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Travel insurance sales soar on Zika fears

Travel insurance sales soar on Zika fears | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Travel insurance sales for trips to Latin America have surged, a top provider says, as travellers consider scrapping planned trips to avoid the rapidly spreading Zika virus.


US-based company RoamRight, part of insurer Arch Capital Group, said revenue had jumped 81 per cent in January compared to a year ago for its "Cancel For Any Reason" policy covering trips to Zika-impacted areas in the Americas.


The rise provides an early insight into how traveller patterns are changing because of the mosquito-borne virus, even as airlines and hotel chains say it is too soon to tell whether Zika has dented bookings.


The World Health Organisation on Monday called the virus, linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, an international health emergency that could infect as many as four million people in the Americas.


"We see that kind of growth when there is a terrorist attack or some other event that precipitates people thinking about protecting their travel costs," said Linda Fallon, head of RoamRight and senior vice president of travel for the group's Arch Insurance Company division.


RoamRight, ranked third by sales in 2015 on travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, declined to comment on how the boost would impact its profitability because it does not know how many customers will claim refunds and, therefore, what losses it will incur.


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WA gets no-fault crash injury insurance

WA gets no-fault crash injury insurance | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

New No-fault motor vehicle insurance cover for people catastrophically injured in accidents comes into effect in WA with the start of the new financial year.

 

From July 1, anyone who suffers catastrophic injury where no party is deemed to be at fault, will receive treatment, care and support for the rest of their lives.

 

These include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, multiple amputations, severe burns and permanent traumatic blindness.

 

The expanded insurance cover will cost drivers a maximum of $99 in the first year for each vehicle and motorcycle, with smaller increases for tractors, mopeds, vintage cars and farm firefighting vehicles.

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Travel Insurance: What To Look For In Your Policy

Travel Insurance: What To Look For In Your Policy | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Travel insurance -- two words that could make all the difference to your trip.

 

But what exactly should we be looking for in a policy? At what point do you call for assistance? And will you need to jump through hoops to make a claim?

 

"There's a general perception that it's the customer against the insurance company, but the way we look at it when someone makes a claim is 'we're going to pay this claim,' and then, 'are there any reasons why we shouldn't,'"

 

There are two major components to a travel insurance policy which you should look for: financial and assistance.

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How to get more money from your tax refund in 2016

How to get more money from your tax refund in 2016 | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

They say there are only two certainties in life — deaths and taxes.

 

But when it comes to tax time, some things may be less certain and you can’t always bank on a refund. And while that may be the case, it doesn’t mean the tax man gets to pocket it all because there’s plenty of ways to beat him at his own game.

 

While people aren’t able to claim their rent or entire mobile phone costs for example, Dr Raftery said there were plenty of other ways to legitimately claim expenses. 

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Insurance a dangerous guessing game for households

Insurance a dangerous guessing game for households | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Seven out of 10 Australians are putting tens of thousands of dollars at risk because they guess the value of their home’s contents for their insurance.

 

And almost half of them have no idea how much their stuff is worth or believe they have underestimated its value, according to new research by Understand Insurance.

 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s senior executive leader for financial literacy, Miles Larbey, said renters might think they have “nothing worth stealing, but it could find themselves in financial hardship if disaster strikes”.

 

“For their own peace of mind it is worth considering contents insurance as it could cost far more to replace their items, including clothing and electronics, if they are stolen or damaged,” he said.

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How Banks Could Get a Hold of Your Home

How Banks Could Get a Hold of Your Home | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Guarantor home loans may allow your kids to take the leap from renting to ownership sooner…but they can also ruin your financial life…and theirs.

 

Average new loan values for first home buyers have risen 23% over the last two and a half years. Buyers are taking on more cheap debt while interest rates are at record lows (low rates improve affordability as they lower borrowing costs). But this only makes loans riskier.

 

Australian banks are tightening lending conditions for investors in an effort to help first home buyers. As investors start to withdraw from the market, the property supply will increase, while prices decrease.

 

 

 

 

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Driverless cars set to disrupt car insurance industry

Driverless cars set to disrupt car insurance industry | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Road rules and laws regarding car insurance must adapt to the advancements of driverless technology, said a government agency in a report released earlier this month.

 

The report outlined legal obstacles governments must address including the definition of a driver and fitting driverless cars into the insurance industry.

