Identity Burglary Crime Wave is Hitting Homeowners

LV= has revealed in a new report that one in seven burglaries last year was carried out solely in an attempt to steal the homeowner’s personal details.

A quarter of all burglary victims in the past year fell prey to ID fraud as a direct result of a break in. The research from home insurer LV=, which questioned both burglary victims and convicted fraudsters, reveals the scale of the crime and fraudsters’ tricks of the trade.

‘ID burglary’ is estimated to cost the UK over £150 million per year to rectify and according to the report the number of home burglaries involving personal data theft is predicted to rise by 33% year on year if ID fraud continues to increase at its current rate.

The LV= report found that credit cards, coupled with a form of ID such as a bank statement, utility bill or National Insurance number, are prized items on the black market as they make it easier for fraudsters to steal an identity. Individual identity documents can change hands for around £15, whereas fraudsters will typically pay £150 for a ‘bundle’ of personal identity information.

One fraudster said: “So many people make my job really easy by sticking all the key documents together in one place. And for all the family too, so you often get three or four identities for the price of one, so to speak.”

While ‘identity burglars’ are becoming more common, even thieves after more traditional items such as purses or wallets are likely to take the opportunity to steal personal details as well, because they know they can sell these on. Around 94% of handbags, wallets and purses contain at least one form of personal identity document.

To help assist the growing number of people affected by ID fraud, the LV= home insurance policy now includes free access to a special identity fraud helpline.

John O’ Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: “As the trend for identity fraud increases, we would strongly urge homeowners to take appropriate measures to limit their chances of being targeted by thieves and fraudsters. As well as installing home security measures such as burglary alarms and security lights, homeowners should ensure they store personal documents securely and if possible separately to minimise the risk of ID theft.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Mortgage – and Your Family

The different types of life insurance cover available can sound confusing, but the choice is more straightforward than people think. If you have a family with children, as a bare minimum you should consider life assurance that would pay off your mortgage upon death. There is then the option of cover that would pay out in the event of you contracting a serious illness. Both types of cover can be

provided either as a lump sum or as a regular income. For new parents, life insurance company AVIVA is currently offering £10,000 FREE life cover until their child’s first birthday – £20,000 if both parents apply. In their recent Parents Study, Aviva found that almost 40% of parents polled have not bought life insurance cover and a further 17% only have enough to cover their mortgage.

Richard Morea, Technical Manager at L&C said, “When taking out a mortgage or starting a family, it is essential that borrowers and parents look at their life insurance needs and make sure that their family is properly protected if the worst were to happen. It’s important to shop around and get advice too, because banks and building societies that offer good mortgage rates will not always offer good rates on life insurance.“

For a free life insurance review, speak to one of L&C’s expert advisers on 0800 073 1932. New parents can click here to apply for £10,000 FREE life cover through L&C.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

New Micro-Lending Program To Help People Establish Businesses

Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT) and ACCION-Texas, a national micro-lending organization, have jointly created the MATT Micro-lending Assistance Program (MMAP) designed to help individuals establish their new small enterprise.

“The beauty of this program is that we not only provide them with financial assistance but with technical support as well to help ensure their success” says Janie Barrera, President & CEO, ACCION Texas-Louisiana.

The MMAP program depends on the generosity and financial support from businesses and donors to succeed. MATT, a non-for-profit headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, has committed to securing financial supporters to ensure the continuation and success of the program. “Our goal is to assist people help themselves. We have many talented people who need some support and direction to succeed in life. That is what we are committed to do, in association with ACCION-Texas,” comments Aracely Garcia-Granados, executive director of MATT, who helped devise this initiative after she learned that ACCION-Texas is a non-profit and needs 3 million a year in order to serve its constituencies.

MATT will identify and secure businesses to support ACCION-Texas. However, MATT’s contribution comes with a twist. “We are going after Mexican-owned companies so that they give back to the community that has helped them succeed,” confirms Garcia-Granados. “We need to cultivate a sense of philanthropy among Latinos and this is one small way to do it.”

