Loss Assessors – Helping You Make The Most Of A Disaster

Every business owner dreads a major catastrophe at their work premises – and no matter whether you are a large company or a one man band the effects can be absolutely devastating. Disaster like fire and flood can destroy the premises and stock leaving you with nothing to trade and nowhere to do it. So how can you make sure your business is going to be able to carry on into the future should the worst happen?

Most businesses assume that having a solid insurance policy (such as Business Interruption insurance) will suffice – but you cannot assume that this is the case. Insurance companies are in the business of making money – just like anyone else – and they cannot afford to give out massive claims to each and every business that puts in an insurance claims. Your insurance company will appoint a loss adjuster to work through the claims and ensure that the insurance company only pays out what it has to.

This could spell bad news for your business – what if the payment doesn’t fully match the losses that you have suffered in the fire, flood, explosion or other major disaster? This is where you would need to call on the assistance of an insurance loss assessor.

What is an insurance loss assessor?

Although it is term that you may have heard of you may not be familiar with what it is an insurance loss assessor actually does. They are your secret weapon in making sure your business will be able to carry on in the future without the financial burden associated with the disaster.

An insurance loss assessor has a similar role to the loss adjuster – essentially making sure that the claim goes through smoothly – but with one major difference, they will be working for you. With this in mind, you will no longer have to deal with the claim yourself – in fact, how could you expect to get the most from your claim if you are inexperienced in insurance and its nuances? Not only will the insurance loss assessor ensure you get a fair financial compensation deal from your insurers but often they take on the roles of helping you get contractors in and generally aiding you in building your business back up to its former glory.

You and your business will find that the experience and knowledge that an insurance loss assessor can bring into the equation is invaluable to ensuring the future success of your business. After years of blood, sweat and tears that you invest into building up your business you owe it to yourself that it continues to succeed well into the future.

Wayne Barker is the copywriter for Harris Balcombe, the foremost claims recovery company in the UK.

Why Buying a New Build House will Save You Money

Why Buying a New Build House will Save You Money

When you are looking at new homes, there are a lot of decisions need to be made. Maybe you are expanding your family and need a home that fits your needs, or perhaps you are getting to an age where a simpler home is what you desire. Regardless of the reason, choosing a new home is a big decision. What most people don’t realize is that building a home is affordable and allows you to get exactly what you are looking for.

The first thing that you want to look into is what types of loans are available for building new homes. Several banks and loan companies offer a construction loan, which will help you build the house you have been dreaming of. These loans are based on how much you make and what your employment history looks like. If you do get approved, the next step is to find a construction company that will examine the site and start building for you.

The construction company will examine the site you are looking to build on and give you an estimate as to how much it will cost. This estimate will help you find out how much money you will need to build the home you want. After that, it is up to you to work with your budget and the companies to create a layout and build your ideal home. Besides getting different interest rates for building a home rather than buying one, you also benefit by building a new home because of the fact that you are in control.

The property value of your home can also increase if you carefully examine where the home is being built. By choosing an area that may become very populated one day, you may end up making money when you sell your home. In addition, if you implement energy-saving methods when you build your home, you can rest assured that your utility bills will also be significantly lower than if you had just purchased a home and it will also increase your resale value.

Building a home to fit your needs is something that both benefits you and can earn you a profit later in life. Be sure to look at all options before you decide on just buying a home, because building a home from the ground up may save you money and keep your family safe for years to come.

Important Things to Know When Getting a Secured Loan

Important Things to Know When Getting a Secured Loan

Secured loans are typically used for larger amounts over longer periods of repayment. The reason this is done is because they are costly and time consuming to set up, since arranging the necessary searches and registering the property interest (the usual security taken for a secured loan) takes weeks to complete.

So immediately, one drawback can be the time taken to get a loan on secured terms. If you need a loan quickly, you will need to look for one or more unsecured lenders since their procedures are much quicker to complete with some advancing money within hours of receiving an application.

To even apply for a secured loan you will have to have some free equity in your home or some other form of valuable asset to pledge. That means that your home must have a surplus value over the current mortgage loan of at least 125% of the loan being applied for; so if you need a £20,000 secured loan, you must have around £25,000 of equity in your home.

