Homeowners Insurance Tips for Halloween

Generally speaking, one doesn’t usually associate Halloween with homeowners insurance. One is a night of fun-filled night of adventure, sweets, and costumes while the other is, well, there. But when it comes to saving the headache and expense that goes into filing a homeowners insurance claim, even the most festive Halloween appreciator will perk up and listen. According to an article recently published on InsuranceAgents.com, homeowners planning a Halloween party should take a few simple precautions so they don’t find themselves in a claim situation.

Halloween is one of the few occasions where homeowners across the country actually invite total strangers onto their property. With all the elements involved, anything can go wrong and it is for that reason why a quality homeowners insurance policy is important. “If you are planning a relatively large party then you might want to consider additional homeowners insurance coverage,” states the article titled, ‘Halloween Parties Gone Bad: Homeowners Insurance Affected.’ “You should consult your home insurance agent about your options regarding additional coverage for an event such as a Halloween bash.”

The first step in keeping a Halloween party safe is keeping the pets away. Even the most gentle of animals can go off on an unsuspecting guest without notice. This could, unfortunately, lead to a costly homeowners liability insurance claim. So don’t take the chance and just lock Fido in the basement for the night.

Home fires are another unfortunate occurrences at some Halloween festivities. With Jack-O-Lanterns and candles in bags lighting walkways, any number of circumstances could take place which could result in an untimely and unfortunate house fire. So be cautious and don’t be a part of the staggering statistics relating holidays and house fires.

Halloween is supposed to be a worry-free night of fun and adventure. So keep it that way with the aforementioned simple precautions. Visit InsuranceAgents.com today to learn more about saving on all types of insurance.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Identity Checks Supplier Continues To Expand

Leading suppliers of identity checks and anti-money laundering services, Tracesmart, are to expand their workforce which will help manage the increasing demand for their services. The expansion will specifically involve the administration, sales and IT teams.

Identity Checks Supplier Continues To Expand

Tracesmart is currently active in a number of industries however the key B2B markets in which it operates include pensions and debt collection. Both these sectors use the company’s data cleansing and consumer location services to trace people in order to re-establish contact. The pensions industry further utilises Tracesmart’s Existence suite of services which can be used to identify scheme members who have relocated or are deceased, this helps pension schemes better manage their member payments, and protect themselves and their members against fraud.

Demand for Tracesmart Corporate services has already prompted the company to recruit seven new members of staff over recent months. They now plan to recruit a further eight to strengthen their numbers and continue their expansion within their core and new commercial arenas. Tracesmart’s employee levels will soon total sixty, and the company headquarters still has capacity for further growth as their Business Support Manager, Rebecca Westlake, commented,

“We recently completed the refurbishment of our newly expanded Cardiff head office. In line with our expansion plans, the improvements have allowed us to develop and deploy individual teams efficiently and effectively to optimise our work environment.”

With close ties to both his front line staff and the company’s major clients, Tracesmart’s Managing Director, Mike Trezise, is fully aware of how and when the company will continue to expand. Commenting on his company’s development Trezise stated,

“We continue to reap the rewards of our ongoing marketing and sales campaigns within our core sectors. Demand has further led us to increase our staff to meet current and new client needs. We will continue to ensure our clients receive the best possible service and I’m confident that we’ll experience sustained growth in 2010.”

About Tracesmart:
Established in 1999, Tracesmart Ltd is a leading provider of consumer intelligence services. It specialises in the provision of data cleansing, consumer tracing and identity verification.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

No Kidding – Average Age of Child on Parent’s Car Insurance is 31

In the past year the average age of a child named as a second driver on their parent’s car insurance policy has shot up from 25 to 31 years old, according to new research from uSwitch.com. As the recession takes its toll on the Bank of Mum and Dad, 10 million drivers (39%) have a second named driver on their policy and 2.5 million (10%) of these are offspring.

Being named on a parent’s policy is a legitimate practice, providing that the child in question is not the main driver of the vehicle. However, with insurance premiums on the up, high petrol prices and other escalating costs, keeping a car on the road has become challenging for many young motorists. As a result, many are putting themselves on the wrong side of the law by indulging in a fraudulent practice known as ‘fronting’.