MMAP-San Antonio is possible due to the generosity of Anne-Marie Grube, owner of La Tradicional Tortilleria. As a successful small business owner, Anne-Marie jumped at the opportunity to help others realize their dream. She knows how hard yet liberating it is to be an independent entrepreneur and when approached by MATT and ACCION-Texas, she agreed to be the first to help establish the MATT Micro-lending Assistance Program in San Antonio. “There are many talented people in our communities, especially among Latinos, who just need a little counseling and financial support to make the American dream come true. I am glad to have had this opportunity to partner with MATT and ACCION-Texas. I cannot think of a better cause and a more needed program.”

It is MATT’s goal to work with its national network of supporters to identify communities where MMAP is most likely to succeed. “At this point, we want to get the information out there to create interest among potential donors but we are also going to aggressively promote this program and get supporters. There is a lot of need out there and we are committed to make this program work for those who will most benefit,” concluded Garcia-Granados.

Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT) is a San Antonio-based, bi-national, non-profit organization. MATT’s mission is to bridge the gaps of understanding between Mexicans and Americans.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Dr. Elizabeth Mays Has Been Named One Of The 25 Women To Watch For 2009 By U.S Banker Magazine

Dr. Elizabeth Mays has been named one of the 25 Women to Watch for 2009 by U.S Banker magazine. The list contains some of the banking industry’s most accomplished women and is compiled annually. Over 5,000 female banking executives were nominated this year.

Mays is located in Columbus, Ohio where she is a Senior Vice President and the Head of Consumer Risk Modeling and Analytics for JP Morgan Chase, part of the Risk Management organization.

The criteria used to select the 25 Women to Watch include their impact on their bank’s financial performance and the nominee’s industry, personal, and community impact. In conjunction with the publication of U.S. Banker magazine’s October issue highlighting the women selected this year, an awards ceremony will be held at The Plaza hotel in New York on October 6th.

Mays has spent 24 years in the financial services sector, first as a government economist and savings and loan regulator in Washington DC, and later in executive positions in the banking industry. She is also an author of four books on risk measurement and writes articles on corporate governance and risk management topics. A busy executive and mother, U.S. Banker magazine noted that parts of her last book were written “f r o m a booth at Chuck E. Cheese” while her young son played games.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Majority Of Over 50s Unaware Of October ISA Limit Increases

Lloyds TSB has revealed new research that shows two thirds (61 per cent) of over 50s do not understand the approaching ISA changes which will enable more than 21 million savers to benefit from an increased tax free savings allowance.

As part of this year’s budget, the Chancellor announced that the total ISA limits would increase from £7,200 to £10,200, £5,100 of which can be saved in cash. For those born on or before 5th April 1960 the new limits come into effect on October 6th, whilst younger customers will need to wait until the start of the 2010/2011 tax year next April.

Despite the imminent changes, the findings show that just 15 per cent of over 50s know that the new ISA limit will be set at £10,200. Four out of ten over 50s are not even aware that increases have been announced.

Lloyds Banking Group customers can take full advantage of the increased limits, as the Group has confirmed that all of its ISA products will accept top ups when the new rules come into effect on 6th October.

Colin Walsh, managing director of savings and investment, Lloyds Banking Group commented: “As the UK’s largest ISA provider, we want our customers to be able to reap the benefits of the new rules and make use of their entitlement. This historic low rate environment has meant a challenging time for savers, especially for those who rely on returns to supplement their monthly income, so maximising your full tax free allowance has never been more important.”

Savers will be able to top up their existing ISA balance in any of the Group’s fixed and variable rate cash ISAs, as well as investment ISA products. New customers can also take advantage of the new entitlement and open one of the competitive products offered by the Group’s ISA brands, which include Halifax, Lloyds TSB, Scottish Widows, Bank of Scotland, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Birmingham Midshires and Intelligent Finance.

Colin Walsh continued: “Traditionally the ISA transfer market peaks in April around the new tax year, but this year’s changes will no doubt result in a ‘mini ISA season’ as savers look to take advantage of competitive rates on an increased balance.”