 

“It is also not clear whether people injured in a crash with an automated vehicle will always be able to claim insurance under compulsory third party insurance or state-based accident compensation schemes,” it stated.

 

Australia’s Transport Ministers will review all public submissions on the topic of driverless cars and meet to discuss them in November. With car sales still going strong in Australia and the slim chance of you setting foot in a driverless car for a few years yet, it’s safe to say car insurance is still important more than ever! On that note, compare deals, features and prices using our comparison tablesto make the switch today.

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Fee rise for new property owners ahead of land titles office privatisation

Fee rise for new property owners ahead of land titles office privatisation | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

New property owners will pay 25 per cent extra to register land and property as the NSW government prepares the public asset for sale.

 

NSW Labor said the price increase would provide a windfall of up to $27 million to whoever buys the Land and Property Information Service which generates more than $60 million in a year.

 

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian recently confirmed the government's in-house land agency would be privatised.

 

Labor's Minister for Finance, Services and Property Clayton Barr said new application fees for title registrations and the determination of title boundaries will rise from $109.50 to $136.30 for each transaction – an increase of almost $27.

 

The fee hike will apply to anyone who buys a new or existing home and puts the property title in their name. News of the fee increase was quietly released through a government circular.

 

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How to cut the cost of insuring your car

How to cut the cost of insuring your car | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Age delivers the biggest rewards when you’re looking to save money on car insurance, but there are plenty of other ways to save money on your premiums.

 

New research by Canstar has found that drivers aged under-25 typically pay three times more for their comprehensive car insurance — up to $2600 a year, but there are also age-based discounts among older adults.

 

Over-45s will pay less for car insurance than people aged 30 to 44, while people living in states with the biggest populations also pay more. This is because there are more cars on the road and more potential accidents, says Canstar head of research Mitchell Watson.

 

“Insurers also consider things such as theft statistics, natural disaster statistics and claims history,” he says.

 

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Top 10 reasons your travel insurance could be rejected

Top 10 reasons your travel insurance could be rejected | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

NOTHING epitomises a holiday more than a cocktail by the pool, but before you go crazy at happy hour, consider this — most travel insurers won’t cover you if you’re drunk.

 

According to one of Australia’s biggest comparison websites, finder.com.au, holiday-makers are jeopardising their travel insurance policies and it can be as easy as having one too many holiday beers.

 

Sylvester says other factors that could leave you out of pocket include being stupid, for example jumping from a hotel balcony into a pool, being unlicensed — thousands of visitors to South East Asia ride motorbikes but if you ride illegally, you’re not covered and being foolhardy — always check the Australian government’s advice on where to safely travel, if you ignore that advice you won’t be covered.

Top4s insight:

Here are 10 reasons your travel insurance could be rejected:

1. Don’t get sick

2. Light work only

3. Dodgy plastic surgery

4. Binge drink

5. Don’t hang out with strangers

6. Stay alert

7. Sponge off friends and family

8. Good Samaritan

9. Sailing

10. Leisure time

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The benefits of life insurance

The benefits of life insurance | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Against the backlash on poor claims experiences, the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) is warning Australians that jumping to conclusions could be inadvertently costly and a livelihood liability.

 

"It is vitally important Australians understand what life insurance they have, and the quality of the contract before making any decision to cancel or vary it," said AFA chief executive, Brad Fox.

 

"If Australians cancel their insurance — it could mean that if their health changes in the future, they won't ever be accepted for cover again."

 

For Australians sourcing their life insurance directly from insurance providers, there is a risk of inflated price to cover marketing costs. If your choice is group insurance, the associated risk is having to work directly with your super fund without the guarantee of talking directly with the insurance company.

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New travel insurance option for women ‘Travel with Jane’ unveiled 

New travel insurance option for women ‘Travel with Jane’ unveiled  | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Sydney based company Insured By Us has announced it will introduce a new online travel insurance brand aimed specifically at Australian women

 

The insurance platform, called Travel with Jane, will be the first direct entry into the market from Insured By Us, which has been powering Woolworths Travel Insurance and Real Travel Insurance for the last three years.

 

“Our first priority is to empower women to have confidence in the products they’re buying, to explain our products clearly and without omission, so that women can make their policies work for them,”Webster said.

 

Travel with Jane is geared to offer basic, comprehensive and multi-trip travel insurance policies, which will be underwritten by The Hollard Insurance Company and supported by Mapfre, specialists in global medical assistance.

