total cash in your pension or you can get the entire amount. Either way, it is best if you know how much you need so that you can use the remaining money for other purposes in the future. You are also afforded the chance to continue paying for a premium if you do not cash out the entire amount. So after you study the process as well as the documents needed you should know how much you need so that you will not spend the money without reason.

Seek for Assistance
To date, there are numerous companies that can aid you in your quest to cash in on your pension earlier. If you are unsure about the entire process and you want to get the money as soon as you can, you are suggested to ask for the assistance of those people. Although they might charge a particular amount for the speedy process, at least you will surely get the money you need in time to settle your accounts or to fund the purchase of your needs. So if you want to get your cash in your pension, might as well look for assistance.

Interest Rate Swap Mis Selling

In the UK, banks have been the subject of mis selling issues in the past few years and today, a new mis selling scandal. Many of the banks, most of them considered as the big banks in the UK, are mixed up with interest rate swap mis selling scandal. According to recent reports, these big banks will be made to answer for the interest rate swap mis selling in recent years. The FSA or the Financial Services Authority is more than willing to conduct a thorough research on the accounts of the small business owners. This is definitely not surprising as these banks have been in the middle of controversy since the first mis selling scandal was made public.

It is worthy to note the reason behind the need of small businesses to seek for financial assistance from well-established banks. That reason being to somehow lower their debts and some do it to even settle it. Although interest rate swapping is one of the most helpful financial services around, it is still abused by most monetary institutions thinking that they could take advantage of the dire needs of small business owners.

Avoiding Interest Rate Swap Mis Selling
Avoiding financial mis selling is not as easy as it sounds but if you are up to it, you can definitely make sure that you don’t get to be the victim instead of being the client. First, you should understand the financial service that you are applying for. This means that upon application, you should carefully read the stipulations laid out in the contract. By this, you are giving yourself that edge of knowing fully what you are getting yourself into. A lot of people fail to give credence to the importance of understanding the contract. Thus, they experience mis selling.

The next thing you should consider is to do your own math. What does this mean? Well it means that you are encouraged to do your own calculations on the monetary service that you are applying for. More often than not, the interest rates, the charges for the process to be complete and all other figures are laid out in the contract. You should take note of these figures and calculate the rates yourself.

Who knows, the attendant may accidentally commit mistakes, that’s why it is your duty to know the figures of that transaction so that you can estimate whether you have the means to pay for it or not.
These two tips might not be that ‘attractive’ but it certainly has been used and is being used by many business owners in the UK to avoid interest rate swap mis selling and any other kind of financial mis selling for that matter. Try to do these on the next financial transaction and maybe you can say for yourself that they truly are effective.

Financial Ombudsman - what they can help you with

An ombudsman is a body set up to intervene between consumers and particular service or product providers. There are different types of ombudsmen that range from financial to health service to parliamentary to energy, among others. Financial ombudsman intervenes between consumers and financial service providers.  It is mandated to deal with financial related issues such as insurance, mortgages, and others. It was founded in 2001 after the financial services and Markets act of 2000.

Intervene on your behalf
The key mandate of the financial ombudsman is to intervene on financial matters between consumers’ and financial service providers. However, the body can only do this after you have filed the complaint yourself with the financial provider and nothing happens within six months. The cases the body deals with have a time limit not exceeding six years since the service was taken out or three years since the problem was discovered.   In most cases, the body will look at facts and figures form you and the service provider before deciding on a case.

The financial ombudsman carries out investigations on behalf of a client.  The body looks at details of any financial case brought to their attention to fully understand the case and intervene on behalf of a consumer.  The body mainly investigates through letters and calls to hear opinions from both parties.  Financial ombudsman can only reach a decision after getting all the facts and figures right. In most cases, they assist with the fine print of binding contracts that may be too complicated for the consumer.

Publish informational materials
Other than intervening and solving disputes between consumers and financial service providers, financial ombudsman is responsible for providing relevant and accurate information on financial matters to consumers through various publications. The information varies from how to make a complaint to a financial provider, when to take the next step after making a complaint, mis-sold financial services among others.

Refer to the relevant body
In some instances, you might file a case that is beyond the ombudsman mandate. This means the body cannot be able to process your case. However, the ombudsman will direct you to the relevant bodies such as the national debt body. 

Allow you to go to court
In the event that you feel your case needs more legal attention, the ombudsman allows you to take the case to court. However, the body is not responsible for the outcome of such cases, and will not provide any legal services beyond offering advice on possible outcomes or what you need to get a fair trial. The body also allows you to go to court if you feel your case have not been fairly treated or solved.

The financial ombudsman is a consumer watch dog that ensures that the financial service providers do not take advantage of the consumer. All services offered are free of any charges. The body handles a large number of cases and thus might take longer than expected to settle a dispute.