Earlier this year, Lloyds Banking Group announced its participation in electronic transfers for the cash ISA market, allowing customers to benefit from a more efficient process and reducing the delays caused by sending cheques in the post.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

The Most Popular Baby Names In The UK Revealed By The Children’s Mutual

According to research by The Children’s Mutual, leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, Jack and Olivia have maintained their position as the most popular baby names in the UK for a second year.

Jack leads the pack at the head of the Top 10 boys’ names, which have remained the same for the past two years. However, a review of almost 150,000 new CTF account holder names revealed that the girls’ names are more imaginative, varied and less traditional than the boys’ names.

With newcomers Amelia and Evie entering the list this year, the Top 10 girls’ names has had new entrants for the last three years despite Olivia clinching the top spot for the last two. Ava, Freya and Isabelle have entered the Top 20 for the first time. However in contrast, there have been falls for Grace, Lucy, Katie and Megan during 2009.

Within the top boys’ names there are some signs of influence from celebrity names, with Lewis racing into the Top 20 and both princes’ names, William and Harry, staying in the Top 10. Harry Potter also appears to have had some influence, with Harry and leading actor Daniel Radcliffe’s first name both having moved up the chart.

Tony Anderson, Marketing Director at The Children’s Mutual, said: “We’ve had lots of new children on our books in the past 12 months, with almost 150,000 new accounts opened, and it’s always interesting to see how the trends in babies names change each year. We realise that choosing a name can be daunting for parents as they want to give their child the best start in life.

“As well as the choice of name, parents should also be considering their child’s future and how they plan to save for important milestones such as university or a first car. If parents top up their child’s CTF monthly by £24 – the average amount saved by customers – these 2009 babies could receive a lump sum of over £9,750 when they reach 18.”

Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children. Each eligible child (born on or after 1 September 2002) receives a £250 (£500 for low income families) Child Trust Fund voucher from the Government when their parents register for Child Benefit. The Government will make a second contribution of £250 (£500 for low income families) when the child reaches seven and potentially a third in the child’s teenage years.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Joe Freeman Of MidCountry Bank Has Been Appointed To The National World War I Museum’s Board Of Trustees

Joe Freeman, Chief Operating Officer of Pioneer Services, the Military Banking Division of MidCountry Bank, has been appointed to the National World War I Museum‘s Board of Trustees. Freeman joins a group of other notable and distinguished community leaders such as Henry Bloch, William Dunn, Sr., R. Crosby Kemper, and Dr. Thomas Hoenig, all who are committed to preserving, promoting, and improving the nation’s official WWI Museum.

Freeman’s strategic and entrepreneurial business skills, along with his knowledge of the military and national security communities, and the financial services arena, will benefit the Museum. “Each new Trustee brings a diverse base of experience and knowledge that will help further the Museum’s mission”, said Brian Alexander, President and CEO of the National World War I Museum.

Freeman is active in local business, philanthropic, and community service efforts, including ; the UMKC Board of Trustees Bloch School Blue Ribbon Committee; the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Council; the Dean’s Bloch School Advisory Board, Chairman of the International Entrepreneur of the Year Dinner; Business Executives for National Security; the Association of the United States Army; the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Armed Services Committee; Angel Flight Central; the FBI Citizen’s Academy, and more. He was named one of Ingrams’ magazine’s “40 Under 40 Power Elite” in 2006.

He is responsible for all lending and retail operations at MidCountry Bank’s military division, as well as strategic planning. In his position, Freeman manages a diverse group of more than 200 associates in various departments and geographic locations. He has more than 15 years of business experience in accounting, operations, consulting, and marketing.

Freeman is a graduate of the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. He is the author of several published articles on management and financial matters.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

How To Lower Your Insurance Premiums During the Recession

During a recession, such as we are currently experiencing, it is essential that all businesses should reduce their expenditure wherever possible. It is a simple fact to understand that when income falls, expenditure must also be reduced in order to balance the books. When businesses have completed their cost-cutting exercises in the obvious areas, such as payroll and suppliers, they look to make savings in the peripheral areas of expenditure- such as insurance.

