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April 18, 2013

How to Choose Boiler Cover for Perfect Protection

boiler-insuranceChoosing a new boiler as part of the latest home improvements can be a hard enough job as it is, without even thinking about the type of British Gas boiler cover to purchase to ensure it’s protected. As with the boiler itself, when making a decision on boiler insurance, you need to shop around to find the best option for your personal requirements.

What sort of cover do you need? What do you want to be included as part of the monthly premium? Maintenance costs, servicing and repair all need to be considered to ensure that you can make the best decision for your household.

  1. Boiler and Controls breakdown cover is one of the most basic types of insurance and can cost as little as £4 a month. The aim of this cover is to ensure you receive the help of specialist engineers in the event of boiler breakdown.
  2. Central heating breakdown cover can be taken for as little as £6 a month and extends the above cover to include your central heating as well as your boiler. If your central heating system conks out, having this cover could help get your heating up and running again.
  3. Homecare is a British Gas initiative that is highly recommended for homeowners throughout the UK. It helps to cover the cost of boiler maintenance, faulty electrics and damaged pipes as well as having an annual boiler service and efficiency check included.
  • HomeCare 100 is £9pm and includes an annual boiler service and boiler and controls cover.
  • HomeCare 200 is £11pm and also includes central heating cover.
  • HomeCare 300 is £14pm and covers drainage issues too.
  • HomeCare 400 is the ultimate package, at £17pm, and includes all of the above and electrics cover as well.

Regardless of your personal budget, signing up for boiler insurance is a sensible premium to consider. After all, what’s a few pounds a month if it helps to pay for a job that would otherwise cost hundreds? Take a look at the options available and give yourself the peace of mind you deserve as a homeowner.

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April 17, 2013

How mobile apps can be beneficial to your life & business

Business mobile appsThe recent app explosion has transformed the world’s smart phones from over-powered toys into incredibly productive business accessories. However, if you’re not convinced of their worth, then you might want to consider that over 1 billion of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones are smartphones.

In addition, experts predict that by 2014, Internet usage is set to be overtaken by mobile Internet usage, and the majority of Internet activity will be conducted through mobile phones. Currently, over 50% of Internet activity is conducted through mobile phones and apps – so isn’t it time you thought about bringing these into play?

Integrate your systems

Apps offer the SME owner a chance to perform on a corporate level, streamlining the way your business performs and at a fraction of the cost of the technology that larger businesses spend. Perhaps the most important advantage that apps give you is the ability to work from anywhere and at any time. The days in which a business owner works from one computer that’s fixed in one geographical place are well and truly over. Not only does this mean you can conduct your business on the road or from a coffee shop, but you can also make on-the-spot decisions without having to worry about getting back to the office. Cloud apps allow you to access important data, quickly and efficiently.

Manage your money

The numbers game is an important aspect of business, no matter how large or small your company may be. Doubtless, larger companies will have dedicated teams of accountants to crunch the figures whilst the business takes care of itself, but SME owners won’t always have the time or the cash to spend on their accounts.

Intuit has a neat little app up its sleeve in the form of QuickBooks Mobile. Most people are aware of QuickBooks – it’s consistently voted as the best accounting software in the world. However, well aware of the app revolution, Intuit has crunched the program down into an app that offers all the same features, but you can manage your accounts on the go. Not only does this make accounting massively easier, but it also means that SME owners have access to expert accounting, for free.

Business on the go

There are even apps that turn your mobile phone or tablet into on-the-spot card readers. Often, opportunities pass business owners by, as there’s no way to facilitate payment. Using these apps, every in-the-flesh encounter is a possible sale. It works the same way as a traditional card reader; all the customer has to do is punch in their security details and the transaction is authorized. With so much onus being placed on online security, these apps use the latest encryption codings to ensure that any transactions are risk-free and a copy of the receipt can be sent to your accounting software; all the aspects of instant business are taken care of.

The side-benefit of all of these apps is that they can help you manage your time better. The problem for many start-up business owners is that getting a business off the ground can eat into personal time and disrupt your private life. Apps allow you to automate manual tasks and jump at opportunities as they arise – but they also allow greater freedom to choose just where and when you make your business decisions.

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April 8, 2013

Health Insurance for Unemployed Workers

Insurance for unemployedA key issue to consider if you become unemployed is the loss of your health insurance coverage. You won’t want to be without it, but you will also have to face the fact that it can be quite expensive. Consider the choices you have and how you can make use of them as you hunt for a new job.