‘Fronting’ takes place when a young person buys and registers a car in their own name, but the insurer is falsely told that a parent is the main driver – and cases have shot up since the onset of the recession. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), ‘fronting’ and other forms of insurance fraud have increased by 30% since 2007 and the cost of undetected fraudulent general insurance claims is now estimated at £1.9 billion a year, up 24% from £1.6 billion two years ago.

Ultimately consumers end up paying the price for this activity – insurance fraud now adds an average of £44 a year to every household’s general insurance costs.

In addition to ‘fronting’, some young motorists are taking cost cutting to an extreme with as many as one in five (250,000) 17-20 year olds driving without insurance, according to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). In the current economic climate it’s also unsurprising that many feel forced to downgrade their type of cover to the more affordable ‘Third Party’.

Young drivers are not alone in this – one in five (20%) of all third party policy holders have opted for a reduced level of cover because they are simply unable to afford fully comprehensive cover in the current financial environment.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Is An Investing Book Worth $799?

The author is not even dead . . . yet! Better to gain ‘know-how’ than gold. But is a book worth $799? An immodest ‘yes’. Sushi Zen Restaurant, Times Square - A statuesque, charming Senior Analyst for an Chicago-based investment journal magazine, showed me a remarkable sight on her laptop.

Incredible! But there it was. Imagine my astonishment when I saw used copies of my previous book The Profit-Taker Breakthrough; selling on www.amazon.com for the price of $799.00.

Is it a joke? Is it clever merchandising? You tell me. Certainly I confess to a twinge of pride. I was flattered.

The ‘Breakthrough’ . . . the proven, rapid, money-maker in good and bad markets . . . is the detailed ‘good news’ text and workbook for Profit-Taker Strategies.

The two entrepreneurs book sellers are highly regarded five star dealers – Motor City Books of Michigan and The David Bean Books of California. Good luck to them!

I was enheartened as a writer when The Chicago Tribune headlined their review to my book with the “PROFIT- TAKER: SOLID ADVICE ON THE STOCK MARKET”, but this is special. Selling my book at $799!

Although I’m 78 years old, I’m still committed to living. They forgot I’m still breathing.

In fact, on my SCOREBOARD on www.profittaker.info which is totally free and transparent, the annualized profits are registering up to 382%.

Like most authors, no doubt, I had a few new copies of my book lying around my study. So I added a current 2009 revision. Subsequently I placed them on www.Ebay.ca at the original price for the world to see.

Professor Don Abrams

Author and Inventor of the The Profit-Taker

Prof. Don Abrams is the author of a number of published financial books, including the international bestseller…The Profit-Taker: the Proven Rapid Money-Maker in Good and Bad Markets.

P.S. Notification of The Profit-Taker Breakthrough selling on the internet at $799.00 is located at:


The $22.95 Version is located at:

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

NS&I Has Announced Changes To The Way Customers Can Invest In Its Fixed Rate Bonds

From the end of October, the products will only be available directly from NS&I (by freephone, online or by post) and no longer available through the Post Office.

NS&I and the Post Office have jointly agreed to this change, which is in part a reflection of the development of the Post Office’s own brand of savings products. These include Post Office Growth Bonds – a very similar range of fixed rate savings bonds to the two NS&I products. The decision also reflects NS&I’s desire to develop its direct sales channels.

The Post Office will continue to offer a wide range of other NS&I savings products – including Premium Bonds and Savings Certificates – which can be purchased over the counter.

Existing NS&I Guaranteed Growth Bond and Guaranteed Income Bond customers will not notice any change as all post-sale servicing and support is already carried out directly through NS&I.

Peter Cornish, Director of Customer Offer, NS&I, said: “We are committed to making our products as straightforward as possible and ensuring that customers understand where they are investing their money. The changes we have jointly agreed with the Post Office will do just that. Our Guaranteed Income Bonds and Guaranteed Growth Bonds will continue to offer customers a simple and straightforward saving opportunity.”

“The Post Office is our key distribution partner and we recognise it is a familiar option for many savers looking to invest with NS&I. Therefore, a wide range of our savings products will continue to be available over the counter in Post Office branches.”

Gary Hockey-Morley, Post Office Limited marketing director, said: “NS&I savings products will continue to be a key part of the ever expanding range of value for money financial services available at Post Office branches. We look forward to continuing our long standing partnership with NS&I well into the future, through providing easy access to a wide range of their savings products through our 12,000 branches which lie at the heart of communities across the UK.”