Top4s insight:

Tips for travellers:

 

•Keep your luggage secure - Always pack your own bags and never leave them unattended in public places, not only to prevent theft, but also any tampering in your luggage.

 

•Learn about your destination - Don't just focus on the fun stuff like tourist attractions and local festivals though. Learn about "certain behaviors that should be avoided, how to dress when visiting cultural landmarks, and learn some local statements."

 

•Stay in contact - There are dangers that come with travelling to a foreign country on your own. So make sure you're in regular contact with someone back home and if you have an itinerary, leave a copy with them. So if something went wrong they'll have the idea where you are.

 

•Understand your travel insurance - Make sure you know the emergency insurance contact numbers for each country your visiting, what conditions might apply to your cover and how to claim your travel insurance, in some situations.

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Travel insurance sales soar on Zika fears

Travel insurance sales soar on Zika fears | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Travel insurance sales for trips to Latin America have surged, a top provider says, as travellers consider scrapping planned trips to avoid the rapidly spreading Zika virus.


US-based company RoamRight, part of insurer Arch Capital Group, said revenue had jumped 81 per cent in January compared to a year ago for its "Cancel For Any Reason" policy covering trips to Zika-impacted areas in the Americas.


The rise provides an early insight into how traveller patterns are changing because of the mosquito-borne virus, even as airlines and hotel chains say it is too soon to tell whether Zika has dented bookings.


The World Health Organisation on Monday called the virus, linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, an international health emergency that could infect as many as four million people in the Americas.


"We see that kind of growth when there is a terrorist attack or some other event that precipitates people thinking about protecting their travel costs," said Linda Fallon, head of RoamRight and senior vice president of travel for the group's Arch Insurance Company division.


RoamRight, ranked third by sales in 2015 on travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, declined to comment on how the boost would impact its profitability because it does not know how many customers will claim refunds and, therefore, what losses it will incur.


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Auto Insurance Often Costlier, Renters Pay $112 More A Year For Car Insurance

Auto Insurance Often Costlier, Renters Pay $112 More A Year For Car Insurance | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Do you see any relation between owning a home and your car insurance premiums? Probably not, but a new study concludes that not owning a home can cost you financially as renters are penalized more.


Consumers who rent homes and don’t have their own pay about 7 percent more on average for annual car insurance premiums despite having stellar driving records, says Consumer Federation of America’s analysis of premium quotes.


“People are being charged extra just for being poor,” said Douglas Heller, a consumer advocate who helped conduct the analysis.


Similarly, the cost of fully comprehensive car insurance policy has raised by over $100 in a space of a year, reports AA Insurance. Laws regarding car accidents is what costs the most if the owners gets involved in an accident because of the cost involved in hiring car accident lawyer, fines if found guilty and the repairing cost. However, the return for both renters and homeowners provided by car insurance premiums is the same.

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Time to check your car insurance as vehicle theft rises in Victoria

Time to check your car insurance as vehicle theft rises in Victoria | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Victoria is topping the charts for car theft in Australia, with an average of 42 vehicles stolen from the Melbourne CBD each day

 

Almost a third (32.3%) of all car theft in Australia between March 2015 and March 2016 occurred in Victoria - a 35.6% increase from the previous year..

 

Aussie car owners can protect themselves from the financial damage of being the victim of car theft by taking out a competitive comprehensive car insurance policy.

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Avoid having a financial overseas holiday hangover

Avoid having a financial overseas holiday hangover | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Travellers about to embark on an overseas journey need to set off with a budget in tow or risk returning with a holiday hangover.

 

Exclusive new data released from the Commonwealth Bank found 50 per cent of holiday makers admitted to embarking with no budget and more than half don’t bother converting currency until just before they leave — some even wait to do it when they’re already on holiday.

 

CBA’s general manager of cards David Singh says many travellers are also unaware they could save themselves hundreds of dollars on travel insurance because they may already have it.

 

“Quite a few people travelling have a credit card that comes with travel insurance, but they do not take advantage of that,’’ he says.

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The 5 Things Travel Insurers Want Australians to Know Now About Claims

The 5 Things Travel Insurers Want Australians to Know Now About Claims | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

The importance of buying travel insurance before heading overseas has become well recognised across Australians of all ages. But many travellers still hold mistaken beliefs that can mean being surprised by a claim being rejected.