But if you need to borrow more than around £15,000 then the chances are that you will have to consider some form of secured loan. Borrowers with exceptional credit histories and strong monthly incomes may be able to borrow up to £25,000 on an unsecured basis whilst those on low incomes or with poor credit histories may have to consider a secured loan for as little as £3,000.So there is no ‘typical’ when it comes to choosing between a secured or unsecured loan. Your personal circumstances and the requirements of the lender will drive you towards the options available to you. But different lenders have different outlooks so it is worth shopping around to see who will offer what terms. Be wary, though, of making multiple applications for loans since each one will register a search against your credit profile. Multiple searches in a short period of time can harm your credit rating and alert lenders to your enquiries making them all a little more cautious.

Since secured loans are more expensive to set up, you can expect to pay a greater administration fee up front. You may also be expected to pay any property search fees or registration of interest charges. The plus side is that the interest rate charged on the loan should be lower than an unsecured loan due to the additional collateral cover provided.

If you have the choice between a secured or unsecured loan, then you need to so your sums thoroughly to see which is the best for you over the full term. Whilst the rate of interest may be lower on a secured loan, the additional charges and fees may offset the saving in lower monthly payment.

Remember that a secured loan takes an interest in your home or other property. That means that if you fail to make the repayments you may have your home repossessed by the lender for them to sell, in order to pay off the loan balance. With an unsecured loan you can only be sued for the balance – your home will not be at risk.

This guest blog post was written by short term loan provider Wonga.

Hondas Continue to Lead in Reliability

Hondas Continue to Lead in Reliability

When you buy a new car, you have to take a lot of different things into consideration. You have to look at price, mileage, resale value, etc. One of the most important factors to consider though is reliability. To many consumers, reliability is second only to price, and sometimes it’s even more important than the price! Finding a car that won’t have you in and out of a mechanic shop can be difficult and will involve a bit of luck, but by doing enough research you should have a good idea as to which cars have a higher chance of being reliable than another car. After doing some research, you can see that one of the obvious choices is just about anything that comes from Honda.

After many studies, Honda keeps coming out on top of the reliability pile along with Ford and Toyota, despite Toyota’s massive recalls lately. In fact, all of the cars that Honda makes score an average or above average rating for reliability, and the Honda Insight has been rated the most reliable car on the market today.

That being said, it’s no surprise that Honda is among one of the most sought after cars. There are plenty of reasons to get one. The initial reliability brings enough to the table alone. Knowing that your car won’t bring you the stress and headaches of having to be without a vehicle because it’s in the shop is a huge weight off of your mind, let alone the money you’ll be saving by not going to the mechanic all the time.

Another great reason to consider reliability is that when the car becomes older, whether you’re buying or selling, you’re in a better position with a Honda. When you’re in the selling position, you get the joy of having a high resale value, making it easier to move on to the next car you want. As someone who’s buying a used car, you must be weary of the idea that you are buying someone else’s problems. By buying a Honda, you have a much better chance at getting a reliable car that won’t give you the problems that so many other used cars will.

Another great thing is that Honda is a very popular company, and they have places everywhere just in case something does happen. If you need to find a mechanic in San Diego for example, there are plenty of San Diego Honda repair shops to choose from, many rated very highly by the BBB.

So when you are looking for a new or used car, one sure bet will always be a Honda.

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The Endowment effect a really difficult challenge

Biases distort our view of the world and lead us to make wrong investment decisions. When written down in a simple way we can laugh at the simplicity and boast that we would never be taken in. But it will happen to you time and again. Let me illustrate with two stories, one personal and one involving one of the best investors around.

1. About twenty years ago I made a specfic share recommendation to someone very close. When the shares didn’t perform and ill health curtailed his investment activities he gifted those shares to me.Over the next few months those shares dropped in price but there was no way i would sell and admit the loss. Eventually the company closed and the shares were worthless.

2. Contrast this with how Nassim Nicholas Taleb ( of Black Swan fame) talks about George Soros.How he has absolutely no hesitation to admit that he was wrong and can make significant investment decisions which are completely at odds with his prior policies. Ruthless is a word sometimes used but i would say that he is free of this bias.

Anyway lets return to the official description of the Endowment effect. Basically it asserts that we value more highly things which we own. Whether these are assets, shares or opinions if they are “ours” we will hold on them longer than we should.

What do you have in your portfolios that should have been sold or closed out months ago? How honest are you about the true value of your investments?

This article was written by Mike Holly. Mike lives and works in Northumberland ( UK)

How To Get The Best Balance Credit Card Rate

Anyone who is serious about saving money will search for the best credit card rate. It is one of the most important things you can do to save money with your credit card. There are some tips you can follow that will allow you to get the best rate possible.