All businesses are required to hold insurance cover to a greater or lesser extent, be it material damage, goods in transit or the legally unavoidable road risk cover and employers liability insurance. Staveley Head, one of the UK’s leading motor trade insurance providers, has some important advice for those looking to reduce their insurance premiums. A spokesman said “Many people will opt for policies which are cheaper because the additional benefits such as windscreen cover or a courtesy vehicle in the event of an accident have been excluded from the policy. This can prove a false economy as the reduction in premium will only be marginal, and those benefits can prove very worthwhile if and when needed. It is far more effective to look at areas we tend to take for granted. Many policyholders request any driver cover because once in a blue moon, due to illness or holidays perhaps, someone else will be required to drive their vehicle. This is a very costly way of covering that eventuality. It is far cheaper to name on the policy the drivers you think you may need, and even cheaper again if it is your spouse or partner.”

The Staveley Head representative went on to say “It is also worthwhile considering an additional voluntary excess on the policy, certainly for careful and claim-free drivers. If you divide the amount of the voluntary excess by the number of years since your last claim and compare that to the annual saving in premium it should give you an indication of the overall economy of increasing your excess. Keeping your vehicle overnight in a garage or secure compound or driveway will also reduce your premium. A low annual mileage will also produce a lower premium. The annual average is between ten and twelve thousand miles, but if you only cover five thousand miles a year tell your insurer. Less miles means less risk for your insurer and consequently less premium. There is a number of ways that premiums can be reduced without losing any benefit in cover, and Staveley Head will be delighted to assist and advise anyone if they contact us on our website at or telephone us on 0845 017 9991.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Three Unsecured Personal Loan Providers Have Implemented Rate Hikes Of Up To 1.2% For New Customers

This product ‘tweak’, although seemingly small, could cost personal loan customers an extra GBP322 in interest paid on a typical loan of GBP10,000. With UK consumers currently forking out GBP181 million in interest daily, this will only add to an already hefty bill.

As consumers struggle to manage their debts in the current climate, their chances of consolidating to a low cost loan have also been vastly reduced compared to this time last year. There are currently 36 personal loans available to consumers, this is compared to 57 loans that were available this time last year, a drop of 37%. At the same time, the average loan rate has increased from 9.04% to 9.08% in the last year.

Providers that have increased rates since the start of September include:

1. Marks and Spencer Money – selected rates increased by 1.2%

2. Egg – GBP3,000 to GBP20,000 increased by 1% to 14.9%

3. Alliance & Leicester – GBP5,000 to GBP7,499 increased by 0.1% to 8.9% and GBP7,500 to GBP15,000 increased by 0.8% to 8.7%

However, it seems the trend for offering the best deals to “brand new customers only” does not currently extend to the unsecured personal loans market, with the best deals currently being offered to existing customers. The average interest rate in the Best Buy table for existing customers is currently 7.94%, with Nationwide topping the table with its Existing Customer Personal Loan Plan at 7.7%. However, new customers can expect to be hit with an average interest rate for a Best Buy loan of 8.08%, 0.14% higher.

Louise Bond, personal finance expert at, comments: “As consumers struggle to make ends meet and manage their finances, loan providers are looking to offer the best rates to those who financial behaviour they can closely inspect – which are their existing customers.

“Last year 1.3 million consumers used an unsecured personal loan for debt consolidation purposes. However, with the number of personal loans available dropping by 37% this year and rejection running high, it would be highly unlikely that a similar number of consumers would be able to consolidate their debts this year. However, for those that are thinking about or attempting to do this, it would definitely be worthwhile finding out what rates existing providers can offer, as it seems loyalty is one of the only aspects that could win consumers better interest rates at the moment.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Debt Levels Amongst Pensioners Are Increasing

Responding to a new report claiming that debt levels amongst pensioners are increasing, debt management company Gregory Pennington said that finding the right debt solution is important for anyone struggling with debt, regardless of age.

The company added that in particular, anyone approaching retirement age with debts that they may not be able to repay in time should contact a professional debt adviser to discuss the best way to clear their debts.

