Archives for September 2014

Direct Line Home Insurance Review

Direct Line Home Insurance

There is probably a reason why the company name Direct Line was thought up, but who would have thought it would one day mean just that – direct! We in the UK have become a nation of bargain hunters in recent years, and for good reason! This is probably why comparison websites have become so popular.

However, Direct Line home insurance won’t be found on these sites – why? Simple! Because the only thing you get if you use a site like this is a comparison on the price. If you’re looking for some insurance on your home, there are more than likely questions you’ll need answering there and then. This is why Direct Line pride themselves on the fact that it’s best to get everything you need straight from the “horse’s mouth”.

Everyone has different needs with all types of insurance, and it’s no different when you want to protect you bricks and mortar as well as everything that’s housed inside. For that reason, Direct Line offer no less than three policies so you get exactly what you need.

The first option I’m going to “cover” is…….

Standard Buildings and Content Insurance

If you have a home that could cost up to £1 million to re-build or repair (including any outbuildings), this home insurance policy could be just what you’re looking for. To make for easier reading, I’ve decided to give you an “at a glance” list of all the benefits you can expect to receive:

  • If you’re contents don’t exceed a value of £50,000 everything will be covered.
  • Surprisingly for insurance companies these days, Direct Line offers a “new for old” policy. This covers everything from personal belongings, garage contents, carpets, curtains and everything in between.
  • If you’re still the type to hide cash under your mattress or, indeed in places like the freezer (the less said about that the better)! You will be covered for up to £500.
  • Items in your garden up to the value of £1,000 also come under this home insurance policy, so Dave the gnome will always be protected, even if he does end up becoming Dave mark II!
  • As we all know fire and water is something that can devastate a home, and that hasn’t been missed by Direct Line. You’re even covered if damage occurs due to a lightning strike or you suffer a flood.
  • As would be expected, things like lost or stolen keys, freezer contents and even items like the kids laptops are covered (even if they’re not at the house). Although there are certain stipulations with the latter. Plus, you will only be covered for up to £5,000.
  • As an added extra, the amounts mentioned above increase by 10% for 4 weeks either side of a wedding or Christmas. Now you can’t say fairer than that!

Not Forgetting Buildings Insurance

As mentioned, your building is also covered under this Direct Line policy and this includes just about everything you can think of when it comes to those little (or large) mishaps that can happen. Just make sure you double check when speaking with an agent.

Direct Line Home Insurance Plus

Personally, I think this policy from Direct Line is particularly useful for those of you who have older homes, or even for people who just want that added sense of security with regards to emergency problems.

Of course, you get everything mentioned in the standard policy plus a home emergency visit which includes the call out charge, labour and parts. However, do bear in mind this only goes up to £500. But, what is worth noting is what you can use this service for!

  • If your plumbing or drainage gives up the ghost, Direct Line will send an expert to you.
  • All electrics and heating is covered.
  • Security such as external locks for both doors and windows.
  • Pest cover is also included but I am talking about rodents or bugs and not the children!

What I think is really useful with this level of home cover is the fact you get annual travel insurance as well. Just so you have a brief idea of what you can expect from this, you’ll be covered for £5,000 in case of cancellation, £5 million for overseas medical expenses and should there be an emergency you’ll get help 24 hours of the day.

Another great idea which, yes, you guessed it, is also included in the price is ID fraud assistance and protection. This means your internet connection is monitored around the clock (perfect for things like online banking). Plus, personal assistance is available to help you stop this type of crime happening in your home.

Now, last but definitely not least Direct Line has the home insurance policy detailed below. In my opinion, this is really worth having if you’re lucky enough to own a property that needs some heavy duty insurance!

Select Premier Direct Line Home Insurance

Bear in mind that both buildings and contents insurance are available with this policy, but it does START at £100,000. As Direct Line say, this is the perfect insurance for high value homes. So, what else do you get?

  • Of course new for old is available if you need items replacing, but the difference with this policy is covers you worldwide.
  • You get your very own dedicated account manager.
  • Instead of £500 for emergencies, you get £750 and there is no excess to pay.
  • If, at this stage you’re wondering about your jewellery or art collection – don’t! Anything of this sort worth over £10,000 is covered as part of the policy.

Other Benefits

Like many other home insurance companies, Direct Line offer discounts when you apply online, and in most cases this can be as much as 20%. There are also loads of optional extras to choose from. In fact, if you decide you would like a particular policy but it doesn’t quite meet your needs Direct Line will do their best to help – Just don’t expect Mr. Wolf to be on the other end of the line!




Aviva Travel Insurance Review

The first thing I’m going to say about Aviva travel insurance is that you’re not likely to find it on a comparison website. Well, you might but the chances are you won’t get the best deal they have to offer. After all, travel insurance (for a lot of people) is an added expense you more than likely find a bit of a pain!

However, as is the way in the world if you don’t take out some insurance when you go on holiday, you’ll probably end up having an accident and the one thing you don’t need is a huge bill! This could mean you’re travellers cheques are spent before you manage to find the perfect souvenirs’ for everyone!

So, what makes Aviva travel insurance worth considering when you’re planning a trip away? Read on to find out.

Single Trips

If you want to take out single trip travel insurance, you can get it from Aviva. After all, I wouldn’t bother mentioning it otherwise! Generally, you’ll be covered for 120 days either abroad or in the UK but you will have to make sure you’ve booked at least 2 nights (in a row) at a hotel or some other form of accommodation.

Annual Travel Insurance

If you’re someone who travels often (lucky you)! The best thing to do is take out annual travel insurance as it does work out a lot cheaper. The difference with an insurance policy like this is you’re only covered for a maximum of 31 days each trip. But, this can be extended up to 90 days if you need it (although that will cost you slightly more).

If you intend to have annual travel insurance, you will also be covered for any holidays you take, but as with the policy above you will have to make sure you’ve booked at least 2 night’s accommodation.

