Investment-type Insurance Pays Out

Norwich Union customers last month found out that they would receive a slice of a ?2.3 billion bonus as part of their with-profits life insurance policy.

The insurer revealed that 1.1 million of its customers would receive ?1,900 and share holders will get a share of ?230 million. The bonuses will be paid in three blocks.

Mark Hodges, chief executive of Norwich Union Life, said: ?This special bonus is a major boost to policy values. We continue to believe that well-run, open, with-profits funds deliver real value for long term investors.

?Over the course of the next few weeks we will be writing to qualifying policyholders to give them more detailed information.?

Which? Draw attention to the fact that the actual surplus amount is ?5.5 billion and Norwich Union are releasing half to its customers. The surplus is called an ‘inherited estate’ and is the amount of money accumulated over a period of time from with-profits policies. The surplus is divided between the customers in the form of bonuses.

The actual amount received can depend on how the company has been performing. When there has been a good build up of funds bonuses may be retained and redistributed in years which have a lesser yield. This is called ‘smoothing’. The disadvantage often associated with this technique is that the insurer might retain too much money and policyholders in the more affluent years may lose out.

Dominic Lindley, personal finance campaigner a Which?, said: ?While this may seem like a generous gesture by Norwich Union, the fact remains that ?2.3 billion isn’t even half of the inherited estate.?

He added: ?Now there’s the question of the ?3.2 billion remaining in the inherited estate. We call on Norwich Union to act with integrity and to not hold back money from policyholders to pay its shareholders’ tax bill, subsidise new business or to pay mis-selling claims.?

The insurer are currently deciding how to distribute the remaining surplus.

Aviva, the company that owns Norwich Union insist that the payout is generous and well divided. Shareholders are receiving 10% of the bonus and policyholders 90% which is the standard ratio in these circumstances.

Mr Lindley said: ?This is the money that Norwich Union has held back from policyholders over the years, so it is only right that this payment is made on a 90:10 basis.?

With-profits life insurance is classed as an investment-type of policy that has an element of risk associated with it. Endowment insurance of this kind involves the policyholder paying their premium into a pool that is invested by the insurer. Profits are returned as a bonus but do rely on the stock market which can be unpredictable.

Another kind of investment policy are ‘unit-linked’. These are similar in that money is invested by the insurer and returned to the policyholder. In this type the customer can choose which companies it would like the insurer to invest in. A payout is received upon death of the insured and depends on the worth of the investments at this time.

Keeping Safe On Wet Roads

At this time of year, the weather may not seem to be able to make up its mind about whether it wants to rain or shine. If it does decide to rain and you are out on the roads you need to take into account the weather conditions and tailor your driving accordingly. Heavy rainfall can lead to excess water remaining on the road surface which could make driving more hazardous. Modern roads have been designed to minimize the effects of weather conditions on driving a vehicle, but they are not able to remove the danger completely. If excess water is not able to drain away sufficiently it will remain on the road surface and could cause cars to skid or lead to aqua planning. So if you get caught out in heavy rain you need to think about the way you drive in order to minimize any potential dangers.

Firstly you should reduce your speed. Heavy rain will reduce visibility, which means it will be harder to see what is on the road in front of you. It can also reduce your stopping distance giving you less time to stop your vehicle safely if necessary. If you feel like the steering has become less responsive then you need to ease off the accelerator slowly and reduce your speed until you feel in control again. Whilst driving in these weather conditions you may find that you come across floodwater. If you do, make sure you only cross it if you are sure of how deep it is. Be aware that it would only take a small amount of water in the internal combustion chamber to cause serious harm to your engine. Crossing floodwater should be done slowly to avoid water seeping into the car and so that you do not cause bow waves. In these conditions not all roads and bridges will remain open. It is therefore advisable not to use your satellite navigation systems to guide you, as they may not be completely up to date on the latest closure. To find out what is happening on the roads in your area, you could tune into the local radio station and listen to the traffic report.

If you car does suffer from any conditions make sure that you pull over and stop in a safe place. If you believe it may be a fault with the engine, resist the urge to open the bonnet and take a look as water may get in and affect the electrics. Instead, call for breakdown assistance and wait for professional help as soaked through electrics could make the car harder to start. If you have not purchased a breakdown service you can often do this through your motor insurance provider who may be able to offer you a competitive rate. It is always best to try and keep your car in tip?top condition so it is better able to cope with extreme weather conditions. For example keeping your tyres inflated to the correct level and replacing old windscreen wipers will make all the difference when you are out on the roads.