Recommendations For Finding Out How To Get The Best Balance Credit Card Rate

  • Get a copy of your credit report – Your credit report and the corresponding score is your business and your responsibility. You can get a copy of your credit report that will list your credit history and detail all that you have done with your credit. Check you report for any errors or discrepancies. These may take some time to clear but it is worth it as it may help to increase your credit score.
  • Analyse your spending habits – Look at how much you spend on your credit cards each month. Ask yourself if you are a person that pays off the balance each month or do you let it carry over to accumulate more interest. Paying off your balance in full each month is a benefit to your credit score. This tells the credit bureau that you are able to manage your credit cards responsibly.
  • Shop around – It is important to look over several different cards before making a decision. You will want to look at annual fees, late payment fees and other maintenance fees. These fees can add up so make sure that you aren’t overloaded with fees even though you may have a lower rate. Don’t only look at the offers that come in the mail but also do some research on the Internet where you can also find some great deals.
  • Use your card carefully – If you plan to use your credit for balance transfers or for purchases, you should be aware of what the terms are for the card so you aren’t saddled with more fees than you had anticipated.

When you know how to get the best balance credit card rate you can go far in saving a lot of money over the long term. Coupled with responsible card use, you will reap the benefits of a terrific credit score and the bountiful use of credit.

This article was written by Timothy Ng. You can read more of his work at Credit Card Finder, where he has a number of comprehensive guides to all types of credit card

Why you need to be aware of mental biases

Why you need to be aware of mental biases

We all have biases which restrict the way we manage and profit from our savings. The ways we think and the mistakes we make are studied by behavioural scientists and it is important to be aware of these challenges when we are making investment decisions.

The first bias we need to address is the tendency to see something as more probable if it is easier to imagine. Lets say that you are looking for insurance to protect against a terrorist attack during a business trip to the east coast. You are quoted for two policies, each has the same premium.

Policy 1. Protects against a terrorist attack involving the destruction of major infrastructure in  New York State.

Policy 2. Protects against a terrorist attack in the USA.

The best choice is the second policy. But in reality many people are attracted to the first policy as they can imagine the attack and the consequences. The technical term for this the conjunction fallacy and it was first detailed by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kehneman.

In future blogs we will cover further biases.

This article was written by Mike Holly. Mike lives and works in Northumberland ( UK) Please place the hyper link on Northumberland.

Top 10 Tips for Eliminating Debt Immediately

Top 10 Tips for Eliminating Debt Immediately

Debt. Ugh. We almost all have it. Most of us struggle to get rid of it. And we don’t really know what to do about it. There are a lot of little things that you can do to start chipping away at your debt but it’s the big actions that will help you start getting rid of that debt right away. You need that momentum to gather the excitement to deal with this tough problem.

Take these ten actions today to begin getting rid of your debt in a big way:

1.     Track your spending and create a budget. The only way to get rid of debt is to earn more than you spend. Many people fail to do this because they don’t want to take a close look at their spending. It is absolutely crucial for you to track your spending and to get it down below the amount that you earn in order to have the excess funds that you need to start paying down your debt.

2.     Decrease what you are paying for rent or mortgage. The amount that you pay for your home is probably the biggest expense that you have. If you can find a way to decrease that amount then you can use the money to pay down your debt. One option is to move to a cheaper place. Another option is to rent out the extra space that you have in your home (a room, a parking spot, storage space … whatever you have available). Making this adjustment is tough but it saves you a lot of money.

3.     Stop driving. How much money do you spend each month on your car? Think about the car payment, insurance costs, the cost of gas and the cost of repairs and maintenance. It’s probably a lot of money. Give up your car and put that money towards paying off your debt. Get a cheap scooter, ride a bike, take public transportation. If you can’t go that extreme then downscale to a cheaper car or go from being a two-car family to a one-car home.

4.     Consolidate your debt. This can be done through a formal debt consolidation program, a loan (such as a home equity loan) or by transferring balances to a single credit card. Good debt consolidation can lower your monthly payment and decrease the interest rate that you’re paying. Make sure that you read the fine print and consider the fees with the goal of spending less on debt in mind. Use the extra money to start paying off the total debt.

5.     Pay off your highest interest debts first. If you decide not to consolidate your debt then you need to start paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Pay only the minimum amount on all of your other debts and put all of your extra money towards paying off that high interest account.

6.     Cancel all of your unnecessary subscriptions and memberships. Give up magazines subscriptions and read free articles online instead. Give up your gym membership and start exercising for free at home. Cancel the cable TV and read a book from the library instead. Make a list of all of your monthly subscription fees and dare yourself to cancel them all. Use the money to pay off your existing debt.