Customers can invest between £500 and £1 million in total in an NS&I fixed term bond, with guaranteed rates of interest. NS&I’s Guaranteed Income Bond offers customers the opportunity to receive their interest as a monthly income, whilst the interest earned on NS&I’s Guaranteed Growth Bonds is credited to the Bond annually.

NS&I’s fixed rate bonds are available in terms of one, two, three and five years. The two-year term was launched in July 2009 and is only available directly from NS&I.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Market Conditions Spell Good News For Life Insurance Policy Holders

Homeowners often fail to review their life Insurance when searching for the cheapest mortgage deal, but with both the cost of cover and their mortgage balance having fallen, many could make substantial savings just by switching life insurance providers.

Many borrowers with repayment mortgages are unaware that to ensure there is sufficient life insurance to repay their mortgage, life insurance companies assume an average interest rate for the life of the mortgage, often around 10%.

As many borrowers have not paid anything like 10% recently, and have made overpayments, their mortgage balance may well be significantly below the amount of life insurance cover.

This gives them the opportunity to reduce the level of insurance and save money, or with the cost of life cover now cheaper and competition stiff, get the same amount or even increase their cover for the same monthly outlay.

One L&C customer recently increased their life assurance from £390,000 to £423,000 to cover their new mortgage, but managed to reduce their premium, saving themselves around £130 per month.

L&C’s Richard Morea said:
The UK population is massively underinsured as a whole, so taking advantage of smaller mortgage balances and reduced premiums provides a great opportunity to make better provision for our families, without breaking the bank.

For more information and no-fee advice, life insurance policy holders should call free on 0800 0731932.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

London & Country Mortgages Are Looking To Educate Consumers About The Importance Of Life Insurance

The protection gap in Britain is often talked about with various reasons being given for consumer s not taking this important cover. These include life insurance is too expensive, state benefits will be enough and that it is just not necessary as savings will cover any expense or loss of income. The stark reality is that people just don’t think anything will happen to them.

It appears there is poor understanding about the chance of having a serious illness, being made redundant or having an unexpected bereavement in a family. L&C, the UK’s leading fee free mortgage and protection broker are looking to educate consumers about the importance of life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection through a series of short video films. The first, Why you should protect your mortgage talks about the risks and how these may be mitigated with the right cover in place.

This free video is available at, http://www.lcplc.co.uk/videos/protecting_your_mortgage. For a FREE no obligation protection review call L&C on 0800 0731932.

London & Country (L&C) is the UK’s leading no-fee mortgage broker. Based in Bath, it provides whole of market advice via telephone and post to clients nationwide. As well as residential mortgages, it also specialises in the Buy-to-Let and adverse-credit sectors.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Find Security in Term Life Insurance

In the midst of massive job cuts, more and more people are finding themselves separated from benefits like healthcare and life insurance. While it’s not guaranteed that you will get sick and need healthcare, it is guaranteed that, one day, you will pass on. That makes life insurance possibly the most important insurance policy a person can have. But with all the kinds of life insurance out there, which one is the best for you?

According to a recently published article on Insuranceagents.com, any number of life insurance policies may work for you, but oftentimes the most affordable is term life insurance.

Term life insurance can provide you with some security between jobs or if you’re working only part time or at a temporary job. According to the Insuranceagents.com article, “Term Life Insurance: Get Peace Of Mind,” it doesn’t matter if you are a single, a married or single parent, old or young, rich or poor, term life insurance can be an affordable service for everyone.

It’s affordable because “it’s purchased for a specific amount of money and a specific amount of time (called the term). There is no cash value except for the death benefit. If you don’t die before the term runs out, the company owes you nothing,” which is why providers can afford to offer it for such a low rate, according to the Insuranceagents.com article.

“30 Year term life insurance is a competitive commodity so it pays to shop around and see where you can find the best rate,” recommends the article. “Using online quotes is a smart way to do just that. In no time you can compare rates and choose the carrier you want, without ever leaving home. Look for a name you can trust. There are many large insurance companies providing term life so it won’t be hard to find the right company.”

