The pitfalls of using comparison sites

In our digital age, we’re used to accessing everything we need in a matter of seconds, with information at our fingertips as soon as we need it. It’s little surprise, then, that every year, millions of people use price comparison websites to quickly and easily access a wide range of products, including home, travel, car and pet insurance.

However, although price comparison sites are convenient, there are a few downsides to relying on them for quotes.

The insurers and insurance products on each site differ, meaning that your options will be different on every comparison website.

Of course, you could compare the quotes from different sites, although it can be time-consuming to check prices across multiple websites.

You may also find that the insurer that you were hoping to go with doesn’t actually appear on any comparison sites, as some companies choose not to be listed.

Even some of the market-leading, most reliable insurers opt not to appear on comparison websites, meaning that you could be missing out on some great deals.

Comparison sites can also be slightly misleading because they compare on price rather than policy benefits so unless you’re taking a deeper look at each product you’re not really comparing apples with apples.

This means time-poor customers can be tricked into opting for what, at first glance, seems like a great deal when actually it doesn’t give them the cover they really need.

Ultimately, many people can fall in to the trap of opting automatically for the cheapest cover, rather than reading the small print to check how the policy compares to their current cover and if it’s suitable for their requirements.

So, to make sure you’re getting the right deal isn’t actually as quick and easy as the comparison sites make out.

Plus, the lack of personal touch means there’s no point of contact to ask questions and check your understanding, increasing the risk that you could be left with a policy that doesn’t pay out when you come to claim.

By going through a professional adviser, you can ask questions there and then, and have all of the terms and conditions explained to you.

Plus, an adviser will be able to ensure you’re getting the right product for you that meets your expectations as well as your budget.

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If mental illness is affecting your finances, help is out there

Talking about money problems isn’t easy – but if your finances are suffering as a result of a mental health condition, it can be even harder. If you’re struggling with your mental health, you may have forgotten to pay your bills and ended up falling into arrears, had problems controlling your spending, had issues with benefit payments coming in and ended up overdrawn. Money worries are very common, but it’s important to take steps to get them under control – and there is plenty of support out there.

Many banks offer support services for people who are suffering from mental health conditions, and understand the possible implications that it can have on your finances. You might feel anxious about telling your bank about your struggles, but if they know more about what you’re going through, they will be better equipped to help you handle it. If you find it difficult to talk on the phone, you may be able to talk to your bank over email, web chat, or by meeting someone face-to-face.

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How to improve your financial situation in 2019

What keeps you awake at night? Family, work, health, relationships? According to a recent survey for National Conversation Week [link], more people worry about their finances than anything else. Money worries topped the list at 38 per cent, compared to family (15 per cent) and work (10 per cent).

When you add into the equation that 26 per cent of people want to change their spending habits this year – whether that’s spending more or less – then the topic of how to improve your financial situation in 2019 is clearly an important one to discuss.

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Young people are leaving themselves financially exposed

Nearly half of 18-24-year-olds are risking their financial wellbeing according to a recent survey.

Conducted for National Conversation Week 2019, the YouGov research of 1,023 British adults revealed that 47 per cent of young people aged 18-24 admit to not being insured from a list of 14 popular types of insurance. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, critical illness (0 per cent), personal accident (1 per cent) and personal mortgage protection (3 per cent), ranked particularly low on their list of protection priorities. However, worryingly young people are leaving themselves unprotected when it comes to common everyday events, such as damage or loss of cars, mobile phones and problems when travelling.

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It’s not good to talk – nearly half of people admit

Apparently, it’s no longer ‘good to talk’ – that’s according to research that shows nearly half (48%) of people shy away from speaking to friends, family, and professionals, about general life issues.

The survey of 1023 British adults – compiled as part of the annual National Conversation Week – has revealed that 47 per cent of recipients never, or rarely, seek advice on everyday subjects such as health, home, work and family. In fact, only 4 per cent of people always turn to their loved ones to get reassurance on life’s worries.

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Let’s talk home insurance

James Ware may not be the first hard-working 26-year-old to own his own home. But by getting on the property ladder early, he has put himself one step ahead of most of his peers. And thanks to his financial adviser, he also saved a great deal of time and effort along the way.

Unlike most millennials, who are typically well into their thirties before taking out a mortgage, James took the plunge when he was just 24. He knew it was a big decision, but with his career going well and no other financial commitments to speak of, it felt like the right time.

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The importance of your credit rating

Your credit rating, or credit score, can have a major impact on your life. It started out as a way for banks and financial institutions to assess how likely you were to repay a mortgage or other debt. Today it is not uncommon for new employers and letting agents to want to check your credit rating before offering you a job or a lease on a flat.

Keeping an eye on your credit rating is highly recommended. It shouldn’t take long to do, and you only need do it a couple of times a year.

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A quick guide to car insurance jargon from Swinton Insurance

Buying car insurance is hardly the most exciting activity! But since it’s a legal requirement for all UK drivers, having to wade through all of the jargon is a necessary evil. Here’s a quick guide to debunking some of the most confusing car insurance jargon that can leave you scratching your head…

No-claims bonus vs No-claims discount

These terms are often seen as interchangeable, however there’s a slight difference:

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Yorkshire people top poll of biggest worriers

Yorkshire residents are the biggest worriers about money in the UK, with many vowing to change their spending habits in 2019.

According to a survey of 1023 people, 47 per cent of residents in Yorkshire and the Humber rank finance as the main thing that keeps them up at night – a country mile ahead of fitness (12 per cent) and work (11 per cent) – with 46 per cent promising to spend less this year. Those living in the south east closely follow (46 per cent) as worriers, with the Welsh taking a more laid-back approach to their finances at 22 per cent.

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