The standard benefits you can expect from both of the above are as follows:

  • If you need urgent medical attention (and let’s hope you don’t), Aviva will cover you for up to £10 million.
  • Lost or stolen passports are covered for up to £750.
  • No-one wants to suffer a robbery when they’re away so it’s worth thinking about being “street smart” with your cash. However, if you are unlucky enough to lose money you’ll be covered for up to £500 overall. Bear in mind though, this will only be £300 for bank notes or change (not that you should have £300 in change – that would just be silly)!
  • Legal expenses, should you need them will be covered up to £50,000.
  • Should the worst happen and you need to cancel or abandon your trip, Aviva will kindly cover you for up to £5,000 and this for each person who is travelling. Oh, and if you’ve already paid for Fido or Tiddles to go into luxury accommodation and need to cancel those fees will be covered as well.

Exclusions to Think About

I find that many people looking for a travel insurance policy (me included) often forget about the “little” things that won’t be covered, and I think you’ll find that Aviva are not being unfair with their exclusions.

For a start, if you intend to visit a country that’s shall we say, a tad volatile, don’ expect to be insured if you run into trouble. When I say this I mean that if you end up being in the middle of war zone, Aviva won’t be able to help! The only piece of advice I can give you here is to make sure you research any country you intend to visit that could suffer a military coup or something-else equally as dangerous to foreigners who are there at the time.

The same can be said for areas that are likely to cause illnesses (or indeed death) as a result of being exposed to nuclear related problems such as radiation, leaks and explosions. Again, the trick here is to make sure your holiday destination isn’t likely to be involved in anything like this.

If you’ve just read the above, and are turned off because the company you work for expects you to visit countries that are considered dangerous, then naughty them for not offering insurance to protect you from this!

Other exclusions include taking potentially dangerous trips on say, a quad bike; you intend to go on a skiing holiday or take a nice relaxing golfing holiday. HOWEVER! If you do go on either of the last two mentioned, it is possible to take travel insurance out as an added extra.

After all, Aviva don’t think its fair you can’t spend your time away sliding down a mountainside on two planks of wood, or swinging a potentially dangerous weapon at a small white ball in the middle of a golf course!


The one thing I would urge you to remember is that Aviva has been trading for a long time, and have an excellent reputation within their field. The prices you pay are competitive and the customer service (worldwide) receives some great reviews.

To justify the comment above bear in mind that you will be offered a 24 hour helpline no matter where you are in the world. With this one number you can sort out medical emergencies, trace lost or (let’s hope it never happens) stolen luggage or travel documents.

In some cases (where it’s needed) Aviva travel insurance will even pay your medical bills direct, so you can get on with what matters most – getting better! In respect of medical conditions if you do suffer from an illness, do yourself a favour and be honest about it before you take a travel insurance policy with them. If you’re not, it might mean you won’t get the care you need when you’re away.

All in all, Aviva is a trusted name within the travel insurance industry, and if you do decide to take out a policy with them, think about going direct. Why? Because they’ll give you up to 20% discount for not using comparison websites!


Visit Aviva For A Free Quote



Churchill Car Insurance Review

Do you like Bulldogs? If so then you will love the advertisements that you see on television for Churchill car insurance. This loveable little character has become a household name across the UK and I take my hat off to the firm that came up with this advertisement campaign. I’ll bet that Churchill car insurance policies are being taken out in their droves due to this successful ad. If you go on to their website, you will find that it is easy to use and it’s quick and simple to get a quote for a car insurance policy.

Some of the Benefits that Churchill Car Insurance Offers

  • Protection from uninsured drivers – this is an inherent problem in the UK right now, many people think they can get away without car insurance. If you happen to be in an accident that involves someone that is not insured, Churchill’s car insurance policies will protect you from this and your no claims discount will not be affected.
  • If you decide to have named drivers on your car insurance policy they will be able to have their own no claims discount. This is something that is relatively new to the car insurance market and Churchill has been quick to catch on to this.
  • If you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy with Churchill you will benefit from their 24 hour a day accident/recovery hotline. This means that no matter what time of day it is you will be able to speak to a real person on the telephone in order to get help.
  • If you find that you need to have repairs done to your car as a result of an accident or vandalism Churchill will cover the costs under your car insurance policy. Do bear in mind however, that this is only available if you take out a fully comprehensive car insurance policy.
  • Should you be involved in an accident that means your car needs completely replacing then Churchill will cover the cost for this if your car is under 12 months old and you can prove that you are registered keeper.
  • With Churchill, if you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, they offer personal accident cover for you and your partner, wife or husband.
  • If you happen to be in an accident and you incur medical expenses you will not need to worry about how you are going to cover the cost, Churchill will do it all for you. This is a great option and proves that Churchill have recognised that being in an accident can be traumatic for anyone and the last thing you need to be worrying about is how you are going to pay your medical bills.
  • Everyone carries personal belongings with them when they are in their car, especially us ladies, Churchill offer cover for personal belongings within your vehicle with their car insurance policy, however, there are limits so if you decide to carry around that gold bullion you have just “acquired” it is unlikely that you will get the value of this back if it’s lost or stolen!

Optional Extras that you can get with Churchill Car Insurance

The optional extras detailed below will cost you extra nonetheless, they are worth considering:

  • For an additional £2.21 per month you can benefit from legal assistance with Churchill. They will provide you with up £100,000 worth of legal expenses. Some of the things that you will find are covered with this optional extra are:
  • If you happen to be injured or in the worst case scenario are killed in a road accident Churchill will pay compensation to you or your spouse for this.
  • If you do not decide to take out a fully comprehensive car insurance policy with Churchill you can still benefit from cover with repair costs for just a little bit extra each month. I happen to think that this is a great idea, not everyone wants or needs a fully comprehensive car insurance policy and the fact that you can choose to have this sort of cover as an optional extra is fabulous. The other thing you can choose if you don’t have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy is protection for your clothing, personal belongings or luggage.
  • Costs for hire cars and also loss of earnings are another of the optional extras that Churchill can offer you.

All this said you can pretty much make up your own car insurance policy with Churchill; they know that car insurance is big business and is also a very competitive market. Plus, they also know that everyone is different and we all want different things from our car insurance policy.