For more information or to receive life insurance rates from up to five local agents, visit InsuranceAgents.com.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

The Rise Of Stay At Home Dads

According to new research by leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, The Children’s Mutual, contrary to concerns of an allegedly worsening work/life balance in the UK, many fathers are electing to be at home either full or part-time, looking after their little ones and taking care of the house. Figures refer to The Children’s Mutual Working and Stay at Home Dads research, undertaken by 72 Point. 2,187 dads interviewed in June 2009.

Following the birth of their children, 26% of dads decided to work part-time and nearly as many (24%) started working flexibly. 14% of dads chose to stop working outside the home altogether.

43% of these dads are responding to the current recession by spending even more time helping around the house, with only 27% feeling that they now need to become more focused on earning money.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, stay-at-home dads spend the greatest amount of their time each week looking after the children (4hrs 22mins) and cooking (3hrs 50mins), as well as arranging the family finances (3hrs 45mins). And even though they have more time to be with their children than full-time working dads, stay-at-home dads wished they could spend a further hour a day with their children.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “The changing role of dads within families is a positive step towards the greater recognition of what dads can and do contribute to family life. Dads play a vital role within their children’s lives and their homes, so it’s great to see these changing family dynamics.

“One of the most important roles for every dad is being a provider for his children, whether that’s as the main breadwinner or as the lead carer. Dads want to provide for their children now and will want to continue to do so as they grow up. One way dads can really help provide for their children is planning for the future and saving regularly over the long term. Contributing towards a Child Trust Fund is one of the ways dads can save for their children’s futures. By opening a Child Trust Fund early and saving regularly and encouraging friends and family to contribute too, dads can help to give their children a financial springboard into adulthood.”

Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children. Each eligible newborn child (born on or after 1 September 2002) receives a £250 Child Trust Fund voucher (£500 for low income families) 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 is considering a third in the child’s teenage years. Parents, family and friends can all then add to this account up to a maximum value of £1,200 each year.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Recession Raises Fear Of Identity Theft

New research from Lloyds TSB has revealed 76% of adults are currently worried about identity theft and 39% feel more at risk now than they did six months ago, with the recession playing a major contributing factor. The research was conducted September 2009 by ICM for Lloyds TSB amongst 1,000 UK adults aged 18+ years.

Over half (52%) of those concerned about ID theft believe that the recession has increased the risk as rising unemployment drives more people towards criminal activity and ID theft. Coupled with this, is the fear expressed by 57% of people that social networking sites have made it easier to steal personal details – a 10% increase on those with the same worries last year.

The study shows that as many as 38% of Brits have experienced ID fraud, with almost half of those (18%) having been victims personally. However, 57% of those surveyed admit that they have not done enough to protect themselves and 25% don’t know how.

According to CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, it takes an estimated 48 man hours to repair the damage resulting from fraud, and the cost to victims is frequently as high as £8,000. Typically, it takes an average of 539 days for someone to discover that they’ve been a victim of ID theft and it is on the increase; latest CIFAS figures show that it increased by 15% in 2008.

To combat this growing trend, Lloyds TSB has launched its ID Aware prevention and advisory service to help protect customers and bring them peace of mind.

Lloyds TSB’s ID Aware product allows customers to stay on top of their credit status and safeguard their identity, providing credit monitoring services and an early warning system to alert the customer to any activity involving their account. In addition, customers benefit from access to their credit status and payment history in one easy-to-understand document showing all credit cards, mortgages and loans. Credit alerts to warn the customer in the event that someone has been checking their credit status or doing anything fraudulent that affects their credit score. And if the worst should happen, expert help is on-hand. ID Aware provides 24 hour access to an advisor who will take control and set everything back on track.

Jatin Patel, spokesperson for Lloyds TSB commented: “As technology improves, it gets easier and easier for criminals to steal our identities and during tough economic times the temptation becomes greater. Protecting ourselves by shredding documents and protecting passwords is a good start, but having someone else keep an eye on your ID offers extra peace of mind.”

Lloyds TSB is also offering help and guidance through the National Identity Fraud Prevention Week (NIFP) which Lloyds TSB has supported from its birth in 2005. The Group will be putting up posters and providing leaflets in branches detailing ways to spot potential fraud. The bank is also giving information on how customers can protect themselves by safeguarding documents and making it as difficult as possible for criminals to access personal information.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Debt Management Could Help Borrowers Approaching Retirement

Responding to new research suggesting that more than half of over-50s in Britain carry non-mortgage debt, debt management company Gregory Pennington has warned of the risks of carrying debt while approaching retirement, adding that good debt management is essential for anyone with problem debts.