 

“You’re encouraged to read any Travel Insurer’s product disclosure statement before you purchase a policy,” said Dean Van Es, the CEO of Fast Cover. “This is so that you better understand the policy benefits and what is excluded.”

 

The Travel Insurance Specialist team at Fast Cover has had numerous conversations with Australian travellers who are confused about what travel insurance really is and what it can cover. Here are five of the more worrisome ideas they’ve talked about with Australian travellers.

 

 

Top4s insight:

5 Things Travel Insurers Want Australians to Know Now About Claims:

 

1.  It’s illegal to lie to an insurer about a claim.

2. Not telling your insurer about a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t mean you’ll have cover for it.

3.  Pre-existing medical conditions apply to cancellation claims.

4.  Cover for domestic cruises is different from cover for inland holidays.

5.  Excess applies to each claimable incident.

 

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Tips to dealing with economy class travel

Tips to dealing with economy class travel | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Travel is magic, but getting to wherever you're going? Probably less so. Air travel was exciting and romantic back in the days when friends and relations would come to the airport to see you off and airport security was a picket fence, but romance and excitement do not leap to mind when you head for the airport these days.

 

Especially if you're flying in economy class, long-haul air travel is only slightly more appealing than mouth surgery, but it doesn't have to be that way. From the time you book your flight to the moment you unclip your seatbelt at your destination there's plenty you can do to make your flying experience more comfortable, more pleasant, healthier, happier and more cost-effective.

 

Culled from five decades of air travel and selected input from veteran air travellers who automatically reach for the recline button whenever they sit down, here are 20 ways to upgrade your next flying experience.




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Work expenses: Tax deductions you can claim in 2016

Work expenses: Tax deductions you can claim in 2016 | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

When it comes to work expenses, claim to your heart’s content.

But make sure it’s legit and you have a receipt to back it up otherwise you could be faced with a hefty payout to the taxman.

And while there are plenty of things you probably don’t even realise you can claim, there’s a big catch.

 

“One, make sure you spent the money yourself and were not reimbursed. Two, make sure it’s related to your job and three, you need a record to prove it.” The good news is there is certainly plenty of things you can claim if you play your cards right according to tax expert Dr Adrian Rafferty.

 

According to him the important thing is that is taxpayers have to be able to prove they directly relate to their job.

 

Top4s insight:

Here are some of the work expenses you can claim that you might not know about.

 

•Electricity

•Income Protection from Insurance

•Credit Cards

•Car Use

•Office Equipment 

•Mobile Phone

•Clothes/Make up

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How lying Australian travellers are being caught out by insurance companies

How lying Australian travellers are being caught out by insurance companies | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

In case  you didn’t already know, lying to an insurance company is a bad idea.

 

Before you say “d’uh”, it turns out that some Australian travellers have learnt this lesson the hard way after being busted trying to make a quick buck by submitting fake claims.

 

That’s right, Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has lifted the lid for news.com.au on some of the most outrageous and memorable dodgy claims they’re ever received. And there are some doozies. “We receive up to 1300 claims a week and see all kinds of attempts to exaggerate the truth,” Craig Morrison, CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance said.

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The cost of refinancing your home loan

The cost of refinancing your home loan | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Millions of existing home loan customers looking to nab the best deals possible by refinancing need to weigh up the costs of doing so. 

 

Refinancing a variable loan can be a significant money-saving exercise but it all depends on the size of your mortgage and the costs involved.

 

But for those with a fixed-rate deal, Home Loans Experts’s managing director Otto Dargan says it’s often best to stay put. The low interest rate environment has lead to a spate of lenders reducing their home loan rates — but not everyone is doing so. You can’t rely on your lender to automatically cut rates so it is worth looking around or speaking to a mortgage broker about whether you can get a better deal.

 

“This means for homeowners currently on a variable rate, in just over a year the potential interest savings could outweigh the exit costs and put you ahead in the long term.”

Dargan says refinancing is also a good chance to pump up your repayments to clear the debt sooner.

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New home warranty insurance product to fill major market crack

New home warranty insurance product to fill major market crack | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

A new home warranty insurance product will improve the negotiating power of owner-builders at the point of sale while also providing home-buyers with peace of mind.

 

Australian Owner Builders Insurance Services (AOBIS) has launched a product that aims to fill major cracks in the NSW, Queensland, South Australia and ACT owner-builder markets.

