Ironing out fraud

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Insurance fraud amounts to pounds 684m a year, according to consultants Datamonitor. Fraud costs are highest in motor insurance and amount to nearly 4 per cent of premiums paid. But generally fraud has fallen sharply in recent years, helped by information-sharing among insurers. Plastic card fraud is now considered under control.

Bradford & Bingley building society has produced a free guide to repaying mortgages, which includes working examples showing typical costs and returns. For a copy of Your Guide to Mortgage Repayment Options call 0800 57 0800.

Insurance claims for burst pipes are running at much lower levels this year, despite the recent severe freeze, according to the Association of British Insurers. The ABI has a free Cold Weather Code fact-sheet. Send an SAE to Cold Weather Code, ABI, 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ.

More than two-thirds of the 16 million building society customers due to receive free shares, plan to keep those shares, says investment company Save & Prosper. Of the total, 3 million will receive two or more share windfalls. Young people are the most likely to sell their shares.

The Association of Investment Trust Companies has a free fact-sheet on split-capital investment trusts, a type of investment suitable for PEPs and which can produce a high income. Call 0171 431 5222.

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