Debt Management

Research from Moneysupermarket.com found that more than half (51%) of Britain’s over-50s population hold non-mortgage debt, at an average of £6,734.

Over the past 12 months, 17% of over-50s in debt have reduced their non-mortgage debt, according to the research, but 22% have taken on more debt in this time. 5% said their debt had increased “a lot”.

48% of over-50s whose debt had increased said they had gone further into debt in order to pay bills. 15% of those in debt said they believed debt would always be part of their life.

However, 48% of over-50s had reduced their outstanding borrowings over the past year, with 21% claiming to be in a lot less debt than they were a year previously.

Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at moneysupermarket.com, said: “… It’s encouraging to see that a good number of Brits aged over 50 are taking active steps to reduce the amount they owe.

“However, the fact that half of the people in this age group are still in debt above and beyond their mortgages is alarming. Those aged over 50 have to factor how long they can continue earning, and begin thinking seriously about their finances in retirement; debts that are currently easy to service could become a millstone round their neck in later retirement years.”

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington said that trying to pay down debt in the run-up to retirement could affect the borrower’s ability to save adequately for retirement.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

64% Rise In The Number Of Drivers Being Clamped In The Last Year

LV= has revealed a 64% rise in the number of drivers being clamped in the last year. Municipal clampers typically charge £116 and private clampers £120, with the legality of private clamping companies currently under dispute.

According to the research from car insurer LV=, local councils took £21m in clamping fees over the last 12 months compared with £58m taken by private clamping firms.

It’s not just the fines drivers have to pay; according to the research 4% of drivers who had their car clamped ended up with damage to their vehicle adding to their financial woes.

As the private clamping industry is currently unregulated, motorists have no official route of complaint or to get money back in the event of being unfairly clamped. Driver who find themselves in this situation are advised that the most effective route of complaint is to send a letter via recorded delivery including relevant photography of the clamped vehicle and localised area.

The rise in clamping by private firms has been particularly dramatic over the last 12 months, increasing from 292,023 incidences to 486,705 incidences, year on year.

The most common reason cited by people for parking on private land is the lack of available legal parking spaces in the vicinity (12%). LV= is calling on the government to increase legislation on private clamping companies and increase the number of parking spaces available.

17% of drivers believe they were clamped even though they were being parked legally and 59% said there was little or no warning displayed to indicate they were parking in a private space.

Moreover, 11% of those clamped by private individuals said their vehicle was not released immediately, even after they had paid the release fee. And a number of the motorists interviewed said they received high levels of abuse from private clampers.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, said: “What we’re seeing is a huge surge in the number of drivers being landed with unreasonable and extortionate fines. Private clampers make millions every year and in some cases are using intimidating and aggressive tactics to raise money from drivers who have unknowingly parked in the wrong place.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Credit Conditions And Debt Consolidation Options

Commenting on the Q3 2009 Credit Conditions Survey from the Bank of England, Debt Advisers Direct noted that the ongoing credit crunch was still restricting access to credit – and therefore to the debt consolidation loans that could help many people stay in better control of their finances. Nonetheless, the debt specialists stressed that there were other debt solutions available, and that borrowers struggling to clear their debts should talk to an expert adviser and explore their options.

“The latest Credit Conditions Survey revealed that UK lenders, on average, anticipate further reductions in unsecured credit over the final quarter of 2009,” said a spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct.

“As for secured credit, they expect ‘some increase’ in overall credit availability over the next three months – so they clearly don’t anticipate any changes that would really alter the state of the market at the moment.

“For many of the people currently ‘juggling’ multiple debts, this is a pity, as it means they can’t access the debt consolidation loan that could simplify their finances and reduce the monthly cost of servicing their debt.

“Equally important, debt consolidation loans can help people make their payments on time, avoiding the charges, legal problems and damage to their credit rating that can come with making payments late (or not at all). This isn’t ‘just’ because a debt consolidation loan can reduce the actual size of monthly payments. It can also make those payments far easier to organise and – perhaps more important – budget for, on a monthly basis.”

Even so, a debt consolidation loan is by no means the only approach to debt. In many cases, it’s not even the most appropriate one – people whose debts have become truly unmanageable should not even attempt to consolidate them with a loan, as this would be unlikely to make enough of a difference to their finances.

People who’ve lost control of their debts should discuss their situation with a professional debt adviser, who can take them through their alternatives and make sure they understand the pros and cons of every potential approach.

“For some,” the Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson continued, “a debt management plan can be the best way forward. It’s an informal (not legally binding) agreement with their unsecured lenders, often arranged by a professional debt management company. The aim is to reduce the individual’s monthly repayments to a level they can afford – once they’ve taken their essential expenditure into account – giving them an affordable, realistic way to clear their unsecured debts without ‘eating into’ the funds they need to stay on top of their mortgage/rent, utility bills, food bills, etc.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Debt Advice Could Help Relieve Money Anxiety

Responding to a survey which found that two thirds of 18-24-year-olds frequently feel stressed or anxious – with money worries being cited as a main cause – insolvency specialists the IVA Advisory Centre said that anyone feeling anxious about their money problems should seek financial advice.

The company added that anyone facing debt problems should speak with an expert debt adviser about ways of clearing their debts.

A survey carried out by YouGov found that 66% of people in the 18-24 age group felt stressed or anxious at least once a week, with money and job concerns cited as the main cause.

Over all age groups, 45% of respondents reported money worries as a main cause of anxiety, with 33% saying the same about their job prospects.

Some said they would seek support from friends or family in this situation, but almost a third (31%) said they kept their worries to themselves.

The survey is by no means the first to link money worries with anxiety. Earlier this year, the London Health Forum estimated that 250,000 Londoners suffer from mental health problems as a result of debt, at a cost of £450m a year to the NHS.

A spokesperson for the IVA Advisory Centre said that anyone feeling anxious due to money problems should seek advice on ways to improve their finances as soon as they can.

The spokesperson added that if financial difficulty leads to debt, the borrower should not hesitate to get debt advice at the first sign of problems.

“Being in debt can be an extremely worrying situation, so it’s no wonder that this has contributed to a lot of worry and anxiety.

“For many people, part of the worry is that they feel like there is no way out. However, there is a lot an expert debt adviser can do to help people in debt, even if the borrower can’t see any way of ever repaying the debt in full.

“In some cases, a few words of advice might be all it takes. Some people find that they can make more room for their debt repayments by keeping to a strict budget, while others might be able to find areas in which they can cut back and reduce their outgoings.

“Of course, not everyone’s problems are as easily solved as that. For people who simply can’t afford to repay their debts, a debt adviser may be able to recommend a debt solution that could help them to reduce their debt repayments to a manageable level.

“For people who can’t afford their existing repayments but can afford to repay the debt in full over a longer period of time, a debt management plan could help. Or, for people who can’t see any way of ever repaying their debts, an IVA could help them to avoid bankruptcy and its potential downsides, such as the repossession of their home.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

The Relationship Between Dog Bites And Homeowners Insurance

All dog owners like to think that their little ball of fur and love is nothing but. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and any dog owner who is also a homeowner would be wise to make sure they have enough liability coverage on their policy as well as coverage for any or all dogs they own specifically listed in their policy.

According to an article recently published on InsuranceAgents.com, dog bites account for 30 percent of all liability claims on homeowners insurance policies. Although listing dogs with aggressive reputations can raise homeowners insurance premiums, not listing these dogs could result in financial disaster if the dog bites someone. Lawsuits and medical bills are bound to pile up and that is why adequate liability coverage is necessary.

“The last thing any dog owner, or homeowner, wants is to have to file a homeowners insurance claim as a result of a dog bite,” according to the article, ‘Dog Bites and Homeowners Insurance Claims.’ “Be careful and use common sense if you have a dog and have company over. If the dog is prone to aggressive behavior then isolate him or her from your guests. Accidents happen, yes, but can be avoided if you take the right precautions.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Lloyds TSB is Hitwise UK Online Performance Award Winner

Lloyds TSB has been named the number one website in the Business and Finance – Banks and Financial Institutions category for January – June 2009 in the latest Hitwise UK Online Performance Awards program. The annual Hitwise UK Online Performance Awards recognise excellence in online performance through public popularity, awarding websites in more than 50 key industries online.

This year is the fifth Hitwise Annual Awards and Lloyds TSB has been awarded number one every year since the awards began.

In addition to the Internet Banking top spot, online.lloydstsb.co.uk was also awarded a Hitwise Top 10 Online Performance Award for January – June 2009, ranking number two based on market share of visits among all UK websites in the Hitwise Business and Finance – Banks and Financial Institutions industry.

Results of the Hitwise UK Online Performance Awards are based on the Internet usage of more than 8 million UK Internet users with winners receiving the greatest market share of UK visits throughout the first half of 2009 in their online industry.

Jason Bacon, head of Digital Marketing for Lloyds Banking Group which includes Lloyds TSB said: “The Internet has fast become one of the most popular ways for customers to get information about financial services and to do their banking. Over the years we made sure that our online services evolve to meet customers’ needs and as a result we’ve seen both our website and our internet banking service grow in popularity. This award is a fantastic recognition of that.”

Daniel King, General Manager of Hitwise UK said, “With the dynamics of online marketing continually evolving, the online success of LloydsTSB during 2009 is an incredible achievement. Receiving a Hitwise UK Online Performance Award acknowledges that Lloyds TSB is amongst the most popular websites visited by UK Internet users, signifying the strength of their online marketing”.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

New Forex Strategy To Strengthen Portfolios And Reduce Volatility

Trading Floor has unveiled a new Forex Portfolio Model created by Saxo Bank’s strategy team. The Portfolio model offers a way to reduce total portfolio volatility in the wake of the stock market rally that saw many investors turn away from Forex trading.

“Many investors are staying out of the Forex market – either because they lost money and have given up, or because they simply don’t know where to put their money,” said David Karsbøl, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank and Trading Floor commentator. “The Saxo Bank Forex Portfolio Model is a way of re-activating this idle money by applying them in a low-cost and relatively low risk fashion.”

The portfolio model is based on the Saxo Bank Fundamental Indices that measure the underlying economic strength (contraction or expansion) of 10 currencies: NZD, AUD, CAD, JPY, EUR, GBP, USD, CHF, SEK, and NOK. This should give a theoretical 45 possible currency crosses, but the model subtracts the12 most illiquid and expensive to trade and looks at 33.

The allocation signals are generated by the spreads in the fundamental indices and the idea is to always allocate more capital to the currencies with a relatively strong economic activity (and positive rate outlook) and fund the positions by going short on the currencies with weak economic activity (weak rate outlook).

The model allocates capital after changes in the spreads between the fundamental indices. For example, if the Eurozone Fundamental Index suddenly drops relative to the US Fundamental Index, the model (everything else being equal) would reduce exposure to EURUSD. Additionally, positions are scaled up or down according to the volatility of the currency crosses in question so that the expected risk-adjusted return for positions in EURCHF is the same as for positions in EURCAD.

“The model is always well diversified and is always in the market,” said David Karsbøl. “It is therefore not exposed to timing issues.”

The model doesn’t use stops, since the overall volatility of returns tends to be low (especially on single leverage). One particularly interesting feature is that returns tend to be almost completely uncorrelated to returns in stock markets (correlation = 0.1) and other risky asset classes (correlation to the CRB Index is 0.11).

In back testing since 1991, the model has produced annual returns of 5.34% using single leverage, 10.58% using double leverage and 15.67% with triple leverage.

“Therefore, if the back-testing is indicative of future returns, it would make a lot of sense to use part of one’s portfolio to allocate to the FX Model and thereby decreasing overall portfolio volatility without lowering returns too much or at all, depending on the leverage used.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Saxo Banque Wins Banking Innovation Award 2009

Saxo Banque, the French division of the online trading and investment specialist Saxo Bank, has been awarded the “Prix de l’Innovation 2009” (Banking Innovation Award), by the Investment Forum for its TradeMaker service. The innovative and free-of-charge service enables the bank’s customers to translate an idea into an order, to be kept informed of opportunities, and to compare results from trading ideas proposed by analysts.

The Award ceremony took place on 10th October at the Palais des Congrès, in Paris. Each year, a panel composed of financial journalists and editors from publications including La Tribune, Le Revenu and Investir are convened by the Forum’s organizers to present the innovation award. In the category of ‘Informed Investors’, the panel awarded the 2009 prize to Saxo Bank’s new TradeMaker facility.

TradeMaker was developed in response to two of the obstacles facing both futures traders and more general investors. Firstly, TradeMaker addresses the feelings of confusion that often arise from an overwhelming abundance of information. Secondly, TradeMaker facilitates the application of this information, allowing the investor to employ the resultant data in their trading.

TradeMaker publishes the results of proposed trading ideas. Customers can subsequently choose the issuer with the best performance for a given product. TradeMaker then uses text and graphics to explain trading ideas before pre-completing order forms which include such considerations as Stops and Limits. Relevant trade data, which is not always easy to assimilate, is translated into an order by the issuer. The customer need simply choose the value of his or her investment before validating the order with a click of the mouse. Advice, Trading Assistance and Transparency are the three major advantages of the TradeMaker tool.

Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, CEO of Saxo Banque, declared: “It is a real honour for Saxo Banque to win an award such as this. It is reward in particular for our engineers who work hard all year on the development of new services to grow the platform and deliver increasingly innovative solutions to our customers. Saxo Banque is an independent bank, we create our own products by way of a dedicated technology research unit.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Education Loan Source Announce Partnership with the Delaware Credit Union League

Education Loan Source, Inc. (ELS) a leading provider of education financial solutions is proud to announce its partnership with the Delaware Credit Union League to provide education loan programs to their member credit unions.

“The Delaware Credit Union League is excited to recommend Education Loan Source programs to our member credit unions for student loan services,” says Jane Bailey, Executive Vice President of the Delaware Credit Union League. “Credit Unions are taking a larger role in helping students and their families obtain the financing they need to attend college. The Delaware Credit Union League is looking forward to offering our member credit unions student loan solutions that can be customized while meeting each individual credit union’s goals.”

Education Loan Source® is committed to offering private education loan options and other financing alternatives uniquely designed for its clients. The Custom Loan SourceSM Program allows credit unions to develop their own customized student loan offering without the need for additional staff or resources and is completely supported by ELS and its affiliates. “This program offers credit unions a great way to provide a student loan product to their existing members, while attracting new members at the same time,” said Tracy Sniscak, Senior Vice President of Business Development. “Credit unions are stepping in to help finance education at a time when traditional lenders are backing away due to the current financial markets. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with the Delaware Credit Union League and their member credit unions to help them better understand the student loan industry and provide student loan solutions to their members.”

“We are extremely pleased that Delaware Credit Union League has recognized ELS as a business partner and recommends our services to their credit union members,” stated Douglas Feist, Chief Executive Officer of Education Loan Source, Inc. “ELS currently serves many clients in multiple states providing education financial solutions and is looking forward to working with the Delaware Credit Union League.”

For more information on the Custom Loan SourceSM Program, go to (www.educationloansource.com) or call Tracy Sniscak at (717) 385-3483.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Brits Will Spend More Than £1.7billion On Cat And Dog Food This Year

M&S Money has reported that Brits will spend more than £1.7billion on cat and dog food this year, and now the insurance provider is giving pet owners a chance to win a years’ supply of pet food.

Anyone who takes out or renews an M&S Pet Insurance policy before December 31st 2009 will be entered into a prize draw. There will be six prizes of Royal Canin dry pet food for one cat or one dog for one calendar year.

Last year £1.7billion (Estimated cost according to Mintel Report Pet Food and Pet Care Retailing, Retail Intelligence, October 2008) was spent on feeding the nation’s 14.5 million cats and dogs.

Consumers are becoming more concerned about what they feed their pets. A recent survey found that 90% of pet owners know that what they feed their pet affects is
health and therefore they want to feed their pets the best-quality food. High-quality premium foods are therefore a growing market sector.

Pet owners who want to keep their cats and dogs on a healthy diet but still keep costs down are increasingly turning to online pet stores. Bestpet, an online pet pharmacy and shop, has seen a 30% increase in sales of premium cat and dog food in the past year. The site sells pet medication and food costing up to 50% less than prices found at veterinary surgeries.

Charles Sweeney of Bestpet Pharmacy said: “Obesity is an increasing problem among cats and dogs. Pets that carry too much weight can suffer from heart complaints, diabetes and arthritis.

“Responsible pet owners who ensure their cats and dogs have a healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce expensive vet bills in the future.”

M&S Pet Insurance policyholders can benefit from reduced pet food costs with a 5% discount from Bestpet.co.uk.

Via EPR Network
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