Churchill Car Insurance for Ladies

This type of car insurance policy has (as the above subtitle suggests) been designed specifically for ladies. You may be asking yourself why, well, the fact is that we ladies are a far safer bet when it comes to being on the road. We tend to be far more careful when we are driving compared to our male counterparts. As a lady, if you take out a car insurance policy with Churchill you will get all of the benefits listed in this article plus…get this… can save over £400! This is possibly one of the largest savings available from any of the major car insurance companies. Bear in mind that you can also add you partner or husband to your car insurance policy which means that you will both save money.

Multi-Car Insurance with Churchill

Churchill offer multi-car insurance policies, this is not uncommon in the car insurance market however, the discounts that you can get with Churchill if you want to take out a multi-car insurance policy are less common. They will offer you 15% discount in the first year of your policy and 5% every year thereafter. Do remember that should you be with Churchill for a number of years you may well be able to better this should it be time for you to renew your policy and have found a better deal elsewhere. However, for now, don’t be greedy, these discounts are some of the best to be had right now.

Some Great Advice from Churchill on how to stop Fraudulent Claims

I was on Churchill’s website recently and I found a snippet of information that I have found really useful. We all know “ambulance chasers” as they are lovingly referred to and they help people who are genuinely hurt in an accident to claim compensation for the injuries they suffer. Unfortunately, this has also brought along a number of undesirables that have decided that they can make money by deliberately causing accidents. I happen to think I am a good person and it had never occurred to me that this might happen to me.

Churchill are working with various official bodies in order to stop this from happening, here is some of the advice that they offer in order for you to ensure that you do not become a victim of this type of “crime”. I use the term crime loosely; there is a very fine line here on this type of con!

  • This is an obvious one but if you are involved in an accident make sure that you stay calm and exchange details with the other driver.
  • Try to remember how the accident came about and if there was anything that seemed out of place or odd to you. Things like passengers looking at you before you were actually hit is quite an obvious thing to look for, this tells you that the accident may well have been pre-meditated.
  • This is something I have never thought about doing if I was involved in a car accident – make sure that you take as many notes as possible about the driver and passengers; what they are wearing, are they male or female, how old are they and anything else that you can think of.
  • Make sure that you ask the other driver to do the same as you.

Remember, car insurance is there to protect you and I think the fact that Churchill has posted this information on their website is great. It’s always better to have too much information rather than not enough. It’s hard to imagine but it is a cruel world and there are people that have no scruples, so if you are involved in a car accident, don’t let your good nature get in the way.

I hope this article has not only explained what Churchill car insurance can do for you but also that you have found some of the safety information here useful as well. It’s great that a car insurance company such as Churchill have taken the initiative, they are not only offering great car insurance policies, they are thinking outside of the box by letting their customers know some of the pitfalls when it comes to accidents. “Oh Yes” Choose Churchill!

AA Breakdown Cover Review

Everyone knows who the AA are, if you don’t then keep an eye out for those professional looking mechanics that can be found on the side of the road in all weathers dressed from head to toe in yellow. They also drive very distinct yellow vans with AA printed all over them!

This company has been around for at least two generations that I can think of and I’m in my 40’s. They made it their business (initially) to protect people from all manner of issues that can arise when you’re out on the road. These days, their policies stretch over a good number of things but that’s not what this article is about.

What you will find here is some information on the types of breakdown cover the AA has to offer and why they stand out from the rest.

Why AA Breakdown Cover?

There are loads of reasons you would choose this company over someone-else, apart from the fact they already have a well respected reputation across the UK and your Grandfather has probably been using them since he learned how to drive!

Below are a few points to help you make a decision about whether or not you should look further into what they have to offer:

  • Awarded 5 Stars for roadside assistance by “WHICH?” magazine (no mean feat).
  • Awarded 5 stars by Defaqto for breakdown cover (yet again, no easy nut to crack)!
  • All the mechanics that work for the AA are properly qualified to the highest standard and this is why they can boast that 4 out of 5 vehicles are fixed at the roadside.
  • Every 9 seconds the AA rescues someone who is in trouble on the road (in the time it took me to type this sentence at least 1 ½ people have been rescued)!

Impressive statistics aren’t they? The best thing about them is they’re all absolutely true; otherwise I would not have posted them in this article.

So, now you know how good the AA actually is, let’s move on to how they can help with your breakdown cover.

There are three main polices you can choose from and I’ll start with the cheapest:

Roadside Recovery in any Car

This policy will give you around the clock roadside assistance and this doesn’t just mean any time of day, it means any time of year as well. So, if you’re looking forward to Christmas dinner with the in-laws (or not, as the case may be) and you breakdown on the way, a friendly AA mechanic will be with you in no time at all.

If your car cannot be fixed on the spot (and again, this may be a blessing), you will be towed to the nearest garage.

National Recovery

This can be taken as part of the above policy but you will pay extra. What AA offers with this is you and up to 7 of your passengers a kindly lift to any single destination if the problem cannot be fixed at the roadside. Do remember however, there are limitations.

At Home

Again, this can be taken as part of the first policy mentioned. If you like, you can have all three of these. If you come out one morning and find your car won’t start for some reason you can make a call and the AA will organise a time that’s convenient for them to come and fix it. Likewise, if you’re up to ¼ mile away from home, you will still benefit from a mechanic under this part of your policy.

Other Options

There are two other options you can take advantage of and these are parts and garage cover and onward travel options. Parts and garage covers the cost of labour and parts, and you can make up to 5 claims each year. Do remember though, there are stipulations. Onward travel means you can choose from public transport, a hire car or an overnight stay somewhere.

Note: What you should know is that all of the options stated below “Roadside recovery in your car” are optional extras to this policy and they are priced individually.

You should also know that if you travel in Europe there are various ways in which the AA can help, just give them a call and they’ll be happy to help.

Why AA Breakdown Cover is So Comprehensive

You may remember earlier in this article I mentioned that 4 out of 5 vehicles are fixed within minutes on the roadside. This isn’t just because the most common issue is something simple like a battery, it’s because the mechanics are so good at what they do.

This is why the company can offer all these little extras. They don’t often have to call upon them simply because their success rate is so high. However, not everyone is so lucky. Bear in mind the age of your car and how often it already breaks down before you opt for the cheapest option.