What you can expect

At the time you are laid off, your employer should provide information regarding the health benefits available to you at. In addition, if you feel that the information you are given is insufficient, find out if you can continue your coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

What you should know

Note that the law requires your employer to make health insurance available to terminated employees for 18 months via COBRA, usually at their expense. However, some employers provide this insurance in the severance package they offer for a specified time. To obtain this coverage, you must enroll within 60 days.

What you can do

You can also get in touch with your state health department because a number of states offer health insurance that covers families and individuals for a fee. If this is true in your case, you will have to meet certain asset and income requirements in order to participate in the plan.

Above all, don’t delay in looking for health care insurance that is right for you, and avoid making an uninformed or hasty choice that you come to regret. If you have a pre-existing condition, you have 63 days to find other coverage and avoid a waiting period in your situation.

Here are some options for you to consider:

With a major medical plan, you will pay a premium that is really affordable by choosing a high deductible. However, while this program will cover you if you face a medical event that is catastrophic, you cannot rely on it for in routine, predictable health care situations. You can also opt for less-expensive short-term medical insurance coverage that will expire in six or twelve months.

If you want to find an insurance plan with a lower premium, you can also look for one that doesn’t provide treatment at many facilities or find an inexpensive medical plan without a deductible that includes coverage for your basic health care needs, such as a brief hospital stay or a routine office visit. In addition, determine whether any school alumni associations or insurance companies in your state provide temporary medical coverage for the unemployed that would meet your needs.

Certain members-only warehouse clubs, trade associations and unions also provide various types of medical coverage, such as vaccinations and screening, and you can contact them for information.

While being unemployed reduces your income and a pre-existing condition may keep you from qualifying for the various options mentioned above, assistance from your state or certain high-risk pools may help you in paying for your medical coverage until you find a new job.

If you are an unemployed worker under the age of 26, you can be covered by your parents’ group insurance plan. This is part of the health care reform bill, and you don’t have to be a dependent or a full-time student to qualify.

Determine if your children can participate in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is available in every state.

If you currently participate in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that means that you are eligible for Medicaid. Others may also qualify for this assistance, depending on the income and resources currently available to them.

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April 5, 2013

Financing Your Perfect Wedding

Marriage FinanceWhat springs to mind when you think of the perfect wedding? If you’re a woman, it may be your dress, the flowers or your first dance. If you’re a man it might be the car you’ll arrive in, the colour of your cummerbund, or not falling over during your first dance. But one thing that no-one likes to think about – but which no-one can ultimately avoid dealing with – is figuring out how much your dream wedding is going to cost.

The Increasing Costs of UK Weddings

Weddings in the UK have a long history of being a big affair, however this doesn’t mean that the cost of a wedding was always as high as it is now.

In 2013, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is approximately £18,000 . This is a significant increase on the average cost of a wedding in the 1950s of just £70 – which would be the equivalent of approximately £2,000 by today’s standards. To put it further into perspective, the cost of a wedding in 1950 was approximately seven times a person’s weekly wage, whereas the average UK wedding in 2013 is more than 30x the average weekly wage.

Portrayal of weddings in the media – including televised Royal weddings – as well as changing fashions and an increased importance being placed on extravagance, are all factors which have contributed to the rising costs of UK weddings.

How to Finance Your Big Day on a Budget

For many couples, the thought of spending up to £25,000 on a wedding is simply unthinkable. However pressures from friends and family to have a big wedding, unexpected costs, or simply the effort of trying to recreate the dream wedding scenario you’ve had in your head since you were little, can all conspire to escalate the costs of your wedding without you realising.

Thankfully there are many ways in which weddings can be financed, quickly and easily, so you don’t have to compromise on having the day you’ve always wanted. From trimming unnecessary guests to having a friend do the photos, there are plenty of ways in which costs can be cut from every corner. And when you make many little savings, you’ll soon find that you’re able to save a decent sum of money overall.

Of course, if you’ve made all the savings you possibly can but still come in over budget, there are many other ways of gaining additional financing for your wedding. From asking relatives for help to applying for secured homeowner loans, sourcing additional funds can be quick, easy and headache-free. Just remember to sort out your finances well in advance of your wedding, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about on the day will be the groom’s dancing.

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