Scottish Provident Life Insurance
Scottish Provident Life Insurance: Both Legal & General and Scottish provident have reported that they have seen an increase in critical life payouts in 2009. L&G said they paid out 96% of their claims up form 79% the year before, while Scottish provident paid 91%. Most commonly these claims were paid out on cancer, terminal illness, heart attack, stroke and MS. Both insurers say that having a low non-disclosure rate which would normally lead to a claim being rejected, has been a good thing for the industry. They say their literature and application process has improved, which has led to the higher rate of successful payouts.
Alton Towers has moved into the business of offering insurance by asking riders of their new TH13TEEN roller-coaster to pay an extra £1 per ride for medical or physiological assistance should they need it. The ride has been described as a "psychoaster" or a ride which combine physical and psychological fear. A team of doctors will be available at the leisure park for riders to turn to if they feel any adverse effects. One doctor commented that this ride is one which people will not be prepared for, hence the need for the insurance policy.
Malcolm Webster has appeared in court in Edinburgh this week charged with murder, attempted murder and insurance fraud. He had allegedly murdered his first wife and attempted to murder his second wife, in both cases to get life insurance payments. His first wife was murdered by being drugged and then set fire to in a car. He received a payment of £208,000 from several insurance policies on that occasion. He later tried to murder his second wife while in New Zealand, also in a car accident. Once again insurance policies had been taken out in her name, some of which were forged. Lawyers have described the case against Mr Webster as incredibly complex and the trial is expected to continue for 18 weeks.
The FSA has released their 2010 Financial Risk Outlook report this week which suggests that packaged insurance deals and bundled bank accounts do not always offer the best value for money. The bank accounts which often include travel, breakdown, mobile phone and life insurance as part of the package charge a monthly fee, but the FSA has found that the level of cover may not be what is expected. More extensive cover could be found by buying these insurances separately. The FSA pointed out that consumers may be paying for insurances they do not require or may never use, in particular mobile phone cover or extended warranties. The FSA have said that banks need to make it more clear to their customers that these accounts have a fee and that a fee free option is available. They also state that these types of accounts may be being sold in a similar way to PPI policies, which led to high compensation payments.
Research by Santander has found that 70% off people in the UK have not changed their bank account in the last ten years and 74% think it unlikely they will review their account in the next few years. Despite this, UK consumers are more than willing to compare their insurance providers on a yearly basis. Helen Bierton from Santander is encouraging people to shop around for better bank deals and current account rates to help make their money stretch further.
HSBC has admitted they have had the details of 24,000 customers of their Swiss private bank stolen, three years ago. An employee was alleged to have stolen the information which eventually ended up in the hands of French Authorities. Apparently the extent of the breach was not discovered until recently and HSBC have said they will contact all those who have active accounts. HSBC and its subsidiaries have been fined in the past by the FSA for breaches of confidentiality and were accused of not giving staff sufficient training on the risks. They were found to be sending unencrypted information via the post or couriers. †
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