The research by pensions and investment provider Scottish Widows found that around 34% of retired people have ‘non-mortgage’ debts, such as credit cards and personal loans, with each owing an average of £7,344.

The figure is 9% higher than at the same point last year, and almost 25% higher than it was in 2007, suggesting that the problem has become no easier for pensioners as the economic downturn has progressed.

Meanwhile, the research found that almost one in six (15% of) retired people in the UK are still repaying their mortgage, with an average remaining debt of £50,100 – £8,000 higher than 2008’s figure.

In total, Scottish Widows claimed that pensioners owed a collective £90.4 billion – up from £72.3 billion last year.

Ian Naismith, Head of Pensions Market Development at Scottish Widows, said: “The situation for retirees in debt is not getting any better, and an increase of eight thousand in the average amount of mortgage debt is alarming.

“The recession has seemingly done nothing to encourage retirees to cut their debt, and with the possibility of the value of their property dwindling, they could be leaving themselves in a vulnerable position.

“Those in retirement should be able to enjoy life and not worry about the financial burden of debt, as well as their retirement income.”

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington said: “Some people might assume that debt is a ‘young person’s problem’, but in a difficult economic climate we are all at risk. Pensioners, who often live on a much lower income than they did while they were working, can be particularly vulnerable.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

One In Five Stock Market Investors Never Check Share Performance

Prudential has revealed that over one in five (22 per cent) of UK stock market investors never check the performance of their shares. Furthermore, it has been revealed that 65% of investors don’t seek any professional advice prior to investing.

The findings, f r o m new research conducted for Prudential, found that 36 per cent of UK adults aged 18+, equivalent to 17.23 million people, have invested in the stock market over the past 10 years. However, more than half (53 per cent) of these investors admit they only check share performance every six months or less frequently, with one in five (20 per cent) saying they only review their stock performance once a year and 22 per cent admitting they never do.

When it comes to gaining advice on where the best place is to invest their savings, UK adults appear to be equally apathetic with around two thirds of investors (65 per cent) saying they rely on internet searches or media reports when selecting which shares or investment fund to buy with just 16 per cent seeing an independent financial adviser, four per cent consulting a stockbroker and 10 per cent gained advice f r o m bank or building society staff.

However, while many stock market investors fail to adequately monitor share performance or gain financial advice on how to invest, they are at least exposing themselves to an asset class which has historically shown some of the strongest growth. This sits in stark contrast to the rest of the population with around 30 million UK adults (64 per cent) having made no stock market-based investments in the past ten years.

Trevor Cheal, Retirement Savings Business Director, Prudential said: “While not everyone is fortunate enough to have spare funds to save or invest, many people do and it is staggering how few are seeking financial advice or looking to capitalise on the growth potential that the stock market has historically offered.

“Those who invest in the stock market have taken the first important step towards benefiting f r o m the long-term growth of the economy, but they stand a greater chance of maximising its value if they re-evaluate their investment arrangements regularly. However, in volatile markets, investors may not want all their eggs in one basket and multi-asset funds which provide diversification can give them some degree of comfort while still having exposure to the stock market. Those who feel they lack the knowledge to manage a diversified portfolio should consider getting professional financial advice f r o m a stockbroker or an IFA.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Lloyds TSB Is Encouraging New Students To Eat Healthily Whilst Staying Within A Budget With The Launch Of Its ‘Budget Cook Off’

Lloyds TSB is encouraging new students to eat healthily whilst staying within a budget with the launch of its ‘Budget Cook Off’ section of the Savvy Saver student hub, an all round guide for students, advising them on how to manage finances during their time at University.

The new section of the site contains practical tips for healthy eating with limited finances and also offers a video showing students putting the budget cooking tips into practice.

Included in the range of tips is information on how to make sure a healthy diet is maintained throughout the day, even when students are pushed for time or under stress from upcoming exams or deadlines. The ‘Budget Cook Off’ section also advises prospective students on how to find the best deals on food in the shops and habits to avoid, such as junk food and eating out, in order to make the most of their money.