Why A Florida Public Adjuster Is Great To Have Around During Hurricane Damage Season

A Florida Public Adjuster is an up and coming friend during hurricane season for homeowners and business owners in the South Florida community. With Public Adjusters still collecting underpaid insurance funds for policyholders from past hurricane damage, many people are putting Adjusters on speed dial for when another hurricane strikes.

Filing a property damage insurance claim is a daunting task. There are not many home and business owners that know how to deal with the insurance company all the way through, while at the same time, getting the most money for their property damage. Whether the damage is from a hurricane, flood, fire, theft, or wind, the insurance company handles the claim the same way. If a policyholder decides to rely on the insurance company to give them a proper settlement, there is a good chance that you will not get everything you deserve.

Now, you are probably thinking to yourself, ?I wonder if I was paid properly from past Florida Hurricane damage?? This is normal and there is a chance that you were not properly compensated by your insurance company. Your insurance company has Adjusters that work strictly for them, with only their interests in mind. The reason you get a bigger settlement with the help of a Public Adjuster is that they only have your interests in mind. They work for the policyholder and not the insurance company.

A Florida Public Adjuster is also handling insurance damage claims as they happen. You don?t have to wait until you have already settled a claim with your insurance company before seeking the advice of a Public Adjuster. The second you have a damage or catastrophe claim to file, you are able to contact a Public Adjuster right away, to insure that you get the biggest and fairest settlement possible.

Policyholders all over the state of Florida are now finding it beneficial to them to consult with a licensed Public Adjuster whenever there is property damage. Insurance companies reach a payment settlement that is good for them. Florida Public Adjusters work an Hurricane damage claims strictly for the good of the policyholder.

Affordable Medical Insurance – Health Insurance 101

If you don’t know a deductible from a co-pay, or an HMO from HBO – you are not alone. But if you are among the growing number of Americans who are now using this marvelous tool known as the Internet to shop on their own for affordable medical coverage, these are terms you’ll need to get comfortable with, or it can cost you.

Lesson one – The Higher the Deductible The Lower the Premium

The deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket for covered medical expenses before the health insurance benefit kicks in. Deductible amounts are usually based on a calendar year. The surest and easiest path towards a lower cost heath insurance premium is still to select a plan with the highest deductible. Once you do that it is also a good idea to open up a specific account such as a Medical Savings Account to pay for medical expenses until the deductible is reached.

Lesson Two – The Co-Payment

The Co-Payment or “co-pay” is a specific dollar amount paid by the policy holder at the time of service of each healthcare visit. It is a fixed amount and does not build to a maximum amount like a deductible. Co-pays are another aspect of lowering health insurance costs that are in your control. You may be able to lower your premium rates by requesting higher co-pay amounts. If you are generally healthy and do not make many trips to the doctor electing a higher co-pay is a great way to ensure more affordable health insurance payments.

Lesson Three – What Else you can do

While many of the costs that are involved in creating a health insurance premium are fixed and non-negotiable there are other areas that we have seen like choosing a higher deductible or co-pay amount that can help reduce your health insurance rates. There are other things in your control as well.

? Generic Drugs – if you do not have prescription drug coverage, always ask if there is a generic available for a given prescription medication. Several large pharmaceutical retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart have programs where many of the most popular generic drugs can be purchased for as little as $ 4.00.

? Lifestyle Changes and Wellness Programs – another way to reduce your health insurance costs is to get in better shape. Quitting smoking and losing weight, after choosing the highest deductible and co-pay amounts, is probably the surest way to reduce a heath insurance bill. Many HMO’s since it is in their best interest to have you remain healthy, will offer wellness programs, and preventive medicine screenings. Take advantage of these. Believe it or not some employer sponsored health insurance plans will even pay for all or part of a gym membership. It’s all part of the concept of paying a little now to keep you healthy, rather than paying more later on.

? Shop Around – get multiple quotes from multiple sources. Today it is very easy to get a free quote online