 

The product will provide protection for a home purchaser if a defect is found and the owner-builder who sold them the property has died, gone missing or become insolvent.

 

“This gives the purchaser comfort when buying an owner built home that there is a warranty in place to protect them in the event of unforeseen circumstances,” AOBIS Senior Underwriter Stacey Newham told Broker Buzz.

 

Newham says the decision to make the new home warranty insurance product available in states outside Victoria and Western Australia has come about due to overwhelming feedback they were getting from owner-builders, particularly in NSW.

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Overseas travel: how to curb your mid-year getaway costs

Overseas travel: how to curb your mid-year getaway costs | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

More than a third of us are thinking about leaving the chill behind for second summer holiday overseas, says travel site Wotif.

 

The Aussie dollar has shot up in recent weeks, but there is more than just currency to keep in mind if you want to avoid a costly trip.

 

“As the dollar claws its way back against the Greenback, Aussie travellers will continue their love affair with North America helped in part by discount fare pricing by airlines at the moment,” says Wotif travel specialist Kim Stockham.

 

Choosing your destination based on how far your Aussie dollars will take you is one way to save. While we are most familiar with how the dollar compares with the $US, rates vary from country to country.

 

Experts say if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Lloyd says it’s essential you have insurance and even book it well before you leave in case something goes wrong. Sometimes it is included with your credit card.

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Easter travellers warned to prepare for airport strikes

Easter travellers warned to prepare for airport strikes | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Border Protection is urging Australians travelling internationally over the Easter break to arrive at the airport early and stay tuned for updates over an industrial workers’ strike.

 

Employees of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection are just one of many government sectors taking industrial action over the coming weeks due to a dispute over pay and working conditions.

 

“Travellers who have not yet booked their travel or who are able to reschedule to another day are encouraged to do so. The Department recognises this will cause inconvenience and have an impact on the travelling public.”

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Tips for a cheap as chips Easter holiday 

Tips for a cheap as chips Easter holiday  | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

Planning a trip for your Easter weekend? There’s no better way to shake off the humdrum of working life, but travel can get expensive very quickly. So, whether you’re taking a mini-trip to Fiji or going on an all out expedition across Europe, we’ve got some top tips to help you travel smart and make the most of your holiday budget.

 

The magic of spontaneous travel might be alluring, but from choosing a destination to parking at the airport, being prepared pays this Easter. Know your holiday budget before you even start - and then you can start finding cheap deals on everything from rental cars to theme park tickets by booking and pre-paying online. 

 

When you plan your holiday budget, don’t forget to check out the foreign exchange ratesfor your destination to find out just how much your Aussie dollar is really buying you.

 

Grab yourself a prepaid travel card as part of your holiday planning. Not only will this allow you to skip the conversion fees, because the money on the card has already been converted, but you can also lock in an exchange rate to make budgeting easier and avoid market fluctuations.

Top4s insight:

Tips when travelling:

PLAN YOUR TRIP- Know your holiday budget before you even start.

CHECK OUT THE EXCHANGE RATES- Don’t forget to check out the foreign exchange rates to find out just how much your Aussie dollar is really buying you.

GO DIY ON TRAVEL INSURANCE- Don’t just let your travel agent sell you on their latest must-have travel insurance recommendation, because chances are, that’s just the one they’ll earn a bigger commission on. You’re usually better off doing it yourself.

USE THE RIGHT PIECE OF PLASTIC- Grab yourself a prepaid travel card as part of your holiday planning to skip the conversion fees and also lock in an exchange rate to make budgeting easier and avoid market fluctuations.

AVOID TOURIST TRAPS- To avoid the high price tag that comes with being a tourist, live like a local instead. Chat to locals and find out where they like to eat and shop. Besides saving you money, this could lead to some of the best travel experiences you’ll ever have.

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Travellers more likely to take a toothbrush overseas than insurance

Travellers more likely to take a toothbrush overseas than insurance | Insurance Agencies | Scoop.it

AUSSIE travellers believe packing a toothbrush is more important than taking out insurance when heading overseas, according to new research that has stunned insurers.


“When you compare the cost of replacing a $2 toothbrush to the cost of having to cover an $85,000 medical repatriation from the US, it’s not in the same ballpark,” 


He said taking out insurance did tend to be more of a priority for people the further they travelled from home.


While places like New Zealand and Indonesia had relatively low rates of travel insurance cover, visitors to the US were a bit more risk conscious.




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