Incoming search terms:

  • can I have two breakdown polices

Direct Line Car Insurance Review

Direct Line is probably one of the largest companies that offer all types of car insurance in the UK. If you are in the market for car insurance and are one of those people that is addicted to price comparison websites, be sure to know that you will not find Direct Line on any of those sites. However, feel free to fill your boots and obtain quotes from these sorts of websites, Direct Line advertise the fact that they will beat any quote that you have found there! If you’re about to embark upon looking for car insurance you will no doubt be aware that this can be a potential pain in the proverbial. Car insurance can be very complicated and there are literally hundreds of different policies you can choose from. In this article, I intend to make clear what some of the car insurance policies Direct Line have to help you get started.

Some of the Extras Direct Line Car Insurance Offer

  • Compensation if you are hit by a driver that is uninsured and the accident is not your fault – Direct Line is one of the first car insurance companies to recognise that this is a growing problem within the UK. They offer, as part of your policy, a system whereby you are able to claim for being hit by an uninsured driver and you will not lose your no claims bonus. There are conditions however, these are: you should ensure that you get the registration number of the car that hit you and also the make and model, if possible the drivers details (don’t worry about this point), many uninsured drivers are happy to pass their details on after an accident as they think they will get away with it anyway.
  • Compensation for vandalism to your car – Again, this is an innovative extra that you can get from Direct Line, I actually don’t know of any other company that offers this service. If you are a victim of vandalism to your vehicle you can claim for the damage and, here is the best bit, this cover comes as standard and will not affect your no claims discount. Not only that, if you use one of Direct Line’s preferred repairers, they will make sure that your vehicle is cleaned from top to bottom, inside and out! Be aware however, that certain conditions do apply, you will need to make sure that you have reported the incident to the police and can prove it and that the damage was not caused by another car, this of course would be dealt with on a different part of your car insurance policy.

Direct Line have recognised that people want value for money as well as great car insurance policies so you will find that they offer a huge range of discounts on all types of car insurance policies. Here are some of them:

No Claims Discount for Company Cars

If you are a new customer to Direct Line and have recently given up a company car that you have not had to make a claim on, Direct Line will offer you a discount on up to 5 years of no claims discount, this is available on any type of car insurance policy that you take up with Direct Line. However, you will need to prove that you were the sole driver of the company car in question….not much to ask if you want my opinion, 5 years no claims discount can amount to an awful lot of money.

Discount on Multi-Car Policies

Many car insurance companies charge you extra for registering an additional car insurance policy with them, not Direct Line; they actually save you money if you take out a car insurance policy on more than one vehicle with them. You will receive a discount of 10% on the 1st year and 5% for each year that you renew thereafter. I doubt there is another company in the UK that can offer this. Conditions do apply but they don’t exactly ask for your shoe size! All you need to do is make sure that you can give the company the number of your current agreement, it’s that simple.

Other discounts available when it comes to multi-car insurance policies are breakdown cover; you can save up to an amazing 35% on breakdown cover with Direct Line when you have a multi-car policy. If you are new to the company you are not penalised for being a “newbie” you also can save up to 25% when including breakdown cover on your car insurance policy.

Pass Plus

This will interest all of you that have recently passed your driving test. Many people in their late teens or early to mid 20’s are considered to be a huge risk by most car insurance companies. The reason behind this is obvious, the statistics show that if you are in this bracket of driver that you are far more likely to have an accident than any other bracket of driver. We have to recognise that insurance companies need to make a profit in order to continually offer a service to their customers.

Direct Line have gone one better with this car insurance policy. Basically, if you have passed your test in less than one year you will be given a 5% discount on any car insurance policy you take out with them. Do bear in mind however, that you will be better off going for a fully comprehensive policy – this isn’t something that Direct Line advise it’s just that I was once in my late teens and driving was a new hobby to me…..believe me, I remember some of the scrapes I got into because I was just too over excited about being able to drive without an instructor constantly nagging at me!

Other Great Discounts to be had from Direct Line

Direct Line is very clever when it comes to ensuring that they gain as much business from each customer as possible. If you know Direct Line, you will be aware that they are not limited to offering insurance just for cars. If you happen to have an insurance policy with them which covers something other than your vehicle you can gain discounts on any new car insurance policies you take out with them. All you need to do is ensure that you can produce the policy you currently have with them and they will give you up to 10% on any new car insurance policy you take out.

Just so you know What Comprehensive Cover is from Direct Line

Listed below is what you will get with a comprehensive car insurance policy with Direct Line:

  • Protection from uninsured drivers if the accident is their fault.
  • Claims discounts for named drivers.
  • Protection if you should be the victim of vandalism that will not affect your no claims discount.

These are just a few of the extras that you get with a fully comprehensive car insurance policy with Direct Line.

A Quick Explanation on How Multi-Car Insurance Policies Work

Some of you may be unaware of how multi-car insurance policies work. The type of policy is fairly new to the market place and Direct Line have been pioneers in bringing this type of policy to it’s new and existing customers.

You may think that to have a multi-car insurance policy you will have to be related to the other people that are included. This is not the case; all you need to ensure is that you all live at the same address. I happen to think that this is a fantastic idea. For all of you students out there that are living on a shoe string but still need to make sure that your vehicle (if you’re lucky enough to have one) is properly insured can club together and make huge savings with the multi-car insurance policies that Direct Line offer.

In Conclusion

I happen to be a customer of Direct Line and I have to say that when it comes to customer service, they are second to none. The staff are knowledgeable about the car insurance policies they have on offer and you do not get the hard sell. After all, there isn’t any need for them to go chasing customers, thousands of people sign up with them every day.

If you are looking for a great car insurance company that have a huge range of policies that have been tailored to suit everyone, you will not go far wrong with Direct Line. It’s not all about discounts, although that does help, you need make sure that the insurance company is 100% behind you if you run into trouble. Direct Line will not hamper you with red tape and excuses on why they should not pay out. If your claim is genuine and fits all of the criteria within your policy, they will pay…simple!

Direct Line has been in business for a long while now and they are definitely here to stay.