The savvy student hub has been launched in response to student concerns about their finances. As part of its annual research* with more than a thousand 17-25 year olds who hope to start a degree course in the autumn, Lloyds TSB found that three quarters of would-be freshers think that money management is especially important in the current economic environment.

Catherine McGrath, director of current accounts, Lloyds TSB, commented: “We want to do everything we can to support young people manage their finances responsibly but also have fun and enjoy their studies. We hope the hub will show them that it is possible to study on a budget, and also that they’re not alone in being concerned about looking after their pennies during their degree course.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Pioneer Services Recognized By The American Banker’s Association

Pioneer Services was recognized recently at the American Banker’s Association (ABA) Financial Marketing Awards ceremony, receiving runner-up for its Military Spouse Finance Guide: Financial Advice for the Homefront. The book offers comprehensive financial education for military spouses, and was published last year. This is the second ABA award for Pioneer Services—the company won last year for its entire range of financial education materials.

Established in 1972, the ABA Awards recognize those who have displayed excellence in their financial materials, and are one of the most coveted awards in the financial services industry. Pioneer Services received the award in the financial education category, which recognizes those that work to educate customers on responsible and sound financial practices.

“Military spouses take care of the family and finances during their husbands’ or wives’ deployment, and really are the unsung heroes of the military,” said Karen Von Der Bruegge, Chief Marketing Officer of Pioneer Services. “We’re honored to provide them with information that can help them throughout their military and civilian lives, and to have that information recognized as being the best in the banking industry.”

The book was based on two years of research, and included input from military spouses, industry experts, and Pioneer Services associates. Available for sale on and Barnes and, Pioneer Services has also distributed thousands of free copies of the book to military families. It has been featured in several media outlets. And its website,, offers more information about the book, testimonials praising its content, and a free chapter on debt prioritization.

“We’ve been providing free financial education to military families for several years, and know it has helped thousands take control of their finances,” said Von Der Bruegge. “Being recognized by the ABA for our continuing efforts is a great honor, and reaffirms our commitment to helping educate the military community.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

24% Of Students In The UK Expect To Graduate With Over £20,000 Of Debt

Responding to a report that found that 24% of students in the UK expect to graduate with over £20,000 of debt, Debt Advisers Direct has advised students that with the right financial planning, the amount of debt they take on can be reduced.

The company added that students should avoid taking on debt (i.e. any debt outside their regular student loan) wherever possible, as this could increase their risk of debt problems in the future.

Research by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) looked into the financial expectations of UK students. It found that 24% thought they would leave university with more than £20,000 of debt – although the picture varied between countries.

In Scotland, Scottish-born students are not required to pay university tuition fees. This is reflected in the AIC’s figures: only 26% of Scottish students expected to take out a student loan, compared with 55% across the entire UK.

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct commented: “Debt is a big concern for many students. The introduction of top-up fees in recent years has added a significant amount to the debt many students will be expected to repay once they graduate.

“However, it’s very important that we distinguish between student debt in terms of an official student loan, issued by the Student Loans Company (SLC), and other forms of debt.

“Government student loans are designed to be paid back once the student graduates and is earning enough to meet the threshold – currently £15,000 a year – and only as a small percentage of earnings above this amount. In that respect, a student loan is not likely to cause significant financial hardship.

“However, students who have borrowed money in other ways could find themselves in more difficulty. Things like personal loans and credit cards, for example, usually require regular repayments and tend to carry higher interest rates. This is not ideal for students, who usually survive on a relatively low income.

“The risk is that the more debt students take on, the more likely they are to have trouble meeting their repayments. For that reason, we advise students to steer clear of taking on additional debt wherever possible.”

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson added that while most students experience financial difficulties at one stage or another, there are other things they can do to improve their situation.

“There is plenty of advice available, both online and from expert financial advisers, on ways for people to manage their finances well. For example, we have just released a guide on ways to cut back without compromising their social life – which is particularly relevant to students.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Let The Competition For The Safest Home Begin!

The winning prize? The lowest home owners insurance rates around. According to a recently published article on, homeowners looking to save on their insurance should first assess their home to make sure it doesn’t pose any threats.