7.     Stop spending money on entertainment. There is a lot of free entertainment available out there. You can enjoy free activities in your hometown. You can enjoy free dates with your partner. Why are you paying a lot of money to go out and be entertained when you can exercise your creativity and enjoy free entertainment instead?

8.     Educate yourself about money. The more that you understand money the better you will be at making financial decisions that help you to get rid of debt. Many people think that money is a big magical thing that they can’t possibly understand so they don’t even try. This simply isn’t true. Read about money regularly. Ask questions whenever engaging in a financial transaction. Be smart about your money if you want to get out of debt.

9.     Add income. Spend your time making money and you’ll have more money for getting rid of your debt. You’ll also waste less time spending money on things that you don’t need. Take on a part-time job. Start a cheap home based business. Do odd jobs here and there. Embrace the opportunity to work whenever you can.

10. Make a list of your goals for being debt-free. Include both small goals and long-term goals. Post the list where you can see it. Regularly check in with this list to see if you are still working on those goals. Even better, establish a group of people who want to get rid of their debt and get together once a month to set, report on and discuss these goals. This will help you through the long haul of getting out of debt.

Sujan Patel is the managing editor for FreeInsuranceQuotes.org, a leading site providing insurance quotes and advice.

How to get the stock market right 6 months in a row

Imagine receiving a letter at the start of the month predicting that the stock market will rise. Just another cold sell so you bin it and probably won’t recall it when the market does indeed rise. Then the next month a similar letter is received but this time it says the market will fall. This time when it falls maybe you will remember the letter? Now lets say that this continues every month. A letter arrives and correctly predicts the direction of the stock market. Would you not start to think that there was someone very clever behind these letters? And how many months would need to go by before you gave him your money to invest?

However after you have invested and your money is largely gone and lost you sit down and ask how could I be so wrong? The answer is that you fell victim to ignoring the silent witnesses. This is how it works.

Take the names and addresses of 10,000 people. Mail 5,000 saying the market will rise and 5,000 saying the market will fall. Next month repeat the 50/50 split but only mail those who got the letter which made the correct prediction in the previous mailing. Repeat monthly until you have a much reduced list of people who have always received the correct forecast. Basically when you sit down having received the correct forecast for the last 6 months then out of the 10,000 which were mailed initially there are now 312 who like you are thinking they are onto something good. The other 9,688 are the silent witnesses. They all received a letter where the forecast was wrong but you don’t know about them. They are the silent witnesses.

This problem also goes under the name of the survivorship bias and was highlighted by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his highly provocative book “The Black Swan”.

So where else does this crop up in life? Well in his book he argues that this is one of the main drivers which brings the problem of Black Swans and unexpected disasters into our lives. But on a more mundane level he also suggests that this lack of insight, so that we only see what we want to see, also impacts on areas as diverse as the nature v nuture debate and the illusion of skills in many professions.

These are powerful arguments and we will investigate them in further blogs.

Written exclusively for financewand by Mike Holly. Mike lives and works in Northumberland, United Kingdom. Referring you my friend’s site on  Currency trading strategy

How can we believe that U.S recovery is not too slow?

How can we believe that U.S recovery is not too slow?

It is not wrong to say that the US economy is not growing at the rate that the central bank wants it to after the recession and the financial crisis. As per reports and statistics available, it will be not wrong to say that the US economy is recovery at a much better rate than any other economy does after a financial crisis.

The reason why the recovery phase is slow is not very certain. It can be due to the unaggressive policies or to the banking system or the extraordinary economic headwinds. As per Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, the reason for the sluggish recovery can always be that the policymakers and the governments of these economies did not formulate aggressive fiscal and monetary policy. An aggressive policy is needed when any economy is recovering from slowdowns and recession. The Federal Reserve, when made policies, was aggressive and this is the main reason why the US economy is recovering well.

The Federal has announced that they will take the needed actions to increase the level of inflation in the economy and also help it to recover at a faster rate. In order to get the borrowing costs low, analysts are expecting it to start buying longer term government debt again. The level of unemployment still has not come down in the US economy and this is mainly because of the fact that the economic recovery is not happening at the expected rate and that also because of the policy. The financial markets are performing well now, but certain other aspects of economic recovery need more attention.

The economic recessions which hit the US in 2007-2009 was due to inability to manage risks, manage financial institutions and anticipate the flaws in the economic theory and the policies. It is important for economists to analyze and have a better understanding of human behavior so that they know the reaction of the masses in certain situations so that they are in a better position to plan. The US economy is recovering well but an in depth analysis is needed to avoid the same situation later.

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