Saga Over 50’s Term Life Insurance Review


When people think of retirement, they often have dreamy fantasies about playing golf all day, sipping on warm beverages at night and, leading a relaxing life of leisure. However, it often comes as a surprise when they find out that golf requires far too much walking, they’re in bed before they’ve even had time to consider drinking anything interesting and, that most of their leisure times ends up being squandered as they look for the best deals at the supermarket! This is what leads many older men and women to warn younger generations about wasting their years. It’s a warning that all too often ends up completely unheeded. It’s only remembered later, as they find themselves looking for the same bargains in the supermarkets, they can barely keep their eyes open beyond 9pm and, thought of a raucous night out is all just too much hassle!

Another thing that is often considered too late, or too early depending upon your point of view, is how your family is going to take care of your funeral costs. It’s funny that so many people say that they’ve “taken care of their final arrangements” when actually, all they’ve typically done is specified what they want to see happen (or not as the case may be). How it happens is usually on the shoulders of their next of kin. You can ask for all the sombre dirges and wreathes of flowers you’d like, but without some way to pay for it all you’ll be lucky to see a few flowers in a vase and someone playing the Hallelujah chorus on a kazoo!

It’s unlikely that you’ll mind of course. You’ll be unable to attend the event which is supremely ironic considering that you’ll be the guest of honour. Those you leave behind however, could end up being stuck with a pretty stiff bill.

Most people turn to life insurance to pay for their final costs but, this can be an imposing proposition for someone in the twilight years. After all, its life insurance and it’s the twilight of your life. These are things which are fundamentally opposed to one another. Insurance is a sort of bet against the odds of a particular misfortune happening. Without wanting to spoil anything, betting against the mortality of the human race is like coming to a roulette table and betting on the number 7,005! As such, most don’t feel that they are in any position to get life insurance later in life.


The Good News

It can therefore be good news to learn that the elderly do have affordable easy life insurance solutions. There are organizations that help older men and women invest in their future for that time when they officially run out of future to use. Saga Guaranteed Life Insurance, provided by PruProtect, is just such a company.

A lump sum of a little over £4,800 could be in the hands of your next of kin when you pass away. The cost for that service is just £20 a month which ends up being around seventy pence a day. That’s less than the price of a good cup of tea or, for that matter, a bad one. If you’re tea budget is too lean even for that sum there is no need to worry, there are plenty of options for those on a tight budget.

Most insurance companies are going to want you to take a medical so they can determine your premiums, the amount your policy is worth and, similar information. They’re also probably going to be using that data so their bookies can make good odds for the office betting pool, but they’ll never confess to that! Saga, on the other hand, knows what they’re in business for and that’s making sure that your family can cover your final expenses, NOT how much the betting pool is worth! A funeral can easily cost in excess of £4,000 and, making sure the cost is taken care of long before that happens is what’s really important. You’ll want to be remembered well, even when everyone is arguing over your fine china!

Your final days should be ones of calm repose and serenity. You can, of course also spend them on heavy drinking, wild gambling, and raucous laughter if that’s what you want after all, you’ve earned it! Regardless of how you spend your time in later life, it’s harder facing the unknown with the awareness that your loved ones are going to be struggling to pay for the privilege of paying you their final respects.

Give Saga a call. Your premiums are fixed the moment you get your policy, there are no medicals and, the call is free. Take a look at the link on our website for Saga life insurance, you’ve got nothing to loose, except a bad cup of tea!

Direct Line Pet Insurance Review

Before you get a pet you should ALWAYS weigh up the costs. Cats and dogs especially can cost thousands of pounds just in vet bills, not to mention all the toys you buy, the beds (particularly cats, they love beds), food of course, and all the other treats you love to give them.

This is why there are many insurance companies on the market that actively advertise they will insure your pet and amongst them is Direct Line. Although this company is far younger than many of the other names out there, in the short space of time they’ve been around they have become a household name.

Now, this could be because of the catchy T.V. advertising but, it’s more than likely down to the services they offer which are why customers keep coming back for more. One of those services is pet insurance. This is kind of obvious really considering the title to this piece!

Why Insure your Pet?

Well, we have yet to come across government funded medical cover for pets like the NHS although, keep that one quiet because who knows, you might end up having to pay a tax if you’ve got pets! So, when you do have to make an unexpected visit to the vets, you will have a bill to pay and, depending on the severity of the problem this could be something that leaves you dipping into your savings.

Some of the most obvious reasons you will need to make a visit to the vet without prior notice are:

  • Your dog finally decides he’s had enough of that squeaky ball and devours it! Leaving him with a very uncomfortable gut problem (dogs are not very bright sometimes) and a pretty smelly one for you!
  • Your cat thinks it will be a really good idea to jump a fence that’s way too high because he’s after a bird and ends up with an injury.
  • God Forbid, you pet is involved in an accident.
  • Equally as worrying, they develop symptoms that leave you thinking a serious illness might be the trouble.

These are just a few of the reasons why you will need a vet at short notice and Direct Line has thought all about them.

What You Can Expect with Direct Line Pet Insurance

There are two types of insurance for your pets from Direct line and these are: Essential and Advanced. The main difference between them is the amount of money you’ll be reimbursed if your cat or dog contracts an ongoing illness. For the Essential cover you will receive £4,000 and for Advanced you will receive £6,000. It’s worth noting here that if your pet has multiple conditions, you will receive the same amount for each however, cover will stop after 12 months when you take out the Essential cover, with the advanced policy, there is no limit.

For either policy you will also receive the benefits detailed below:

  • A Helpline so you can find a vet quickly.
  • Should you need it (and this is probably more in the case of dogs than cats), a legal helpline will be made available to you.
  • It’s a sad fact that most of us will outlive our pets and for that reason Direct Line has a bereavement helpline for all its policy holders.
  • UK only based call centres.

What’s unique about Direct Line pet insurance is the way in which you can tailor your policy to suit you. When you use the link on our website to take a look, you will notice all the information given above however, there is a step 2 and this is where you can choose various other benefits so you get the best from the policy for your pet.

Here Goes….

Additional Benefits

  • If you have to stay in hospital boarding fees for your pet will be covered.
  • If your pet is lost or stolen you will receive compensation for offering a reward and/or claim advertising costs.
  • If you have to cancel your holiday and lose money, Direct Line will cover the loss.
  • If accidental death occurs, you will also be covered.