“Nobody likes a surprise that results in having to spend more than they were expecting,” the article, Home Owners Insurance: Assess Your Risk, states. “If you honestly assess your home and the risk that it represents to your insurer then you will be able to take the proper measures in lowering your risk, thus lowering your home owners insurance.”

Factors of a home, such as its age or the neighborhood it’s located in, can cause a homeowner’s rates to either increase or decrease. The age of a home affects rates because the older the home is, the more likely the home’s materials, foundation, and wiring and heating systems are not up to current building codes, making it more vulnerable to external damage. “Newer homes are more attractive to insurance companies because they were built with modern materials are generally more resilient to damage,” the article emphasizes. The neighborhood around the home is an integral factor as well.

“The crime rate of the neighborhood you live in is an important factor in the mind of your insurer,” the article describes. “If it isn’t the best then you can buffer your situation by taking measures to secure your house with deadbolt locks, motion sensor lights, and a security system.”

Although a homeowner might believe their home is safe, an inspector might think otherwise. Taking the necessary measures to fully assess a home can prevent home owners insurance rates from skyrocketing. Nobody likes to pay more than they have to, so contact a home insurance agent today to inquire about other steps that can be taken to ensure the lowest homeowners insurance quotes around. Visit for expert articles and Hinsurance quotes from up to five local agents.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

How Underwriters Shape Insurance Quotes

Not many people know that all the factors that go into determining how high or low insurance quotes will be are determined by underwriters. Although they’re aided by a computer program, underwriters must analyze all applications the insurance company they work for and determine whether the applicant will yield high quotes, low quotes, or is just altogether uninsurable.

According to an article recently published on, underwriters are the life force of any insurance company. “Their opinions play an integral role in the success of a company because if an underwriter is too conservative, the company will most likely lose customers to competitors,” states the article, titled ‘Understanding the Significance of Underwriters. “On the other hand, if an underwriter makes too liberal of decisions, the company will have to pay an excessive amount in claims.”

Underwriters don’t do it alone though. They are placed with the huge burden of keeping the insurance company they work for afloat and have the assistance of computer applications to determine how to manage risk more efficiently. With the help of the program, underwriters determine how risky the applicants are and can thus determine how high or low their quotes will be or if they are just too risky to insure.

It is important to know what factors go into determining risk. Whether it is auto, health, home, or life insurance, there are a different set of factors for each type of insurance. “As an individual looking to obtain an insurance policy, it is imperative you familiarize yourself with some of the factors that underwriters use to judge potential policyholders before applying,” the article states.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Barclaycard Has Becomes The First Provider In The UK To Launch A Credit Card Pre-Application Check

The simple, one step, online facility allows potential and existing customers to establish their likelihood of being eligible for a Barclaycard, without the need to complete a full application.

The new service leaves a search ‘footprint’ on the customer’s credit file, to show their information has been accessed, but it isn’t a formal credit application and it will not affect their ability to get credit in the future. The pre-application check takes a couple of minutes and is available on the Barclaycard website.

This unique new service will not impact the applicant’s credit rating. Amer Sajed, chief executive of Barclaycard UK, explained: “Consumers currently need to apply in full for a credit card UK, without knowing whether they are likely to be accepted or not, leaving a search on their credit file which can potentially have a negative impact on their credit rating. This unique pre-application check solves this problem. The check can be completed in a few minutes and gives consumers a good indication of whether their application will be accepted.”

Since its launch, 4000 potential customers have used the pre-application check to determine whether they would be accepted for a Barclaycard, giving them a better idea of whether or not they would be successful in an application for a credit card.

As of August 2009, Barclaycard had 11.9m UK customers and a further 11.8m international customers, with 88,000 retailer/merchant relationships.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Experian Payments Gateway Achieves Approval Under The Faster Payments Approved Software Scheme, Operated By Bacs

Experian, the global information company, has announced that its payment processing product, Experian Payments Gateway, has achieved approval under the Faster Payments Approved Software Scheme, operated by Bacs. As the first software to receive approval for unattended use with Direct Corporate Access (DCA), it will enable users to fully automate their Faster Payments and participate in the Barclays launch of DCA to Faster Payments in September.

