The majority of people in the United Kingdom have insufficient life insurance. Death may not be a pleasant prospect, but if you have children, would they be affected? Would your mortgage be taken care of? And who would pay for your funeral? Here we look at the life insurance options available to consumers.
If you are the major wage earner in a family, life insurance is very important. You may not be planning to die anytime soon, but if the worst was to happen, how would your family who depend on your income at present manage financially? Even if you have no dependants, and are not a breadwinner, some insurance may be desirable, as a funeral can cost several thousand pounds.
Don’t discount the idea of ‘self ensuring’. You can do this by paying money into a regular savings account. As long as you make sure you intentions in your will are clear, this money can be used to cover the necessaries. Not for everyone however.
A range of simple life insurance alternatives are available that can provide peace of mind in the event of your untimely death. The monthly premium on some plans may be a lot less than you would imagine, and as life expectancy increases, premium levels are reducing all the time.
It pays to effect life insurance at a young age and when you are in good health. The older you get, the more your premiums increase, and insurers will apply premium loadings, i.e. charge more than the standard premium, if the insured is in poor health at inception of the policy. If you are in very poor health, your life insurance application is likely to be refused outright.
Life insurance may be effected in order to ensure:
- There will be sufficient funds for your family to maintain their standard of living, and/or
- Your mortgage will be paid off, and/or
- The costs of your funeral will be met
This type of insurance may also be known as assurance, as it concerns insurance against a certain event, i.e. death.
Types of life insurance include:
Level term insurance – The policy is set up for a specific term, which may be anything from 5 to 40 years. Should the policyholder die during the term, a specified sum, known as the sum assured, will be paid out. It is common for the term of these policies to be set to match either the age at which it is anticipated children will cease to be dependant, or the end of a mortgage term.
Decreasing term insurance – Again the policy has a specified term, but here the sum assured reduces by a set percentage, typically 10%, for every year the policy is in force. Because of this, these policies are cheaper than level term, and are usually only used to protect repayment mortgages and other reducing loans.
Level and decreasing term policies can be written on a joint life basis, usually with your spouse or partner. The sum assured is payable on the first death of the two policyholders. Term assurance plans often have the option of an increasing policy – where the sum assured and premiums rise over the term – and a renewable policy where the original term can be extended.
Family income benefit – Instead of a lump sum being paid out on death, here an annual income is paid out for the remainder of the policy term. These policies are used solely to provide an income for dependants should the breadwinner die.
Whole-of-life insurance – As the title implies, unlike term insurance policies, these plans will not expire, and the sum assured will be paid out regardless of when the insured person dies. They are often used to meet lifelong expenses, such as funeral costs. Premiums are payable over a long period, perhaps until the policyholder’s 85th birthday, so the total cost can be substantial. Younger people wishing to cover funeral expenses should consider a level term plan initially, then perhaps a whole-of-life plan later in life.
It is standard practice for lower life insurance premiums to be charged for non-smokers.
So life insurance is very important, and there is a range of options available. A simple call to your bank or financial adviser, a direct application to an insurance company or a visit to a price comparison website could provide you with valuable peace of mind.
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Internet TV is becoming popular at a way faster pace than expected. The recent updates to Apple TV, the launch of iCloud, xbox live video – all point to one direction – the future is going to be internet TV.
Given such a fast changing scenario how do you choose a TV for your home that is compatible with the upcoming technologies and doesn’t force you to spend again on a television in a year or two.
You need a television that offers all the existing features of televisions without the limitations of a typical computer screen. Just because you plan to use and don’t compromise on the size and clarity of your TV screen. However, your TV should be smart enough to give you the best TV experience as well as gives you the best browsing experience.
So what to look for:
1) Apps: The apps that your TV can support are going to be the defining feature on its usefulness and utility. The problem is that right now apps are being designed customized to the televisions they are being loaded on so this is one of the defining features. It is better to go with TV’s that have access to app stores so that you can choose the apps that you want. E.g. LG has its own app store while Sony and Phillips don’t have an app store. This also means that you will have more flexibility in the future in terms of the functionality that your TV is going to offer. You will be able to download apps and use them as per your needs.
2) Your entertainment and internet requirements: If you are an avid Facebook user, then make sure you get a TV that has Facebook app or provides the option to download it. Similarly chat support is must. Similarly, if you are movie buff and Netflix is your favorite site then make sure your TV has Netflix app installed on it. If you get stuck with a TV that doesn’t have your favorite app present then you might end up with a sour taste.
3) Your TV Remote: Right now there aren’t too many options or features available. QWERTY remotes are available with some companies. LG has its Magic motion technology in development, while some companies are offering TV remote only. This is something that is going to undergo a lot of innovation and improvements in the coming years. What we are looking for is a combination of keyboard, TV remote and gestures.
4) Peripheral Support: Wi-Fi is a basic need, most TV’s are coming with Wi-Fi already setup by default. In addition you should look for lan support. Support for other internet enabled devices and Smart phones is something that should be present in almost all internet.
5) After sales support: While the definition of after sales support till date was limited to warranties and hardware support but as internet television finds its way into more and more homes – we are going to need more support options for configurations and usage. Companies that are integrating community support, forums, live chat support will surely provide a big advantage to their consumers over their peers.
These are only some of the features of internet TV that you should look for, the future is changing fast and I am sure some similar article next year will have a very different set of features to consider.
This post has been written by Calvin Scott, a veteran when it comes to reviewing tech stuff.He loves his pet and when he is not engaged to tech he is with him. Visit his site for kpn interactieve tv and interactieve tv hd.