Overseas Travel

  • You will be covered for the loss of your pet’s passport.
  • Additional worming or tick treatment.
  • Any emergency expenses you may incur (for your pet, not you), will be covered.
  • If quarantine is required, you can choose to cover that as well.

Why Direct Line Will Not Cover Your Pet

Of course, there are certain conditions that may prevent you from being able to take out a policy but these are pretty standard across all insurance companies.

  • Dangerous and working dogs are excluded.
  • No cover for illnesses or injuries that occurred prior to the policy start date.
  • Your pet must be between 8 weeks and 11 years old (6 years for some breeds of dog).
  • You must reside in the UK.




AA Car Insurance Review

AA is possibly one of the oldest car insurance companies in the UK. I don’t know of anyone who does not know about the AA. They are masters in their field when it comes to car insurance. They currently have millions of people that are members of the AA and many of those people have been with the company for a number of years now. If you are in the market for car insurance, you should most definitely check out the AA. Their customer service is outstanding and the systems they have in place to make sure that you get the best from your car insurance policy are some of the best you will find in the UK.

Reasons to back up why you should use AA Car Insurance

  • Defaqto awarded the AA a 5 star rating when it comes to the car insurance policies that they offer. This is one of the highest awards you can receive as a car insurance company. This award alone proves that the service AA offer is amongst the best in the UK.
  • When you take out a car insurance policy with the AA, they have a rewards system for their members. If you like statistics, get this one….the AA’s reward system saved their members over £4.5 million in the year of 2010!
  • If you are a new customer to the AA and are thinking about taking a car insurance policy out with them then you will be offered 1 year free on their breakdown cover; this alone can save you a fair few hundreds of pounds.
  • You can be safe in the knowledge that the AA know what they’re doing when it comes to car insurance; here’s another statistic for you….they have had over 5 million new car insurance policies taken out with them in the past 5 years!
  • If you are already a member of the AA then you probably know this already but for those of you that don’t did you know that you can get up to £500 to cover your personal belongings in you car. This is double what is offered with their standard car insurance policies.

AA and their Drive Safe System

I happen to think that this is a really fantastic idea. Get this; when you take out a car insurance policy with the AA and you opt to join up to the drive safe system, the AA will install a box into your car. This box measures how safely you drive. The safer you drive, the more points you earn. The more points you earn the more discounts you will receive throughout the year of your policy. Not only that but if you opt to join this system when you take out a new car insurance policy you will also receive a discount when you sign up.

Who can join the Drive Safe System?

That’s easy….anyone! For all parents out there that have children that have just passed their test and now allowed to be left to their own devices when out on the road; why not join them up to this scheme. It will not only teach them how important it is to drive safely but it will also give you as the parent more piece of mind when they are out in their car. This system is also especially useful for people that are currently paying higher premiums due to driving convictions or the fact that they just keep bashing up their car.

What you get with Drive Safe

When you join up to this system you will benefit from the following:

  • Of course you will save money and be able to get the premium rate you currently pay down to a reasonable level if you are paying more than you should for the reasons given above.
  • An anti-theft tracker will also be installed at the same time as the box and this will not cost you a penny.
  • With the box, you will also get a monitor that sits on your dashboard so you know how safely you are driving.
  • A claim line that is available to you 24 hours per day 7 days a week.
  • If you need repairs doing to your car, the AA will provide you with a replacement vehicle until your own car is ready.

I have mentioned this system first in this article as, in my opinion this is one of the most innovative ideas I have come across when looking for car insurance. The AA have managed to combine the fact that they want less people claiming on their policies, ensure that you as the customer save money and also educate people on how to drive more safely.

Now, onto the other car insurance policies that you can get with the AA; the AA is one of the few companies in the UK that still offer Third Party car insurance. If you decide on this type of car insurance policy you will expect to get the following:

  • A 24 hour hotline that is available 365 days per year so if you need to make a claim, you don’t have to worry about when you can call.
  • Protection from damage to your car if someone decides that it might be a good idea to run their key over your nice paint work.
  • Costs will be covered for any medical treatment that you might need due to an accident.
  • If you have a car sharing scheme then you this type of insurance policy will cover you.
  • No Claims Discount – of course!
  • If you want to travel abroad the AA will cover you for 90 days, however this is only if you are in Europe.
  • Your car will be covered by your insurance policy if you leave it in the hands of another professional such as a mechanic or hotel employee that parks your car for you.

The 2nd type of car insurance policy that you can purchase from the AA is Third Party Fire and Theft. The benefits you can expect to get with this policy are as follows:

  • Everything that you get with a Third Party car insurance policy.
  • Damage caused by theft or fire (otherwise what would be the point of the title of the policy)!
  • The AA will replace your keys and locks for you but this is limited to £1,000 and only comes into play if you need them replacing due to fire or theft. If you go for this type of car insurance, don’t lose your keys.
  • If you have a child’s seat, the AA will replace it for you but again this is only if you need it replacing due to fire or theft.

Lastly, the 3rd car insurance policy that you can have with the AA is fully comprehensive. Ok, this will cost you a bit more, nevertheless, with things the way they are on the road today, this is the one I would go for. The benefits you get with this type of car insurance are as follows:

  • Everything you get with their 3rd Party and Third Party Fire and Theft policies.
  • Accidental damage to you car is covered by this insurance policy.
  • If you need repairs doing to your car and you use one of the AA’s approved repairers, they will provide you with a courtesy car.
  • If you need any windows, windscreen or sunroof replacing, you will be covered for this and it won’t affect your No Claims Discount.
  • Your personal belongings are protected up to the value of £250, except if you are and AA member in which case you will receive double that amount.
  • If you have a trailer, this will also be protected under your car insurance policy. The limit here is £500 for a single axle trailer.
  • You will receive up to £5,000 worth of compensation should you are your partner be injured or die in an accident. Be aware here, that should you become an AA member, this amount rises to £7,500.
  • Medical expenses are also covered up to the value of £400 for non AA members, for AA members this raises to £500.
  • The AA will provide you with overnight accommodation or transport to your destination; this is limited to £300 per person or a maximum of £500 for everyone that is travelling.

The above information is a lot to take in; however, I have tried to explain it as clearly as possible. Not everything that the AA has to offer with their car insurance policies has been included. If I did include everything, you would still be reading this in another 12 hours from now….that or you would fall asleep!

I think the AA is one of the best car insurance companies to be found in the UK. Believe me, you will not far wrong with a car insurance policy from them.

RAC Breakdown Cover Review

As a Company, the RAC have been around for so long that even my grandmother can remember them and she is in her 80’s! The fact that this company that deals in breakdown cover is still around today is testament to the fact that they know what they are doing. If you ask anyone about the RAC they will know who you are talking about and will more than likely have an insurance policy with them or know someone who does. When you are in a position to start looking for breakdown cover, you will need to know that the company you choose is reliable and will be around for the duration of your breakdown cover policy. You will have no such problems with the RAC.

So, let’s deal with what the RAC actually offer when it comes to breakdown cover. At the moment, if you look at their website, you will find that they currently have a spring offer. If you are new to the RAC and join up throughout spring you will be offered additional savings and they can give you a breakdown cover policy for as little as £29.99….this is some mean feat; there are not many other companies out there that can boast this sort of price.

It’s worth remembering here that the larger the company the more they can offer you in terms of service and affordability. The RAC are, quite simply HUGE…they have a network of branches right across the UK and when it comes to roadside assistance, they have mechanics that can be with you in as little as 40 minutes, for you ladies out there, don’t worry, the RAC will give you priority when you call them, especially if you are out on the road alone.

Incidentally, it doesn’t matter where you are in the UK, the RAC will stick to this time limit even if you have ended up in the middle of a field due to a tyre blowing out! For the people that like statistics that are reading this article, the RAC has approximately 2,000 mechanics out on the road 365 days a year 24 hours a day. As a company the RAC can boast that they have over 100 years experience in the breakdown cover arena.

Breakdown Cover that the RAC offer

  • You (something that many companies overlook) and your car.
  • Owners of motorbikes and 4×4’s can take out breakdown cover with the RAC as standard…lot’s of the major breakdown cover companies require you to take out specialist breakdown cover if you have a 4×4 or motorbike, the RAC see no reason why this should not come as standard.
  • You can have up to 5 callouts per year under your breakdown cover policy and if you have additional vehicles attached to your policy this number will raise. Unless you have a complete old banger that breaks down the minute you pull out of your driveway, it’s unlikely that you will need to make this many callouts in one year.
  • One important thing to note here is that many other companies that offer breakdown cover will charge you in addition to the premium you pay for any parts or labour that is required if you need roadside assistance. With the RAC you only pay for the part itself, the mechanics time is part of your breakdown cover.
  • When it comes to paying for your breakdown cover, you will be able to pay either monthly or annually. This is a great idea for those of you that would rather just get the whole thing paid for in one go and not have to worry about it again until it’s time for you to renew your breakdown cover.

Other Options the RAC offer with Breakdown Cover

Again, I cannot stress enough that you can get breakdown cover from the RAC for as little as £29.99 per month at the moment….get in their fast; this offer will not be there forever!

  • Nationwide Recovery – This means that no matter where you are in the UK, the RAC will transport your car to your home or another address. This can include you as the driver and up to 7 people travelling with you (for those of you that own 2 seat sports cars or minis, this will not be a problem you are likely to encounter). If you happen to get ill when you are travelling and can no longer drive your car and do not have any passengers that can take over then the RAC will come and rescue you.
  • From Home – With the standard breakdown cover from the RAC you will not be covered for any issues that arise within a quarter of a mile from your home address, you can opt to take out breakdown cover with them which will cover this. So, if you get up one morning and your car won’t start or it just gives up on you as you pull out on to the main road, the RAC will send a mechanic to help you out.
  • Onward Travel – This is also an optional extra and this will come into play when your car or motorbike cannot be repaired on the roadside. You can get a courtesy vehicle for up to 3 days whilst you own vehicle is being repaired…age limits apply here so make sure you check this out first. If you need to use public transport and incur a cost because of this the RAC will reimburse you up to £150 or £500 if you are a group of people travelling. Bear in mind that this breakdown cover extra does also include air travel. If you need to stay overnight in a bed and breakfast, you will also be reimbursed for the cost, the same amount applies as for public transport costs. If you happen to have a caravan or trailer, the RAC will take this for you, however, be aware that you will need to meet any extra costs for this yourself.

One of the most common problems that occur with cars on the road is that darn battery failing! I myself have been in this situation a couple of times and I’ll be honest with you it’s a right pain in the proverbial! As with other major breakdown cover companies you can become a member with the RAC. If you are a member and your battery does conk out on you the RAC will send a mechanic to replace it for you. All you have to pay for is the battery itself, everything else is covered with your breakdown cover membership.

So, you have had a new battery fitted under the breakdown cover that you have with the RAC, what about the warranty? Well, this is easy, depending on the type of battery you have had replaced the RAC will guarantee it for up to 5 years. There are conditions when it comes to the replacements of batteries simply because it is such a common problem, so make sure you check that this type of breakdown cover is just what you need. One thing to note is that you do not have to be out on the road when your battery fails, if you are at home and find that you need a replacement; the RAC will arrange a time to come out and replace it for you. Once again, be aware that this will only apply if you are a member of the RAC.

Some of you may be people that often travel in your vehicles in Europe; you have not been overlooked when it comes to RAC breakdown cover. There are polices for you too and these cover over 47 different countries throughout Europe. There are 2 types of breakdown cover that you can go for when travelling in Europe – Single Trip or Comprehensive. The benefits you can expect to receive are as follows:

  • Have your car fixed at the roadside or towed to a garage (if on a single trip breakdown cover policy this will only last for 5 days).
  • English speaking mechanics – great idea the RAC – trying to get across to a French speaking mechanic that your battery has died could be a tad difficult if you don’t speak the language.
  • If you are on a single trip breakdown cover policy, you will receive assistance in making it back the UK – again conditions to apply here so ensure that you check them out.
  • If you take out the comprehensive breakdown cover you will receive everything as mentioned above and….
  • Emergency repairs up to the value of £150.
  • If you become ill and cannot drive and do not have a passenger that can take over for you the RAC will provide a driver for you.
  • Help with costs should you need to stay overnight somewhere or need to get back to the UK.

Remember; don’t forget about that spring deal, its well worth taking advantage of!


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Breakdown Insurance

When we take out car insurance policies many of us do not take into account that we may need help if we breakdown when we’re out on the road. One of the most annoying things that can happen is that you get up on a frosty morning, already a tad late for work only to find that your car won’t start! This is where breakdown insurance comes in and many companies offer this as part of a fully comprehensive car insurance policy.

Why you should Have Breakdown Insurance

For you ladies out there, bear in mind that if you happen to be driving alone that breakdown insurance is of the utmost importance. It doesn’t matter which way you look at, if you have to abandon your car on the motorway slip road, you are much more at risk than your male counterparts of being a victim of crime. Sorry to say this, but it’s a fact. Many breakdown insurance policies have clauses that are specific to the needs of women drivers and pledge to be with you in less than 40 minutes when you break down. For those of you that are male, breakdown insurance is especially useful because when you breakdown this is more likely to happen when you are on the way to an important business meeting or God forbid your wife or partner has just gone into labour and you need to be at the hospital pronto

Who is the Best When it comes to Breakdown Insurance?

This question is a hard one to answer, there are a multitude of companies out there that offer great breakdown insurance, some of the companies that come out top are listed below:

RAC – This Company is the 2nd largest in the UK when it comes to breakdown insurance, they are not the cheapest but you will not find a bad word to be said about them. One of the great things you get with their breakdown insurance is a mobile locator; this means that if you don’t know where you are then the mechanic can locate you using your mobile phone signal. There are not many other companies that specialise in breakdown insurance that can boast this type of system. You will also get roadside assistance and they pledge to be with you within 40 minutes of you making the call. All of their staff wear company issued uniforms and have ID, so there is no need to worry that some undesirable individual has decided to stop and offer bogus help.

AA – This is one of the oldest breakdown insurance companies in the UK today. There breakdown insurance is pretty much the same as RAC however; you will find cheaper prices and more discounts to be had with them. One thing that this breakdown insurance company can boast is that they fix more vehicles roadside than any other company in the UK. The other statistic worth noting here is that almost 95% of members of the AA say they would recommend their service to a friend. This is possibly why you do not often see televised advertising campaigns for the AA, they simply don’t need to.

Green Flag – Although much younger than the RAC or the AA, Green Flag are still a great choice when you are looking for breakdown insurance for your car. They are doing their best to break into the breakdown insurance market to the point where they say that they will beat any quote that you receive from either the AA or RAC when it comes to the time for you to renew your policy. Not only that, they also offer a callout service which is available 365 days a year 24 hours a day, this means that even on Christmas Day you will be able to get your vehicle going again within the hour and make that all important turkey dinner.

Does Breakdown Insurance come as a Car Insurance Package?

Many breakdown insurance companies offer these types of policies as a stand alone product. The reason behind this is that there are many different levels of breakdown insurance cover. You can take out the most basic packages that include roadside assistance and this will cover you nationally, or there are more complicated policies that will cover you for the following:

  • Some of the larger companies will offer to put you up in a hotel if they cannot repair your car by the roadside. This of course is one of the highest premium types of breakdown insurance and will cost you more but if you are someone that is on the road a lot of the time it would be well worth you taking a look at including this type of cover with your breakdown insurance.
  • If your car, motorbike or caravan requires parts this can also be part of your breakdown insurance policy.
  • No callout charges are also an option with breakdown insurance.
  • Of course no claims discount is a must and this is offered as standard with most, if not all breakdown insurance policies.
  • If you use the preferred garages for repairs with the company you have decided to take your breakdown insurance out with, they will cover the repairs under your policy.
  • If you happen to be someone that drives regularly from the UK to Europe, you will find a breakdown insurance policy to suit you.

These are just a few of the options that are open to you when looking for breakdown insurance, some companies will even tailor the policy to suit your own needs. This is especially useful if you are someone that is “outside of the box” when it comes to standard breakdown insurance.

This said there are companies that only offer breakdown insurance as part of the fully comprehensive car insurance package; More Than is one particular company that works in this way. If you want my opinion, only go for this if you need the most basic breakdown insurance. If you need a policy that is more complicated it would be cheaper for you to take out a separate policy and it will also make it clearer to you exactly what you are covered for.

In Conclusion

I cannot stress enough here how important it is that you have some form of breakdown insurance cover. We rely more heavily on our vehicles than we think. You only realise this when your car does actually break down. Standing in the pouring rain with the wind whipping about your legs, whilst you wait for a friend or family member to come and pick you up is no fun, believe me, I know! The other thing that can be real nuisance if you find yourself in this situation is that you will more than likely have to leave you vehicle behind. This means that you may be without your car for some days.

If you have breakdown insurance, you can be back on the road within the hour, imagine how annoying it would be to have to leave your car behind only to discover that it was a flat battery that was causing the problem. If you have breakdown insurance it would take any mechanic minutes to sort this problem out for you. You may think that you could do without the added expense but think about it….someone has to come and pick you up, you can’t get to work because your car is stranded on the motorway or down some country lane. You then have to pay a towing company so that you can get your car to a garage and after all of that you find that you are charged premium labour rates just for someone to charge the battery on your car.

How many hundreds of pounds are you out of pocket so far? No, breakdown insurance is definitely worth having and it’s possible for you to find reputable firms that offer breakdown insurance policies at very reasonable rates. Don’t forget that you can also use price comparison websites to help you find the best quotes out there. If you decide to go down this route, make sure that you also take the best price you find to any companies that do not subscribe to price comparison websites, you never know, you might find an even cheaper price!

All in all, this article has been written to give you an idea of the sort of breakdown insurance that is available in the UK market place at the moment and also to give you an idea of why it is so important to have breakdown insurance. When you are out on the road it can be a potentially dangerous place to be and if you have the proper cover, there will be no need for you to worry about it if you do breakdown. Of course, you may be one of the lucky few that don’t have to make a claim against your breakdown insurance in which case, enjoy the no claims discounts!

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