Originally developed to enable payments originators to process Bacs Payments, Experian Payments Gateway has been extended, tested and approved for use with Smartcards and Hardware Security Modules (HSM) in both attended and unattended modes. It supports Faster Payments DCA via Secure-IP, the secure channel for corporates to initiate Faster Payments.

James Hilliard, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Experian Payments, said, “Many of our large customers use automated payments systems to help increase efficiency and reduce their risk and costs. Recognising their need to automate their Faster Payments securely, we have worked closely with the Faster Payments Approved Bacs Software Scheme to ensure they are able to gain maximum benefit from the new Faster Payments Service.”

Gareth Lodge, Regional Research Director, TowerGroup, said, “Automating payments has always been a key priority for corporates as it has multiple benefits, from cost reduction to improved risk management. But in the current economic environment, it probably is even more important than it has ever been, with working capital benefiting in particular. And of course, the deeper that SEPA Payments are integrated into the end-to-end process, the greater the benefits.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Accidental Death Life Insurance

Death is one of the most unpredictable aspects of life so it should be no surprise that the insurance industry have formulated a special kind of life insurance known as accidental death life insurance. According to an article recently published on, accidental death life insurance provides coverage in the event of a sudden accidental death.

The article, titled ‘Accidental Death Life Insurance: Stare Death in the Eyes’ states, “Illnesses, accidents and sudden deaths occur everyday, leaving families with only memories. On top of the mourning, they also have to deal with high death expenses. Accidental death life insurance, however, can take care of that.”

Your typical accidental death life insurance policy should cover accidental/sudden death, illness, and loss of bodily functions such as hearing and sight.

Visit to compare life insurance rates based on your lifestyle and speak with a life insurance agent about what this specific type of life insurance has to offer you and your loved ones.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Consumers Who Are Looking For An Alternative To The Traditional Method Of Ordering Checks Are Turning To Carousel Checks For Their Needs

The company offers online checks in a variety of styles. Customers who choose to deal with Carousel Checks can have their order shipped directly to their door by the shipping method of their choice.

Personal Checks are available in a number of styles. The customer can choose checks with images that reflect their work, hobbies or interests. Choices include firefighter and farm themes. Customers can also choose f r o m various sports themes, including bowling, basketball, billiards, football, golf and fishing. Other images available on checks f r o m Carousel represent flowers, different ethnic groups, flowers, food, religious images, and more.

Once a customer has selected the theme they are most interested in, the process for ordering checks is quick and convenient. Rather than having to travel to the bank during regular business hours to place an order, Carousel offers customers a secure server where they can order products f r o m their computer, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Carousel keeps information about the correct spacing for banking information in a database. If a customer has questions about whether the company has up-to-date information on their bank’s specifications, they can call 1-888-422-6122 to confirm. If the records aren’t current, the customer can request a form to provide the required information to Carousel Checks.

Customers who order online checks can place their order in varying quantities, ranging f r o m 150 and 960 checks. Each order includes a number of deposit tickets and a transaction register. Carousel Customers can select a typeset and add a monogram to their checks, if desired.

Other products offered by Carousel Checks include address labels. The customer can choose to add coordinating labels to their order when they place the order for their checks. Ink stamps with up to four lines of type are available, along with check book covers.

Customers who choose to order online checks f r o m Carousel have the option of personalizing them with their phone number and/or Driver’s License information if they wish. They also have the option of providing their own image to the company to have custom checks printed.

The company allows customers to submit their own image to have custom checks printed. Before the order is run, the image is examined by a photo professional, who can use their expertise to improve its quality. The image is forwarded to the customer by e-mail for their approval before their order is printed. The custom image can also be used for address labels.

Carousel Checks Inc. is a company that offers custom Checks to individuals and business owners alike. The company’s online checks can be ordered quickly and conveniently. Along with an extensive line of checks, Carousel also offers address labels, check book covers, and other accessories.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases