Take your last puff and filter out big premiums
News: Insurance reward for smokers who quit; mortgage rate rise at Scottish Widows; HBOS sets up Â£130m compensation fund
Sunday 06 March 2005
Planning to kick the habit on National No Smoking Day this week? You could kick high insurance premiums as well.
Planning to kick the habit on National No Smoking Day this week? You could kick high insurance premiums as well.
Those giving up on Wednesday will be able to slash their life cover, according to independent broker LifeSearch, but you'll have to stay off tobacco for a year to qualify.
"Most companies class smokers as non-smokers once they have given up for 12 months or more," said spokesman Kevin Carr. Those planning to stop should remind themselves to rearrange their policy at that point, he adds.
Calculations from the price- comparison service insure-supermarket.com suggest that a 35-year-old male smoker can pay £98 a year more for the same cover compared with a non-smoker. Savings of nearly 50 per cent are available if they stub out the fags once and for all.
Smokers close to retirement and with no intention of giving up can still save hundreds of pounds by shopping around for a better deal on an annuity - the fixed yearly income you receive when you cash in your private pension.
A shorter life expectancy means you can earn more from your annuity because the money won't, in theory, have to be paid out for so long.
Check with different pro- viders: many will offer "enhanced annuities" for smokers.
Blow for borrowers
Borrowers with a standard variable-rate mortgage at Scottish Widows face higher repayments after last week's decision to raise its standard variable rate (SVR) from 6.09 to 6.19 per cent.
Lenders are usually quick to pass on rises to SVR borrowers when the Bank of England increases the base rate, but Scottish Widows' decision comes ahead of this Thursday's monthly rate-setting meeting. Although the base rate has stayed at 4.75 per cent for seven months, Scottish Widows has raised its cost of borrowing by 1.25 per cent in the same period. A company spokesman said the increase was part of a regular review, but it is bad news for borrowers.
David Hollingworth, from independent broker London & Country, said that while lenders often increase their rates by a wider margin than any increase in the base rate, Scottish Widows' move ahead of the Bank of England meeting is very unusual. "Borrowers paying the lender's SVR should take this decision as a prompt to switch to a more competitive deal such as a tracker," he said.
Melanie Bien, associate director at broker Savills Private Finance, says borrowers should look for a lender offering a guarantee on the SVR. "Then you will not be at the mercy of your lender changing the rate as and when it wants," she said.
Scottish Widows last raised its rate from 5.84 to 6.01 per cent in September last year following a base rate rise from 4.5 to 4.75 per cent in August.
HBOS, the banking group that includes the Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has set aside £130m in compensation for endowment mis-selling. The "fund" was announced last week as the group reported £4.6bn in pre-tax profits. A spokesman for HBOS said the money was a "one-off provision".
HBOS customers are among millions of endowment holders facing a sizeable shortfall - of an average of £5,500 - on the policies they were sold in the 1980s as a way of repaying their mortgage debt with a lump sum at the end of the 25-year term.
This is according to figures from endowment compensation specialist www.seeingred.co.uk, which show eight in 10 policyholders are currently facing shortfalls. The firm estimates that 60 per cent of these may have been mis-sold a policy.
Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 100,000 back our campaign
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...
Day In a Page
With four bedrooms, this spacious maisonette in a mid-terrace period-style house in Holland Road is well-maintained and offers high ceilings and period features.
The terraces of this two-bedroom penthouse apartment offer panoramic views that stretch over fifty miles from the cliffs of Beachy Head.
In the heart of the coastal village of Mumbles and moments from the pier, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is set over three floors and retains many original features.
In a sandbanks location, moments from the beach, this three-bedroom apartment has a large open-plan living area and a south-west facing balcony.
This four-bedroom home has an annexe accessed from the side of the house, with potential for improvement and conversion subject to the necessary permissions.
In the heart of the hamlet of Wardley, this five-bedroom period home offers countryside views and a stylish interior, with original features and open fireplaces.
Offering countryside views and landscaped gardens, this three-bedroom Grade II-listed lodge has a spacious conservatory and a large cellar that could serve as a workshop.
Set in approximately 1.5 acres, this four-bedroom home comes with a second, detached property that's currently used as an annexe.
In the hamlet of Newchurch, this former parish church is now a four-bedroom home complete with clock tower and eyrie.
Offering scenic views from a large balcony and sun terrace, this four-bedroom home has a wraparound garden and a heated swimming pool.
Offering views across the Humber and East Yorkshire Wolds from a glass panelled balcony, this four-bedroom barn-style home befits a life of leisure.
This four-bedroom home offers versatile accommodation with annexe potential; features include a hot tub, sauna and Norwegian BBQ hut.
Well-located for schools, colleges and the town centre, this contemporary thatched cottage offers flexible living space with six bedrooms.
Built in 1907, this four-bedroom Edwardian period home has been refurbished by the current owners, retaining many original period features.
Surrounded by landscaped gardens, this five-bedroom home offers living space across three floors.
This lovely country home in Burnham Market is currently run as a popular holiday cottage, with five en suite bedrooms and colourful gardens.
This three-bedroom 17th-century former village bakery is just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
Set on a landscaped plot, this light and airy four-bedroom home comes with a log burner in the lounge, a fitted kitchen and an open-plan ground-floor layout.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Built on a former chapel site, this impressive four-bedroom home boasts balconies, stunning views and contemporary modern living.
This three-bedroom house is situated in a quiet mews and set over three floors. Features include glazed staircases and high ceilings.
A period townhouse set over four floors, this five-bedroom home was built in the 18th Century and retains many original features.
With five bedrooms, this spacious home offers beautiful gardens and modern interiors - set within the popular market town of Bingley.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This first-floor flat comes with two bedrooms, an impressive open-plan reception room and two lovely roof terraces.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Moored at Taggs Island and reached via a pretty garden, this two-bedroom houseboat has a vaulted reception room and skylit garden studio - currently a beauty salon.
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
A contemporary house spread over three storeys, this three-bedroom detached home has large sliding doors that open out to the River Quaggy.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
This former village bakery, dating back to the 17th century, is now a three-bedroom detached home just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
On the picturesque Isle of Man, this four-bedroom character home has a ground-floor shop that's currently run as a newsagents and a flat that would make an ideal holiday let.
In a new collection of flats, this first-floor two-bedroom apartment offers ample entertaining space and a prime view of Furze Green from a private balcony.
This three-bedroom stone-built cottage currently trades as the village store with a restaurant in the annexe and family accommodation on the upper floors.
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.