Protection for Business Owners, Ltd companies, Directors, self-employed, partnerships, LLP, Group protection schemes

Laptops on Planes…

Today’s post is from Richard Hiscox of Onestop Insurance. Whilst technology makes online comparison of most things fairly easy, when it comes to insurance I am a great believer in people with experience, who have real-life experience of claims, which is the only real test of whether your insurance is value for money or not . Richard has been my insurance broker for over 20 years and I am delighted that he has agreed to share some of his thoughts here. Just to be crytal clear, as with all posts within the blog, there is no financial exchange.

Laptops on Planes

You will no doubt have heard about certain flights into the UK and USA banning things like laptops from hand luggage, insisting that they are carried in hold luggage instead. So where do you stand with regards to insurance of these items?

Whilst I cannot speak for all insurers the following will normally be true. You may want to check it out before you travel with your travel providers just to be clear though. Your options are:-

  • Rely on the airline to cover your goods.
  • Trust your travel insurance policy to deliver.
  • Cover items under your home insurance policy.

Airlines usually settle claims for lost or damaged baggage based on the weight of the baggage NOT the true value of the contents. If you rely on this method to be reimbursed you could be seriously out of pocket so this is not the choice we would suggest.

Travel Insurance

Laptops are normally classified as “valuables” and as such under a travel insurance policy therefore afforded quite limited cover, especially when placed in the hold of an aircraft. Normally valuables are not covered within the hold of an aircraft and if lost or damaged would have to be part of a claim against the airline who in turn could limit the amount they pay out as already stated.

Home Insurance

This is normally the best way to insure high value items such as laptops when travelling by aircraft. The items should be covered as “all risks” or “personal possessions” but precise details of this cover need to be checked to ensure any claims will be problem free. Either speak to your insurers or give Richard a call at 1 Stop Insurance.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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Laptops on Planes…2017-07-04T10:46:29+01:00

Delicious

Delicious

I wonder if you have seen a new Sky 4-part mini series starring Dawn French, Emilia Fox and Iain Glen called “Delicious”. I don’t think I’m giving too much away by saying that it is the story of an apparently successful, once divorced remarried chef, who has an affair with his first wife, who it turns out is the real culinary genius.

Like most good stories, the drama of ordinary lives holds our attention when under the scrutiny of dramatic pressures. The series exposes the problems beneath a beautiful façade of a middle-class life. Set on the idyllic banks of the Tamar river, an entrepreneurial temple of hotelier cuisine is the bling that diverts the eye from seeing what needs to be seen.

Just below the surface

There is an understandable and customary dig at middle-aged men but with a twist on the usual, predictable affair with a younger model, with Leo attempting to have his cake and eat it. A setting of fine dining, lends itself to the customary style over substance debate and of course the market price of every thing.

Wood for the trees

From a financial planning point of view there are numerous warnings that I would hope business owners can heed. One of the problems that business owners, or indeed anyone has, is that they are often too close to the problems to be able to see them clearly, let alone any workable solutions. It is certainly hard to fathom how any decent financial planner could not draw attention to what is revealed within the plot (which I shall not spoil).

Virtually reality?

One of the most popular criticisms of social medial is that it has encouraged us to live false lives, like those contained within magazines, or indeed within television or film. Whilst I’m sure this has some truth and resonance, this all rather depends upon each of our ability to be truthful, yet mindful of impact, timing and social etiquette.  There is nothing new about attempting to be something you are not, which is perhaps one of the oldest dramatic tools.

The truth can be painful

Of course, not everyone wants to see or hear the truth, particularly when it is going to require some change. I sometimes wonder if this is what puts most of population off from seeking financial advice. Deep down most of us know that we need to master our money lest it master us. A financial plan is designed based around your values, grounded in truth and enables you to see ahead to any potential “surprises”. In essence making sure your plans for style have substance.

Here’s the trailer for the series on Sky.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Delicious2017-01-27T11:11:25+00:00

Protecting you, your family, your business

Protecting you, your family, your business

It is easy to be cynical about insurance companies, as most people only deal with general insurance, for a car, house or appliance and many of us may have experienced difficulties in making a successful claim, which at a time of stress can feel like a very long and tedious process.

However when it comes to financial protection, despite the occasional negative news story, you may be interested to know that in 2015 over £5bn was paid in successful claims. FIVE BILLION. Yes some claims were declined – but only 3.04% of them. The vast majority of claims declined were for total permanent disability of which a third were declined. TPD is often an “add on” feature to some forms of cover and the clue to a successful claim is in the term itself. Still, even with this high rate of failed claims, in 2015 £37.8m was paid to 581 claimants, that’s an average of £65,213 per successful claimant (which may also give rise to the attempt to make a claim!).

As for life assurance, a total of £3.3bn was paid out in 2015 with only 1.91% of claims rejected (I have no idea why, but imagine that non-disclosure of pertinent medical information was probably the likely cause).

Serious Money, Serious Illness

£1.1bn was paid in critical illness claims, an average claim of £61,677 to the 17,854 people who had a policy and claimed on it last year. Critical Illness provides a lump sum upon diagnosis of a serious illness such as cancer, heart attack or a stroke (and other serious illnesses).

Income Protection paid out £478m in claims to 92.71% successful claimants, each receiving an average of £17,087 as income.

This reminds me of the National Lottery, which most players are unlikely to ever win anything significant – or life changing. The chance of doing so is far higher (as in far less likely) than that of death or having a serious illness. So pause for a moment, reflect that these people and employers had cover, which means that the claimants were not as reliant upon the State or charity as they might otherwise have been.

These figures were released by the ABI (Association of British Insurers and Group Risk Development (GRiD) on 9 June 2016. Lee Lovett, Chairman of GRiD commented that:

“Despite this, the major challenge for our industry is that a material proportion of the working population have no (or insufficient) cover and GRiD’s focus is on improving awareness and ultimately increasing the number of lives that have access to cover via their employer.”

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Protecting you, your family, your business2017-01-06T14:39:17+00:00

Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor

The new film “Our Kind of Traitor” is based on the 22nd novel by John Le Carre of the same name. For those of you that enjoy some espionage, intrigue and have nagging suspicions about who is really protecting who, this is definitely one film for you.

The story is set within the context of a relationship that is undergoing some difficulties and attempting to find a way forward from a break in Morocco. Work interrupts leaving a brief vacuum into which Dima, a glittering, persuasive millionaire steps.

It transpires that Dima is of course somewhat of a figurehead in the Russian mafia, however he is under pressure to surrender his power to someone higher up the food chain. The drama is set with a potential trade of family lives for information.

Money, Sex and Power

As ever Le Carre points to the colour of money and the interchangeable values that it solicits. He questions the lack of questioning posed by the powerful when the sums are significantly enticing enough to look the other way, ask no questions, tell no lies. Le Carre has a regular discussion about the dynamic of money, sex and power. Indeed these are probably the basis for almost every thriller within the genre.

Whilst we may not find ourselves in the same position as Perry and Gail (Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris) we do find ourselves regularly facing buying and investing decisions, from the apparently minor issues of everyday grocery shopping to how we vote. At a time when the City and those within the financial services are still largely untrusted, this film asks questions about provenance.

Of course, those within the financial services industry can point to a catalogue of incidents where “looking the other way” was detected by the regulator, resulting in considerable yet insufficient fines to truly deter such practice and culture (despite assurances that lessons have been learned). It would seem that the big fish generally do get away with it, whilst any financial adviser failing to do the required checks would face rather harsher punishment. There is little escaping the sense that the rules do not apply equally, something I imagine that Mr Le Carre would say.

Here’s the trailer.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Our Kind of Traitor2017-01-27T10:57:05+00:00

A Matter of Life and Death

A matter of life and death

It is one of the strangest aspects of conversations that I have with clients. It gets stranger and perhaps more difficult the older they become. We have to talk about a matter of life and death.

In essence, when all is said and done, financial planning is about trying to ensure that your money does not run out before you die. So we need to have a conversation about when that might be. We don’t know the answer. Death is a daily part of life, yet something that most of us manage to avoid talking about.

The motivation behind the question is obviously to attempt to make money last long enough, however it is also designed to prompt thoughts about what is life about, what do you want from it during this brief sojourn on this wonderful planet?

Thoughts may turn too quickly to estate planning and reducing inheritance tax, rather than considering the true inheritance that is being left…. the memory and impact of .. well…you!

I might (will) point to the financial impact of your loss to those dependant upon you, be they family or your business, but we all know that its much bigger and deeper than that don’t we. So good financial planning can take care of financial loss, but great financial planning will hopefully remind and inspire you to ensure that you make the most of the life you have now.

Another way to view death – acceptance

A dear friend of mine, who has had more than her fair share of grief drew my attention to this short video about death (and life). It combines images from various films and words of Alan Watts. It is worth taking the 3 minutes to watch it.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

A Matter of Life and Death2017-01-06T14:39:26+00:00
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